No Delay Necessary Following a Miscarriage
Common medical wisdom used to be that a woman should wait at least six months following a miscarriage before attempting to get pregnant again. A new study, however, refutes that "wisdom," and states that women who get pregnant within six months following their miscarriage have the best chance for a healthy pregnancy with the lowest rate of complications.
This is potentially good news for the large amount of women who are over the age of 35 and are seeing their window of opportunity shrinking quickly.
Many of these women simply do not have the option of waiting another six months before trying again to become pregnant. The new study showed further than women who became pregnant relatively quickly following their miscarriage were less likely to have a subsequent miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy as compared to women who waited from six months to a year. The women who conceived quickly were also less likely to deliver a premature baby or require a caesarean section. The overall rate of repeat miscarriages is relatively low; at least 85% of all women who have had one miscarriage will go on to have a normal, healthy pregnancy, while those who have had two or three miscarriages will have at least 75% who will have a successful pregnancy.
How Long Should I Wait?
While it seems you don't have to wait six months or longer to get pregnant again, most doctors would agree that you should at least let one cycle go by prior to conception. One of the reasons for this is that if you become pregnant prior to having a normal period, you will be unable to establish a reliable last menstrual period date. This can present problems for your first prenatal sonogram and blood tests; the blood test may put you at six weeks pregnant, while you may be absolutely certain it is eight weeks. When you have retained tissue from your miscarriage, then it is possible to have a positive pregnancy test without actually being pregnant. If this is the case, you could begin to bleed and cramp and think you are having another miscarriage, while in fact the first one was incomplete.
Keeping a Close Eye on Your New Pregnancy
Many doctors will go the extra mile to compensate for your worries about a subsequent miscarriage once you are pregnant again by having you come in for extra tests such as hCG tests, as well as more frequent sonograms. Many women who have undergone a miscarriage will fear that every twinge or cramp is the beginning of another one, therefore it is imperative that you have an understanding doctor who is sympathetic to those feelings.
Should I See a Specialist?
While most pregnancies following a miscarriage will be entirely routine, women who have had two or more miscarriages may want to consider seeing a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine. You want the very best treatment to enhance your chances of a healthy pregnancy, so if you are over the age of 35, or have an illness such as diabetes which makes you high risk, or if you have a history of fertility problems, you should probably consider seeing a specialist.
Learning to Relax Once You Become Pregnant Again
It may be extremely hard for you to relax and let down your guard after you have suffered one miscarriage, however there are certain things you can do to make this pregnancy a little easier. The first is to ask your doctor to monitor your pregnancy closely-this can go a long way in easing your fears. Most women who are pregnant following a miscarriage choose to avoid early preparation for the baby's arrival, even to the point of asking that baby showers be held off until the baby arrives. The coming baby may bring on bittersweet feelings because you may still be harboring memories about your recent loss-it can be difficult to celebrate your new baby while grieving for the baby you lost. Many parents who have suffered a miscarriage tend to be a bit slower to bond with their new baby until they are certain the baby is healthy. If you are struggling with your feelings, look into a support group or counselor who can help you work through your emotions.