The average risk of miscarriage during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or the first trimester is a significant 20% -- with the first two weeks at 75%, the 3rd to 6th weeks at 10%, and 6th to 12th week at 5%. Some women miscarry even before they find out that they are pregnant.
Losing a baby is one of the most painful experiences a parent shouldn’t have to go through, especially if one has been trying for a long time. As a result, some women might even feel inadequate about conceiving again or their ability to nurture a life after a miscarriage. Others hold back because of the stigma and the possibility of another miscarriage, and they just couldn’t go through it again. These feelings -- and more -- could take a toll on the couple if not addressed properly.
While doctors would advise women who have had a miscarriage to wait three months before trying to get pregnant again, it is usually up to the woman to decide when she's ready. The body needs time to heal after every pregnancy, whether it was carried to term or had an untimely end. However, new research reveals new facts on the waiting period after a miscarriage.
A new study suggests that couples who try for another baby within three months after a miscarriage has a 71-percent chance of conceiving again compared to those who wait longer. Women who try to get pregnant again within that period also have a 53-percent chance of having a live birth, according to the study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Researchers looked at data from more than 1,000 women who lost a baby within their first trimester once or twice. These women were monitored for six menstrual cycles, and the women who got pregnant within the time frame were continuously monitored until the end of their pregnancy.
“For women with an uncomplicated early pregnancy loss, our data show that there is no basis for delaying trying to become pregnant,” said Enrique Schisterman, Ph.D., chief of the Epidemiology Branch at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Rockville, Maryland, and senior author of the study. The results of the study may not hold true for women who've had pregnancy complications, such as tubal pregnancy or the growth of abnormal fetal tissue in the uterus.
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Researchers, however, did not tackle the emotional preparedness of a woman or couple to try to conceive again. Karen Schliep, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the NICHD Epidemiology Branch and primary author of the study, says that while they found no physiological reason to delay conception after miscarriage, couples may need time to heal before trying for another baby. They also added, though that "previous research has found that a speedy new pregnancy and birth of a living child lessens the grief among couples who are suffering from a pregnancy loss."
Michele Santos Alignay, M.A., registered family counselor who had also lost a child to miscarriage, advises women to recover from the pain of losing a baby first. "Never diminish or put aside the pain of losing a child because it is real. Embrace it, then find ways to move on," she says. Take up a craft or a hobby to refresh your outlook in life. Step back, take stock, and when the time is right you'll be much more prepared to take on the challenges of parenthood.
Sources: January 12, 2016. "After Miscarriage, How Long Should Couples Wait To Try Again?" (huffingtonpost.com) January 12, 2016. "Trying to Get Pregnant Soon After Miscarriage is a Good Idea: Study" (time.com) January 11, 2016. "Trying to conceive soon after a pregnancy loss may increase chances of live birth" (nih.gov)