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  • When to Expect Your First Period After a Miscarriage

    Find out whether heavy bleeding is to be expected during your first period after miscarriage.
    by Kitty Elicay .
When to Expect Your First Period After a Miscarriage
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  • Going through a miscarriage is heartbreaking, and it comes with a number of tough questions. Could it have been prevented? Did you do anything to cause it? (The short answer is no, especially if it’s an early miscarriage.) But as you try and move on after the loss, you also wonder when it’s safe to try for another baby. One of the factors you need to consider is your period after miscarriage.

    When can you expect your first period after a miscarriage?

    If you're wondering why there is a delay, remember that your body is still recovering from the miscarriage. It will usually take four to six weeks for your period to return after a miscarriage, according to the National Health Service. But it may take longer when it becomes a regular cycle.

    “Most of the time, the body treats a miscarriage as though it is a period. So if a woman has a 28-day cycle, she’ll ovulate around 14 days after the miscarriage and have a period about 28 days after the start of the miscarriage,” Aszani Stoddard, a certified nurse-midwife in the US, tells The Bump.

    If you had irregular menstruation before pregnancy, expect an unpredictable cycle as your body returns to normal, according to Parents. If your period has not returned after four to six weeks and your cycle was regular before pregnancy, consult with your ob-gyn to find out the possible reasons why your menstruation has not come back.

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    Your first period will also depend on your hCG Levels and the length of your pregnancy.

    hCG Levels

    When you’re pregnant, you produce hormones called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which are made by cells formed in the placenta and nourishes the egg after it has been fertilized. It’s also the hormone detected by pregnancy tests to check whether you are expecting or not.

    As your body returns to normal after a miscarriage, the hCG levels go down, eventually reaching a non-pregnant range. When it reaches that point, you can expect your period to arrive soon after.

    Length of pregnancy

    If you had a miscarriage in the first trimester, the period will likely return after four weeks. But if the loss happened in your second trimester, it can take up to two to three months for your menstruation to return, according to MomJunction. The length of time varies the farther along you were in the gestation period.

    MomJunction notes that there should be 20 successive spotting-free days after bleeding during a miscarriage. When you bleed after these 20 days, that’s the time you can consider it a real menstruation.

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    Will I experience heavy bleeding during my first period after a miscarriage?

    The first period after a miscarriage will be different for every woman. The flow may be heavier or lighter for some, while it will not be any different than a normal period for others, according to Parents. Some may experience cramping or blood clots.

    Will I experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms before my first period?

    PMS is to be expected of any woman who is about to get her period although the symptoms are also quite similar to women who’ve gone through a miscarriage. This includes intense mood swings, trouble falling asleep, and a change in libido. Physical symptoms include joint or muscle pain and fatigue.

    How long will my first period last?

    The first period after a miscarriage can feel like a normal period, or it can be heavy and long. Expect it to take several months before you go back to your normal menstruation cycle.

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    What happens to my body after a miscarriage?

    As your body recovers, you can expect a number of physical changes before your first period arrives including:

    Ovulation

    Ovulation can happen as early as two weeks after a miscarriage, with the menstrual cycle resuming after your hormone levels return to normal. The symptoms are the same before the pregnancy loss.

    Bleeding

    If the miscarriage happens in the early stage of pregnancy (the first few weeks), it will look and feel like a regular period, according to Parents. If it occurs around six to seven weeks, bleeding will feel like a heavy period. If you’re farther along the pregnancy, your uterus has to flush out more tissue, and possibly some placenta, and bleeding can take even longer.

    Spotting after a completed miscarriage would taper over time, but if it continues for a prolonged period, consult with your ob-gyn right away. “If you have a couple of days of no bleeding, then heavy bleeding, then no bleeding, then heavy, there’s likely something in the uterus,” Dr. Siobhan Dolan, a medical advisor to the March of Dimes, told Parents.

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    Temperature

    According to MomJunction, some women may experience mild pregnancy symptoms like abnormal body temperature or ovulation cramps. These symptoms are due to your body trying to normalize your hormone levels.

    Lactation

    If miscarriage occurred when you are 12 weeks or more in your pregnancy, it is possible to experience leakage, plugged ducts, or engorgement of the breasts. But as your body goes back to its pre-pregnancy state, lactation will stop by itself.

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    Can I have sex before my first period?

    The short answer is yes, but you should wait until you stop bleeding from your miscarriage to prevent the risk of infection.

    “The big concern is that your cervix should be closed to prevent potential infections,” Dr. Zev Williams, division chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Columbia University Medical Center told Women’s Health. “After a miscarriage, your cervix opens up to let the fetal tissue out. Depending on how many weeks along you were when you miscarried, the closing process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.”

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    When can I try to get pregnant again after a miscarriage?

    The World Health Organization recommends waiting at least six months before getting pregnant for the health of the mother and the baby. Most doctors advise women who experienced a pregnancy loss to wait at least three months before trying to conceive, but technically, you can wait for at least one regular monthly cycle before trying again.

    However, a woman should also consider her physical and emotional well-being before attempting to get pregnant. Losing a baby can cause intense feelings of loss, and you and your husband might need to go through the grieving process. You might feel anger, sadness, and guilt over losing your unborn child. Take the time to heal and make sure you are ready before trying to have another baby.

    Can I get pregnant again before my first period?

    Since it is possible to ovulate two weeks after a miscarriage, it is also possible to get pregnant before the first period begins.

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    This article was updated on March 26, 2019 at 5:22 p.m.

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