A miscarriage is a spontaneous loss of a pregnancy prior to 20 weeks and unfortunately, is an all too common occurrence amongst women. About 10%-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and in the aftermath, you may feel anxiety, sadness, and confusion about trying to get pregnant again. The most common cause of a miscarriage is a chromosomal anomaly, and is unlikely to happen again. Most women who miscarry later go on to have a healthy pregnancy and birth, as long as no serious risk factors are present and less than 5% of women have two miscarriages in a row.
EditRecovering from the Miscarriage
- Wait one to two months before trying to conceive again. It can be very difficult to deal with your emotions in the aftermath of a miscarriage and you may feel like you should try to get pregnant again as soon as possible to move on. Some women feel empty and want to fill this emptiness by trying to get pregnant again a few days or weeks after their miscarriage. But it is recommended that you give your body time to recover and rest by waiting at least one to two months, or two periods, to try to get pregnant again.
- Physically, it will take only a few hours to a few days to recover from the pregnancy and your period should return in four to six weeks. But it is important not to rush the grieving process and to take some time to come to terms with your loss.
- Some healthcare practitioners recommend waiting six months to before trying to conceive, but no research has confirmed it is necessary to wait that long to conceive after a miscarriage. If you are healthy, you have had at least one period, and you are ready to conceive again, you do not need to wait.
- Rule out any medical issues or complications due to the miscarriage. Talk to your doctor about any risks or complications that may have occurred due to the miscarriage.
- Some women may experience a molar pregnancy, which is a noncancerous tumor that develops on their uterus. This occurs when the placenta develops into an abnormal mass of cysts and prevents a viable pregnancy. If you have had a molar pregnancy, it is recommended that you wait six months to one year before trying to conceive again.
- If you miscarry due to an ectopic pregnancy or have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past, your doctor should examine your fallopian tubes to ensure one or both of them are not blocked or damaged. If you have a blocked or damaged fallopian tube, your risk of another ectopic pregnancy may increase.
- Talk to your doctor about possible risks if you have two or more miscarriages. Women who have had more than one miscarriage in their lifespan should undergo testing to determine if there are any underlying issues before attempting to get pregnant again. Your doctor may conduct tests like:
- A hormonal factors test: Your doctor will test your thyroid level, and possibly your prolactin and progesterone levels. If they are abnormal, your doctor will give you treatment and then re-test you at a later date to check your levels.
- A hysterosalpingogram: This exam is done to check the shape and size of your uterus and any scarring in the uterus, as well as polyps, fibroids, or a septal wall. These could all affect the implantation of another egg during IVF so its important to evaluate your uterus for these issues. Your doctor may also do a hysteroscopy in your uterine cavity, which is an exam done with a small camera through your cervix.
- Other potential tests include a blood test or even DNA testing of both partners or an ultrasound.
- Get tested and treated for any infections. To ensure you have a smooth pregnancy after a miscarriage, you should be tested for infections like STIs and treated for any infections before trying to conceive again. Certain infections can increase your risk of another miscarriage, including:
- Chlamydia: This is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that usually has no symptoms. If you or your partner may be infected, get tested and treated before trying to get pregnant.
- Infections in your uterus or vagina: Your doctor can test you for any infections in these areas and provide treatment.
- Listeria: This infection is caused by consuming unpasteurized cheese or milk.
- Toxoplasmosis: This infection is contracted through dirty fruit and vegetables, as well as meat. Always cook meat thoroughly and wash all fresh fruit and salads. Wear gloves when cleaning out litter trays for cats and when gardening, as cats carry this infection in their guts.
- Parvovirus: This is a viral infection, also referred to as “slap-cheek”. It can cause a miscarriage, though most women who are infected can have a normal pregnancy.
- Seek therapy or counseling if you are feeling emotional or upset. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a support group or a counselor for you and your partner as you go through the emotional process of dealing with a miscarriage. Talking to others who have experienced the same loss you have may help you to find some peace and closure. Going through the grieving process together with your partner can also strengthen your relationship and better prepare you both for getting pregnant again.
- You can also reach out to family and friends for support. Sometimes, it helps just to have someone close to you listen to your anxiety and fear around trying to get pregnant again.
EditPreparing for Pregnancy
- Maintain a well balanced diet and a healthy weight. To reduce your risk of another miscarriage, you should eat a well balanced diet that contains the four food groups: fruits and vegetables, protein, dairy and grains.
- Make sure your daily diet consists of five portions of fresh or frozen fruit, six ounces or less of protein like meat, fish, eggs, soya, or tofu, three to four servings of fresh or frozen vegetables, six to eight servings of grains like bread, rice, pasta, and breakfast cereals, and two to three servings of dairy like yogurt and hard cheeses.
- It is also important that you maintain a healthy weight for your age and body type. Avoid being underweight or overweight. You can calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) using an online BMI calculator and determine how many calories per a day you should be consuming to maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise daily, but avoid strenuous activity. When you are recovering from a miscarriage, it is important that you avoid intense exercise and focus on mild activity, like walking, yoga or meditation. Maintaining a daily exercise routine will keep you feeling healthy and energized. It can also ensure your body is at its best and ready to conceive again.
- Doing gentle exercise like yoga can also help you reduce any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing due to the miscarriage. Managing your stress is essential to remaining healthy and ready for pregnancy.
- Take daily prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements. Maintaining a well balanced diet and a healthy weight through exercise will provide your body with many essential nutrients and minerals. But prenatal vitamins and supplements like folic acid have been shown to reduce the risk of a miscarriage and having a baby that is premature or small for its gestational age. Talk to your doctor about taking folic acid supplements to help you recover from the miscarriage.
- Folic acid supplements can help to reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida, where your baby’s spinal cord does not develop normally. Once you become pregnant, you will be prescribed folic acid supplements free of charge.
- Cut down on alcohol, caffeine and smoking. Research has shown that drinking, smoking, and caffeine consumption can increase your risk of a miscarriage.
- Limit or cut out alcohol from your diet. Women who drink every day and or more than 14 units a week have a higher risk of miscarriage. Stick to one to two units of alcohol a week or stop drinking completely while you try to conceive. If your partner is a heavy drinker, this could reduce the quantity and quality of his sperm.
- Be safe and cut down on smoking or stop smoking while you try to conceive.
- Pregnant women are told to limit their caffeine intake to 200mg a day, or two mugs of coffee. Keep in mind caffeine can also be found in green tea, energy drinks, and some soft drinks. There may also be caffeine in certain cold and flu remedies and in chocolate. Try to cut down on caffeine, especially when you are trying to conceive.
- Avoid all medications and drugs, unless necessary. Unless your doctor recommends certain medications to treat an infection or other medical issue, you should avoid all medications and drugs when you are trying to get pregnant. Avoid over the counter medications, as well as herbal remedies. Herbal remedies are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so you should always check with your doctor before you take any herbal remedies or medications.
- If you are taking antibiotics for an infection, wait until you have completed the antibiotic course and the infection has cleared up to try to conceive.
- If you are taking medication for an ectopic pregnancy, wait three months after methotrexate treatment to try to get pregnant.
- If you are being treated for an illness or infection, wait until you have finished the medication course before you try to conceive.
EditSources and Citations
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How to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy After Miscarriage
Source: How To Of The Day