Study: No Need to Delay Pregnancy After Miscarriage
Women Who Conceive Within 6 Months Less Likely to Miscarry Again
The Age Factor continued...
In Western nations, women tend to put off childbearing until they are older and more well-established in their careers and their lives. Woman aged 35 and older are more likely to have difficulty becoming pregnant and their risk of miscarriage also increases with advancing age.
Julia Shelley, PhD, an associate professor at Deakin University in Burwood, Australia, wrote an editorial accompanying the new study. "Previously, it may have been suggested that it was desirable to wait at least six months until the next pregnancy, [but the new] study suggests there is no harm in conceiving again immediately following a miscarriage," she says in an email.
Experts Agree With Study Conclusions
"There is no reason to delay pregnancy after a single miscarriage," says Sami David, MD, a New York City-based reproductive endocrinologist and pregnancy loss expert. "If the woman has had two miscarriages or more, she should not get pregnant until a complete investigation for the causes of miscarriages has been completed."
This investigation can take up to three months. David's approach involves casting a wide net that looks at the most common to the least common causes for miscarriages. "Emotionally, physically, or mentally, we don’t want women to get pregnant again until we get to the bottom of what is causing the miscarriages," he tells WebMD.
"The timing of when to conceive should be made carefully and in conjunction with your doctor, but this new information should help us get many couples on the road to having a healthy baby in a more timely fashion," says Alan Copperman, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, and the director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility and the vice-chairman of the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "The next ovulatory cycle may be an opportunity to conceive in many cases," he tells WebMD.
The new findings echo what Amos Grunenbaum, MD, director of obstetrics at the New York Hospital-Cornell Weill Medical College in New York City, has been telling his patients for years.
"There is no reason to wait for any extended time after miscarriage," he says. "Get pregnant whenever you are ready." There is no risk of worse outcomes if you conceive shortly after a miscarriage, he says.
"Make sure you are in good health and take your prenatal vitamins, including folic acid, before conception for a healthy pregnancy," he says. Folic acid helps reduce the risk for neural tube defects in the developing fetus.