Study: No Need to Delay Pregnancy After Miscarriage
Women Who Conceive Within 6 Months Less Likely to Miscarry Again
The Age Factor
It may not be possible to generalize the findings outside of the population studied, Bhattacharya cautions. "Our data show that at least in Scottish women, there is no need to delay pregnancy following a miscarriage, " she tells WebMD. "WHO guidance regarding birth spacing after miscarriage may still hold in other populations where delayed child bearing is not an issue and where access to prenatal care is very different."
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.