Pregnancy After Miscarriage

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Miscarriage, the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy prior to 20 weeks, is a common event that can cause sadness, anxiety, and confusion about trying to conceive again. Estimates suggest that 10% to 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, but that number may be even higher since many early miscarriages may occur before a woman even recognizes that she is pregnant.

Most women who miscarry later go on to have a healthy pregnancy and birth if no serious risk factors are present. Less than 5% of women have two miscarriages in a row. Since miscarriage is so common, doctors typically don't recommend that special testing be performed after a single miscarriage. For women who have had more than two miscarriages, specialized test can help pinpoint the cause and determine whether a treatable problem is responsible for the condition.

Many women wonder about the right time to try to conceive again after miscarriage. From a purely physical point of view, the body heals rapidly from a miscarriage, and menstrual periods usually return within 4 to 6 weeks, meaning that it is possible for many women to become pregnant right away if they choose. The World Health Organization has recommended that women wait six months after a miscarriage before trying to conceive again, but new research data call this recommendation into question. For example, a 2010 study showed that women who conceived within the first six months after a miscarriage had a lower incidence of miscarriage and pregnancy problems than women who waited longer.