Pregnancy more likely soon after miscarriage

Official guidelines advise women to wait six months after a miscarriage before trying for another baby, but a new study published in Human Reproduction Update appears to thwart these claims

New research by the University of Aberdeen has revealed that conceptions within six months after miscarriage are less likely to result in another miscarriage or premature birth, cutting the risk by a fifth. This is at odds with the World Health Organisation’s advice; they recommend women wait at least six months before trying to conceive.

Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya, a senior lecturer in obstetrics at Aberdeen University, told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme; “The advice that comes out through this evidence base is that couples should not delay pregnancy because they think it might improve their chances of having another successful pregnancy, but should actually try and conceive as soon as they feel mentally and physically ready.”

Janine Elson, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said; “This study provides couples with reassurance that trying to conceive soon after a miscarriage is safe, however, it is important that they both feel physically and emotionally ready before trying to conceive again. Counselling should be offered to help manage the psychological stress miscarriage can cause. Women must ensure that any pain and bleeding has stopped and they are taking folic acid before resuming sexual activity.”

The reasons for these encouraging results are as yet unclear. Experts believe it could be down to a number of factors; these include higher levels of folic acid in the blood from the miscarried baby, and age – the longer a woman waits, the older her eggs become. Bhattacharya adds; “It is not clear why this is the case. One explanation might be that if somebody has had a miscarriage they might take particularly good care of themselves, be more motivated and may even be more fertile – but that is just speculation at this point.”