Successful pregnancy more likely “sooner after miscarriage” say researchers
Women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy if they conceive sooner after a miscarriage rather than waiting, researchers had said.
The University of Aberdeen team found conceptions within six months were less likely to result in another miscarriage or preterm birth.
The “comprehensive review of all available research” confirmed an earlier study in 2010.
Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya said the study was categorical.
The fresh review has been published in Human Reproduction Update.
Contrary to guidelines
Dr Bhattacharya said: “This review of all the published research to date shows categorically that conceiving within six months after a miscarriage is best.
“In 2010 we were the first to report that conceiving straight after miscarriage was more successful than waiting.
“Subsequently, more papers came out finding the same thing, which is why we did a comprehensive review of all available research.
“Contrary to World Health Organisation guidelines, recommending at least six months wait after a miscarriage, our meta-analysis of all published studies on this subject to date shows definitively that less than six months is best.
“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.”
Janine Elson, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said: “Unfortunately, miscarriages are very common with one in five women experiencing a miscarriage in the first three months of pregnancy.
“A miscarriage affects every woman differently and it can be devastating for her partner as well.
“We welcome this robust review by the University of Aberdeen which confirms previous findings that conceiving less than six months following a miscarriage is not associated with a risk of repeat miscarriage and has no impact on the risk of stillbirth, pre-eclampsia or low birth weight babies.
“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.”
Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association, said: “This review is very important.
“It encourages couples who want to try to conceive soon after miscarriage, and also reassures those who worry that they may have miscarried because they conceived too soon after a previous loss.
“Above all, it confirms that that couples can choose to try again whenever they feel ready to do so.”