What Happens to Fertility After Miscarriage?
As you may already know, the majority of early miscarriages (those that occur within the first trimester) are due to chromosomal abnormalities – which means that no fault can be assigned to either the woman’s lifestyle or overall health. In general, the woman’s ability to carry a pregnancy to full term after a miscarriage is not diminished. In fact, some evidence indicates that a woman’s fertility after miscarriage may actually increase for a period of four to six weeks before returning to its normal state.
Statistically, a woman who has had one miscarriage is nearly as likely to have a successful pregnancy on her next attempt than a woman who has not had a miscarriage. Even after two miscarriages, the chances of having a successful pregnancy is still 85%. It is only after three consecutive miscarriages that a fertility issue may be suspected – but it should be clear that the miscarriages did not cause the infertility; rather, there is likely some other problem which is causing the miscarriages.Although the body recovers quickly from a miscarriage, and the odds are very good that the next pregnancy will be successful, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a couple should jump right into trying again. Your doctor should confirm that your body is physically ready to withstand another pregnancy. Depending on how far along the pregnancy was, some women need up to six months of recovery time.
And, of course, the importance of a full emotional recovery should not be dismissed or minimized. Many couples, in spite of the assurance that the miscarriage is not their fault, still experience intense feelings of guilt. Most couples also go through a period of intense grief at the loss of their unborn child which can parallel that which parents of a baby or toddler might feel. It is important for both parents to feel ready for the next pregnancy, taking whatever time is necessary.
While it is true that your fertility after miscarriage should not be negatively affected, you can always try to maintain the healthiest lifestyle you can, even if only for your own peace of mind. Stop smoking and drug use, and reduce alcohol consumption to a minimum – or eliminate it, if possible.
Your consumption of caffeine should also be limited, as high levels of caffeine consumption has been linked to miscarriage.
Try to eat as healthfully as possible. This can be hard to do after a miscarriage, when sorrow and stress can cause over or undereating, or failure to eat a variety of foods. The same is true for stress and depression - you will naturally go through a period of grief, but if the depression lasts, consider seeing a professional. Stress can actually reduce fertility – and even if you do conceive, you will want to experience your next pregnancy with the best outlook possible.
What is important to remember is that your fertility after miscarriage will not usually be an issue. Your fertility levels will return to normal fairly quickly, and your chances of carrying off a successful pregnancy are very high. You should just be sure that both you and your partner are both physically and emotionally ready to try again.