A study conducted at the National Institutes of Health found that couples don't have to postpone pregnancy after a miscarriage. Rather, couples should try to conceive again within three months following the miscarriage.
The study was a second analysis of the women who were enrolled in the previous Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction trial. The women's age ranged between 18 and 40 years old. They also had one to two previous miscarriages.
Out of 1,083 couples, 76.7 percent or 765 tried getting pregnant within three months post-miscarriage compared to the 23.4 percent or 233 who waited longer. Women who waited less than three months also had a 53.2 percent higher chance of pregnancy leading to live birth compared to the 36.1 percent among those who waited longer.
The findings support the hypothesis that there is no physiologic indication affecting the postponing of pregnancy post-miscarriage. But the study did not assess the emotional factors affecting the timeline after the miscarriage. Doctors said that while there is no specific schedule or timeline, couples should be able to emotionally heal first before trying to conceive again.
"While we found no physiological reason for delaying attempts at conception following a pregnancy loss, couples may need time to heal emotionally before they try again," said Karen Schliep, who was a postdoctoral fellow at the Epidemiology Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development during the study period.
Schliep highlighted that their research is in direct contrast with the World Health Organization's conventional recommendation of waiting six months before trying again. The WHO advice centers on the healing of the woman's emotional wounds and the suggested timeline is focused on the womb's recovery before pregnancy. However, the new study is encouraging women who do not wish to delay pregnancy, especially if they are physically and emotionally prepared for it.
"For those who are ready, our findings suggest that conventional recommendations for waiting at least three months after a loss may be unwarranted," Schliep added.
Findings from other smaller studies suggested that women who waited less than six months had increased chances of successful pregnancies compared to women who waited much longer.
The study was published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Photo: Richard Foster | Flickr