A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy, spontaneously, before the 20th week, and it leaves an indelible mark on the heart and body of expectant mother. It typically leaves mother to be with tremendous hurt, pain, guilt, confusion and oftentimes, depression. This physical and emotional trauma is a very personal experience, and how one comes to terms with it and copes with it is quite unique to every individual. A miscarriage makes you anxious to know the cause of it. You wish to know if you could conceive again and carry the baby to term – safe and healthy. You want to know the right time to conceive again and all the precautions that go with it. Below is a quick lowdown on miscarriage itself, conceiving again, and having a happy and healthy pregnancy.
As per studies, problems with the fetal chromosomes causing abnormal development of the fetus, are responsible for about 50 percent of early miscarriages. As against a common myth, miscarriages do not occur due to problems inherited by the parents. However, poorly treated diabetes and uterine problems could lead to a miscarriage.
Reportedly, about 15-20 percent of pregnancies are miscarried in the first seven weeks. However, many women miscarry without any knowledge of their pregnancies, and hence the actual miscarriage rate could be much higher.
Since chromosomal abnormalities do not occur after a miscarriage, the chances of a second miscarriage are as low as 14 percent. The chances of a third and fourth miscarriages shoot up to 26 and 28 percent respectively, after the second one. If, despite the best efforts, a woman has repeated miscarriages, then tests and medical investigations are essential to understand the underlying causes.
Drawing an analogy between a rainbow: a symbol of hope, and a child conceived after a miscarriage, such children are called rainbow babies. The chances of conceiving after a miscarriage remain more or less unchanged. What could change are the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and carrying the baby to term. Hence, those that worry about the possibility of conception after a loss, the answer is yes. The chances of getting pregnant after a miscarriage can be ascertained with the help of medical investigations such as blood tests, chromosome tests and tests to detect uterine problems.
Once you ascertain the facts and chances of getting pregnant after a loss of pregnancy, you may try to conceive again. Commonly, doctors recommend that you wait for at least three months before you decide to try to conceive again. Alternatively, some doctors recommend waiting out one menstrual cycle before trying to conceive. This stems from conventional wisdom which suggests that the endometrial lining needs to become strong and healthy again. Also, doctors advise against having an intercourse for two weeks after a miscarriage to avoid chances of an infection.
However, the fact is that the female body is ready to conceive again immediately after a miscarriage. High hormone levels, reduced infertility and increased fertility make a woman medically ready to conceive right then. However, the emotional turmoil of losing the fetus and the physical stress thereof are factors every couple needs to come to terms with before deciding to conceive once again.
To help you make that decision, here’s a small data-driven insight. A study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that women who conceive within six months of having miscarried their first child, are less likely to experience pregnancy-related complications or miscarry again, as compared to those that wait a longer period.
Understanding the emotional and psychological needs of your partner and giving each other enough time to heal are crucial factors while making that important decision again. Being emotionally ready is key here.
Once you have decided to try to conceive again, there are certain simple things that you can do to improve your chances of getting pregnant:
Having suffered a miscarriage once, you are surely concerned about the next pregnancy and carrying your baby to term. To allay all fears, it is best to talk to a healthcare provider about them. You can also follow certain basics to improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy and ensure a live birth after full term:
During your subsequent pregnancy, you might experience anxiety and nervousness. It is the often a time of skepticism, uncertainty and overwhelming fear. You might also be the typical ‘basket case’ every time you experience pain, spotting or other digestion-related problems. Seeking timely advice from your healthcare provider, being surrounded by loved ones and getting the much-coveted emotional support from your partner can help you through a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy.