When is the best time for pregnancy after miscarriage?

Give yourself time to heal before attempting to get pregnant again.

Physical recovery from miscarriage in most cases will take only a few hours to a couple of days. Your periods will likely return within four to six weeks, and it's possible to become pregnant during the menstrual cycle immediately after a miscarriage.

Keep in mind, however, that miscarriage can cause intense feelings of loss. You and your partner might also experience a wide range of emotions, such as anger, sadness or guilt. Don't rush the grieving process.

Once you feel ready for pregnancy after miscarriage, ask your health care provider for guidance. Also, consider these guidelines if you've had:

  • One miscarriage. The World Health Organization recommends waiting at least six months before trying to conceive, but other research has found no evidence to support delaying conception. In fact, some research has shown that women who conceived within six months of having a miscarriage in their first pregnancy had fewer complications than did those who waited longer to conceive. If you're healthy and feel ready, there might be no need to wait to conceive after miscarriage.
  • Two or more miscarriages. If you've had two or more miscarriages, consult your health care provider. He or she might recommend testing to determine any underlying issues, as well as possible treatments, before attempting another pregnancy.
  • A molar pregnancy. A molar pregnancy — a noncancerous (benign) tumor that develops in the uterus — occurs when the placenta develops into an abnormal mass of cysts rather than becoming a viable pregnancy. If you've had a molar pregnancy, your health care provider might recommend waiting six months to one year before trying to become pregnant.

Is there anything that can be done to improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy?

Making healthy lifestyle choices before conception and during pregnancy can help keep you and your baby healthy.

Start by taking a daily prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplement, ideally beginning a few months before conception. It's also important to maintain a healthy weight, include physical activity in your daily routine, eat a healthy diet and limit caffeine. Be sure to manage stress and avoid alcohol, smoking and illegal drugs.

If you've had multiple miscarriages, future pregnancies need to be carefully planned and monitored. Consult your health care provider before conceiving again and see him or her as soon as you think you might be pregnant.

What emotions are likely during subsequent pregnancies?

Once you become pregnant again after miscarriage, you'll likely feel joyful — as well as anxious and scared. You might be hesitant to share your good news until later in your pregnancy. Feelings of grief over your loss also might return after you give birth. This is normal.

Talk about your feelings and allow yourself to experience them fully. Turn to your partner, family and friends for comfort. If you're having trouble coping, consult your health care provider or a counselor for extra support.

March 14, 2013 See more In-depth