By Heather Frame, BSN, RN | February 6, 2023
Experiencing a miscarriage – regardless of how far along – can feel absolutely devastating. It leaves many women feeling isolated and lonely; but miscarriage may be more common than you think. More than 10-15% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. This absolutely does not mean you won’t have a healthy pregnancy in the future!
Something most couples consider after a miscarriage is when to start trying to get pregnant again. You may have heard that it’s actually easier to get pregnant after a miscarriage, but is this true?
Let’s discuss what happens to a woman’s hormones after a pregnancy loss and what this means for future fertility and pregnancy journey.
Hormones after a miscarriage
The hormones estrogen, progesterone, and hCG (the pregnancy hormone) all live in harmony during pregnancy. After a miscarriage, these hormones will return to pre-pregnancy levels in order for your body to successfully conceive again.
Depending on how far along you were at the time of the loss will affect the time it takes for your hormones to regulate. While an early loss — in the first trimester — may take one cycle, a later loss or one requiring medical intervention can take longer.
It is common for miscarriage bleeding to differ from your normal period flow as your body recovers. Once your hormone levels are back to baseline, you will likely see the same cycle patterns you are used to.
Is it easier to get pregnant after miscarriage?
So the big question is, “Should you rush the process of trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage because you’re more fertile”? There have been studies dedicated to this that support both sides, but ultimately the answer is inconclusive in relation to this research.
Sometimes, women who are actively trying to conceive get pregnant after a miscarriage before even getting their first true period. This often leads to believing fertility was increased, when in reality, ovulation and intercourse just aligned perfectly.
When after a miscarriage can you have sex?
When to have sex after a miscarriage depends on a couple of factors:
- When your doctor has physically cleared you
- When you and your partner are emotionally ready
If your miscarriage required medical intervention, your doctor may require you to wait a specific amount of time before engaging in sex again. Aside from this, it’s important to remember your mental health. Both you and your partner need to ensure you are mentally ready to have sex again. If your doctor gives you the “OK” before you feel ready, it’s perfectly fine to wait. Take all the time you need.
How soon after a miscarriage can you get pregnant?
After a miscarriage, it’s always best to first talk with your doctor before trying again. Your first period after a miscarriage could be 4 to 6 weeks after the miscarriage had occurred. Some doctors will recommend waiting until your next cycle before trying again while others will recommend waiting 3-6 months to allow your body to fully heal.
If you have intercourse within your fertile window – the 5 days leading up to ovulation and ovulation day – you can get pregnant after a miscarriage. The key is knowing when you will ovulate so you can maximize your chance of conception by timing intercourse. Be sure to begin regularly tracking your cycles so you can pick up on any irregular patterns and to determine when you are ovulating again.
When do you ovulate after a miscarriage?
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for every woman, ovulation can occur within as little as two weeks after a miscarriage. The best way to know when ovulation may occur is to start testing for ovulation with the use of ovulation predictor kits (ovulation tests) right after the bleeding has stopped.
Ovulation predictor kits test for the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. LH is responsible for triggering ovulation to occur once it reaches a certain threshold. Once you see your darkest, highest ovulation test, you can assume ovulation will occur within the following 24-36 hours. By using the Premom ovulation calculator app, you can take the guesswork out of reading your ovulation tests by using the in-app camera to read and interpret your results for you while simultaneously recording your hormone level on a chart next to all other fertility signs.
Is there anything to do to prevent a miscarriage again?
A miscarriage is often an isolated event. It may be comforting to know that recurrent miscarriages are rare – a low 1% of subsequent pregnancies result in another miscarriage. If you have experienced multiple miscarriages, it is a great idea to reach out to your doctor. Some simple laboratory tests or an ultrasound may shed some light on an underlying condition that could be contributing to those losses.
Don’t feel that you have to rush your healing process because your fertility is ‘supercharged’ after a miscarriage – this simply isn’t the case. Be sure to take the time that you need to nurture both your physical and mental health.
Heather Frame is a compassionate Women's Health nurse. She specializes in obstetrics, postpartum, newborn care, and lactation counseling. She is committed to providing women the support they need to achieve pregnancy and thereafter. As a personal user of Premom, she can attest to how important charting your cycles is in conjunction with achieving pregnancy. She would love to help you navigate your fertility journey. Schedule a consultation with Nurse Heather right through your Premom app!
ACOG. Repeated Miscarriages. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/repeated-miscarriages
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 200: Early Pregnancy Loss. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2018;132:e197.
March of Dimes. Miscarriage. https://www.marchofdimes.org/find-support/topics/miscarriage-loss-grief/miscarriage
M.A.M. Hassan, S.R. Killick, Is previous aberrant reproductive outcome predictive of subsequently reduced fecundity?, Human Reproduction, Volume 20, Issue 3, 1 March 2005, Pages 657–664, https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deh670Wang X, et al. Conception, early pregnancy loss, and time to clinical pregnancy: a population-based prospective study. Fertility and Sterility. 2003;79(3):577-584. doi:10.1016/s0015-0282(02)04694-0.