Experiencing a miscarriage is a deeply emotional journey, and it's important to remember that you are not alone. Unfortunately, miscarriages are more common than you may think. According to a recent article published in The Lancet, “An estimated 23 million miscarriages occur every year worldwide.” While the frequency of miscarriage doesn't make the experience any easier, understanding the impact on your menstrual cycle and ovulation may help you navigate this difficult time.
How Does a Miscarriage Affect the Menstrual Cycle?
How a miscarriage affects the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. It is normal for your cycle to be irregular immediately following a miscarriage. Hormonal fluctuations and changes in the uterine lining disrupts the typical pattern of your menstrual cycle, leading to variations in cycle length and the timing of ovulation.
When Do You Ovulate After a Miscarriage?
The timing of ovulation after a miscarriage depends on several factors, including how far along your pregnancy was and how quickly your body recovers. In general, ovulation can occur as early as two weeks after a miscarriage, but it may take longer for some women. It’s important to keep in mind that each woman’s body may take a different amount of time to recover and regulate its hormonal balance.
After a miscarriage, the body undergoes a healing process, both physically and emotionally. Hormonal fluctuations are common, and it may take time for the reproductive system to return to its normal functioning. Factors such as the type of miscarriage, the individual's overall health, and emotional well-being influence when ovulation resumes.
Is It Possible To Not Ovulate After a Miscarriage?
While it is less common, some women experience a temporary disruption in their ovulation after a miscarriage, known as anovulation. Hormonal fluctuations, as well as emotional stress, impacts the delicate balance of your reproductive system. Tracking your hormones with ovulation tests following a miscarriage alleviates some stress by identifying when ovulation returns.
If a woman is not ovulating after a miscarriage or if her menstrual cycle remains irregular for an extended period, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. They can assess the situation, identify any underlying causes for anovulation, and recommend the appropriate interventions or treatment to restore regular ovulation.
Are You More Likely to Have a Repeat Miscarriage Again?
Experiencing a miscarriage does not necessarily mean you are more likely to have a pregnancy loss in the future. Miscarriages are often due to genetic abnormalities in the pregnancy, and the majority of women who have had a miscarriage go on to have successful, healthy pregnancies. In fact, recurrent pregnancy loss is only “experienced by ~2.5% of women trying to conceive” according to a recent article published in the scientific journal Nature Portfolio.
Ovulation After Miscarriage
After a miscarriage, you may notice some familiar signs of ovulation resuming similar to those experienced during a regular menstrual cycle. Common signs of ovulation after miscarriage include a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH), which is detected using an ovulation test. This LH surge typically occurs 24-36 hours before ovulation, indicating the body is preparing to release an egg.
Additionally, changes in cervical mucus can be observed as an ovulation sign after miscarriage. As ovulation approaches, cervical mucus may become more slippery, clear, and stretchy, resembling the consistency of egg whites. This fertile cervical mucus helps facilitate the movement of sperm and indicates an optimal environment for fertilization.
Some women may also notice some other ovulation signs such as increased sex drive, breast tenderness, and mild cramping. Paying attention to these signs can provide insights into your ovulation pattern and help you find your fertile window.
How Soon Can I Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage?
The timing of ovulation and the decision of when to try to conceive after a miscarriage again ultimately lies with you as long as your healthcare provider has cleared you to do so medically. Everyone’s healing process is unique, and it's important to listen to your body and emotional well-being. It’s okay to take time to grieve and recover before trying again. Some couples who start trying again right away achieve pregnancy as early as two weeks later, while it takes others longer. Be patient with yourself and your body.
When Do You Ovulate After a Miscarriage
Tracking ovulation helps identify your fertile window and optimize your chances of conception. After a pregnancy loss, it is important to be patient and observe changes in your menstrual cycle by consistently and simultaneously:
- Utilizing ovulation predictor kits (OPKs)
- Tracking basal body temperature (BBT)
- Monitoring changes in cervical mucus
Using ovulation tests after miscarriage is beneficial for finding your fertile window so you can time sex appropriately to get pregnant, or to know when you may be ovulating again. They test for the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, which is responsible for triggering ovulation to occur once it reaches a certain threshold. When you see your darkest, highest ovulation test, you can assume ovulation will occur in 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 an in-app chart next to all your other fertility signs you’ve logged.
Since your hormones can take a bit of time to regulate, it is not uncommon for women to experience small surges in LH that don’t lead to successful ovulation. This is where BBT comes in handy. You’ll just need a basal body temperature thermometer and you’ll take your temperature each morning immediately upon waking. Track these within your Premom app, too, to watch the pattern. Within 1-3 days after ovulation as predicted by your ovulation tests, you’ll see a 0.5-1 degree spike in temperature confirming that ovulation did indeed occur.
In addition to these, keep an eye on your cervical mucus. Sperm thrive in thin, watery, stretchy cervical mucus that resembles raw egg whites. Once you see this, ovulation may be just around the corner.
Ovulation After Miscarriage: Key Points to Remember
Experiencing a miscarriage is an indescribably heartbreaking event, but it does not define your fertility journey. While the timing of ovulation after miscarriage varies, most women can expect their menstrual cycle to regulate within a few weeks to a couple of months. Be patient and give yourself grace. You are strong, you are enough, and you can do this.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Patti Haebe, Senior Medical Advisor
Quenby S, Gallos ID, Dhillon-Smith RK, Podesek M, Stephenson MD, Fisher J, Brosens JJ, Brewin J, Ramhorst R, Lucas ES, McCoy RC, Anderson R, Daher S, Regan L, Al-Memar M, Bourne T, MacIntyre DA, Rai R, Christiansen OB, Sugiura-Ogasawara M, Odendaal J, Devall AJ, Bennett PR, Petrou S, Coomarasamy A. Miscarriage matters: the epidemiological, physical, psychological, and economic costs of early pregnancy loss. Lancet. 2021 May 1;397(10285):1658-1667. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00682-6. Epub 2021 Apr 27. PMID: 33915094.
Devall AJ, Coomarasamy A. Sporadic pregnancy loss and recurrent miscarriage. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2020 Nov;69:30-39. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2020.09.002. Epub 2020 Sep 8. PMID: 32978069.
Dimitriadis E, Menkhorst E, Saito S, Kutteh WH, Brosens JJ. Recurrent pregnancy loss. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2020 Dec 10;6(1):98. doi: 10.1038/s41572-020-00228-z. PMID: 33303732.