Trying again after miscarriage or loss

You may have received all sorts of different advice about how long you should wait before trying to conceive again. Some doctors advise waiting until you've had at least one period before trying again as this makes it much easier to calculate your dates if you do happen to fall pregnant again.

If you've had a miscarriage, it doesn't mean you are more likely to miscarriage again. In fact, there is even some evidence that shows conceiving in the first six months after your miscarriage can lower your risk of miscarriage next time.

If you have had a late miscarriage or repeated losses, you may want to talk to your GP or specialist before trying to conceive. If you are having investigations, you may be advised to wait until those are complete before trying again.
If you do get pregnant again, it can be a very anxious time for you and your partner and you may feel you need regular scanning to check everything is alright.

It is important that you feel physically and emotionally ready to start trying again, and you and your partner can be the best judge of that.

Recurrent miscarriage

The term 'recurrent' miscarriage refers to the loss of a foetus at least three times for women under 35 and two or more times in women who are aged 35 and above. If you have had a miscarriage in the past, it's likely that your doctor will book you in for an ultrasound scan and also arrange for you to see an obstetrician. Hopefully, this scan will put your mind at ease and can therefore be useful and beneficial.

Try to take comfort in the fact that, according to extensive research, just because you've had a miscarriage in the past, it doesn't mean it will happen again. Apparently, even if you've had several miscarriages, you have a good chance of having a happy, healthy pregnancy in the future. Statistically, 1 in 36 women will experience two miscarriages and this won't have anything to do with there being anything genetically wrong with them. You might be experiencing miscarriages for a variety of reasons; according to Ruth Bender Atik, National Director of The Miscarriage Association, 'Recurrent miscarriages can have a single (or combined) underlying cause or causes (such as antiphospholid syndrome, also known as sticky blood syndrome which is found in about 15 to 20% of women with recurrent miscarriage). However, they may happen for different reasons, such as chromosome abnormality. About half of couples investigated for recurrent miscarriage don't have a cause identified.' If you have suffered from repeated miscarriage, however, it's worth arranging a visit with your doctor so that you can have some tests done to check everything's alright. There may be a simple explanation as to why you've experienced one or more miscarriages.

Missed miscarriage

Dr's commonly refer to this type of miscarriage as a 'missed' miscarriage, or a blighted ovum. The reason it is 'missed' is because more often than not you don't realise anything is wrong until you have your first ultrasound scan. You may be told that the pregnancy sac is empty, or that the embryo has no heartbeat. Your hormone levels will take a while to drop and your body will still be showing signs of pregnancy, such as tender breasts. Because of this, the news will come as a great shock. It can be hard to understand and accept, and you will need to come to terms with it. The good news is that most woman go on to have successful pregnancies after a missed miscarriage. 

Why does a miscarriage happen?

Miscarriage is pregnancy loss that occurs before 20 weeks, before the foetus is able to survive outside the womb. Most miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and as many as 50 per cent of losses occur before the woman has realised she is pregnant. The causes of miscarriage are not fully understood, but the most common cause in the first trimester is chromosomal abnormalities.

Chromosomal Abnormalities

Chromosomes are tiny thread like structures that carry our genes and dictate all our traits, from our eye colour to what size our feet end up. Each person has 23 pairs, or 46 in all. One chromosome per pair comes from the father and one comes from the mother. Sometimes a cell can split unevenly which results in too many or too few chromosomes in the developing embryo. If the embryo has a chromosomal abnormality it is usually miscarried. Chromosomal abnormalities are more common in women over 35, so they are at a higher risk of having a miscarriage.

Repeated miscarriage

Some women do have more than one miscarriage but even for a woman who has had three miscarriages there is a 60 per cent chance she will go on to have a successful pregnancy. Women who’ve had more than one miscarriage are tested for hormone imbalances, uterine abnormalities and disorders of the immunological system.

Immunological Induced Miscarriage

A woman’s immune system can sometimes cause her body to reject the foetus as foreign tissue for the same reason as transplant patients reject organs. Immunising the mother with the father’s anti bodies prior to conception can solve this problem, so the mother’s body can get used to the father’s cells. Eventually when she conceives again she will recognise the foetus as friendly.

How many Miscarriages should we endure?

After two miscarriages, it might be a good idea give your body and emotional state a rest and have tests to see why you are miscarrying. Often the reasons remain unknown and you will go on to have a successful third pregnancy. Talking to your partner or a close friend might really help with your feelings about miscarriage and after two miscarriages it is a good idea to go and chat to your GP or health provider.

 

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