A miscarriage can be a tough condition to handle for any woman. Also called as a Spontaneous Abortion (SAb), a miscarriage is characterized by the loss of the pregnancy within 24 weeks after conception (loss of pregnancy after 24 weeks is usually termed as a still birth).
Although a pregnant woman would be able to spot the symptoms of a miscarriage, in certain cases a woman may undergo multiple miscarriages before even realizing that she is pregnant. This usually happens when the process of implantation is not perfect or is hampered by internal issues. It is also possible for the body to abort a pregnancy it feels would not progress well or could cause fetal abnormalities in the unborn child.
Getting Pregnant After A Miscarriage
Although multiple miscarriage and complicated abortions can lead to pregnancy issues later on, it is not entirely impossible for a woman to get pregnant after a miscarriage. A woman who suffers from a miscarriage can get pregnant as long as she takes extra measures to carry the baby to term successfully. Here are some important factors that need to be taken into consideration before trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage.
Identifying The Potential Causes For A Miscarriage
Getting pregnant after a miscarriage would depend on the causes for the miscarriage to a large extent. Understanding the causes would help women keep a check on potential triggers that could cause a SAb.
Accordingly, some of the more common causes for miscarriages in women include genetic defects, hereditary traits (family history of miscarriages), uterine abnormalities, vaginal infections, endocrine issues, blood clotting disorders, low levels of immunity, existing medical disorders like diabetes, hypertension etc. and side effects caused by certain antibodies.
Risk Factors Associated with Miscarriages
Understanding the risk factors associated with a miscarriage can also help women plan their pregnancy properly after suffering from a SAb.
The common risk factors associated with miscarriages in pregnancy include late pregnancy (over 35 years of age), obesity, habits like smoking and drinking, poor nutrition, prolonged exposure to X-Rays, exposure to toxic substances, unhealthy food choices, increased use of laxatives, usage of street drugs, low levels of folic acid in the body and high levels of homocysteine in the body.
Waiting Time Between A Miscarriage And the Next Pregnancy
At the time of a miscarriage (before 24 weeks of pregnancy), the hormone levels in a womans’ body would be very high. Therefore, it would be possible for a woman to conceive as soon as she suffers a miscarriage. Even though many women would want to get pregnant as soon they lose the previous pregnancy, it is considered wise to wait for a while before attempting to conceive again.
The uterus would normally take some time to recover from a miscarriage. The endometrial lining would be very thin during this period as well. This would increase the chances of another miscarriage if a woman attempts to conceive immediately after a SAb. A miscarriage would also affect a woman emotionally. Waiting for a certain amount of time before conceiving again would enable a woman to become physically and emotionally stable enough to support the pregnancy.
Doctors would usually advice women to put off having a baby for at least a few months after the miscarriage. A waiting period of about 6 months would be considered a safe option when planning the next pregnancy. Some doctors ask their patients to plan the next pregnancy after 2-3 normal menstrual cycles. This would give the uterus plenty of time to recover from the miscarriage.
Chances of Another Miscarriage
Many women feel apprehensive of conceiving again for fear of experiencing another miscarriage. There is no need to worry in this case as nearly 85 -90% of women who suffer one miscarriage tend to have successful pregnancies later on. The chances of a miscarriage would increase by 15% or more if a woman has experienced multiple miscarriages before.
Consulting a Specialist
A woman who has experienced more than one miscarriage (consecutively) would need to get in touch with a specialist (in the field of maternal-fetal medication) before attempting to conceive again.
A specialist would be able to evaluate the existing conditions and constraints, and help chalk out a plan that would help the woman carry the baby to term successfully.
General Precautions To Be Taken
Getting pregnant after a miscarriage is not a difficult task. But carrying the baby to term could prove to be a challenging task and can be done successfully with the following precautions.
Proper Diet and Nutrition
Eating a proper diet filled with essential nutrients can increase the chances of a successful pregnancy post miscarriage. For instance, low levels of folic acid in the body during pregnancy can increase the chances of a miscarriage.
Requesting the doctor or a medical team to closely monitor the pregnancy would help reduce apprehensions as well as take care of issues that can potentially cause another miscarriage. If the earlier pregnancy suffered a SAb due to certain medical conditions, the doctor would monitor the next pregnancy closely to rule out any medical anomalies that would put a woman at an increased risk of suffering another miscarriage.
Listening to Advice
It is good to listen to advice from others when attempting to get pregnant after a miscarriage. However, too much advice can increase the fear or apprehensions a woman may experience during this period. This in turn can cause unnecessary emotional stress that can reduce the chances of a second pregnancy or increase the chances of another miscarriage. It is always considered best to listen to advice, but not take it seriously. The only advice that needs to be taken into consideration at this time is that of the doctor’s.
Becoming Emotionally Stable
Abolishing memories of a previous miscarriage can increase the chances of a successful pregnancy to a great extent. Thinking about the loss of the first child would increase emotional strain as well as cause panic attacks whenever the mother feels the baby is either too quiet or is still (the baby would be sleeping).
It is considered wise to come to terms with a previous miscarriage before attempting to conceive again. This would reduce the apprehensions and fears related to the incident and place a woman at a better state (psychologically) to support the next pregnancy. Joining support groups at this point of time would also help a woman deal with a previous miscarriage successfully in addition to planning out the next pregnancy properly.