How long should you wait before trying again after a miscarriage?

New research says you should try to get pregnant within 6 months. But this contradicts WHO advice - so what do these new findings mean and what's the right thing to do?

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It’s a question that you hope you won’t have to face, but so many of us do.

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After having a miscarriage, when’s the best time to start trying again. Some new research is now advising women to try to conceive again WITHIN 6 months of their miscarriage for the best chances of a successful pregnancy.

But this goes against the advice of the World Health Organisation, which recommends waiting at least 6 months before trying again. More confusingly, the NHS suggests waiting for 3 months.

So who’s right?

There’s no black and white definite answer yet, but the study is an important one and should be taken seriously.

The research was carried out by the University of Malta and the University of Aberdeen and looked at data from around 1 million women in 11 different countries. There were two main findings:

  • Women who get pregnant less than 6 months after a miscarriage have no more risk of adverse outcomes compared to those who wait longer than 6 months
  • More than that, there appears to be a reduced risk of miscarraige and preterm birth if you get pregnant within 6 months

One of the report’s researchers told the Telegraph that their analysis on previous studies clearly demonstrated that within 6 months was the optimum time, but admitted that it was not clear why this should be.

“Contrary to WHO guidelines, recommending at least six months’ wait after a miscarriage,” explains Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya from the University of Aberdeen. “Our meta-analysis of all published studies on this subject to date shows definitively that less than six months is best.”

“One explanation might be that if somebody has had a miscarriage they might take particularly good care of themselves, be more motivated and may be more fertile, but that is just speculation at this point.”

So should you start as early as possible?

The key is to try again when you feel ready, but the research suggests you don’t have to wait for a set amount of time.

Ruth Bender Atik from the The Miscarriage Association praised the new study, and said it supports couples’ choice as to when they decide to try to become pregnant again.

“It confirms that couples can choose to try again whenever they feel ready to do so.”

So why isn’t this the new official advice?

More research is needed. But the NHS did conclude that the research indicates that “current guidelines should be reviewed, and that couples should be advised that delaying pregnancy doesn’t necessarily improve outcomes”.

So what do you think? Did you follow specific advice time-wise before trying again after miscarriage? Or do you think it is one of those situations where you are guided solely by your own body and how you feel?

Pic: Getty

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