Ovulation can happen as early as two weeks after the loss of a pregnancy. For most women, bleeding from an early miscarriage resolves in about week. Bleeding may last longer if the miscarriage occurred in the late first or second trimester.
There may also be some spotting for up to four weeks. As bleeding lessens and hormone levels return to normal, your menstrual cycle will also resume.
Many women’s period returns within 4 to 6 weeks following a miscarriage. Day 1 in the cycle should be counted from the first day of bleeding from the miscarriage.
It may take a few cycles for your period to become predictable as your hormones regulate following the pregnancy loss. If your periods were unpredictable prior to your pregnancy, they’ll likely continue to be unpredictable.
An unpredictable cycle can make tracking ovulation more difficult, but it’s possible to get pregnant again within the first few cycles following a miscarriage. Read on to learn more about ovulation and pregnancy following a miscarriage.
The World Health Organization advises waiting to conceive again until at least six months after a miscarriage. That’s because some research suggests that getting pregnant within six months of a miscarriage increases chances of:
However, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology doesn’t recommend waiting. In fact, a comprehensive review of studies looked at by researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that women who conceived less than six months after a miscarriage had:
- a reduced risk for another miscarriage
- lower risk for preterm birth
- a greater chance of having a live birth
They also found that pregnancy within the first six months of a miscarriage didn’t increase risk for:
If you do want to try and conceive right away, many experts advise waiting at least one menstrual cycle, where day one is the first day of menstrual bleeding.
This is so you can more accurately determine when you may have ovulated and thus calculate a more precise due date.
Symptoms of ovulation following a miscarriage will be the same as those before a pregnancy loss. To determine when ovulation is near, look for these clues:
- stretchy, clear vaginal mucus that resembles egg whites
- cramping pain on your right or left side
- slight increase in your basal body temperature
- detection of the luteinizing hormone (LH) on an ovulation predictor kit
LH stimulates the ovary to release an egg. Ovulation predictor kits come with sticks you can dip in your urine to see when ovulation is near. According to the Food and Drug Administration, these kits detect LH 9 times out of 10 when used correctly.
Basal body temperature
- To take your basal body temperature, use an oral digital thermometer or invest in a basal body thermometer. Whichever you choose, use the same thermometer each time you take your temperature.
- Take your temperature first thing in the morning, before you even get out of bed.
- Chart your daily temperature.
- Ovulation has occurred when you notice a slight increase in temperature, usually not more than 0.5℉ (0.3℃).
- You’re most fertile on the day or two before that temperature spike.
Most miscarriages are random events and many women go on to have healthy babies. In fact, as many as 85 to 90 percent of women will get pregnant within a year of having a miscarriage.
Consider seeking help, however, if you:
- are 35 or younger and haven’t conceived within a year
- are over 35 and haven’t conceived within six months
- had problems conceiving in the first place
While you should physically recover from the miscarriage with little to no complications, talk to your doctor if:
- you’re experiencing heavy bleeding after a miscarriage (soaking a pad more than 2 hours in a row)
- you get a fever after recently miscarrying, which can signal a uterine infection
- you’ve had multiple miscarriages; you may benefit from testing that can check for things like genetic disorders, which can affect the outcome of pregnancy
Your odds of miscarrying are:
- 14 percent after one miscarriage
- 26 percent after two miscarriages
- 28 percent after three miscarriages
But a lot will depend on certain factors. Some things that can raise your rates of miscarriage are:
- Increased age. Miscarriage rates rise 75 percent for women 35 to 39, and there’s a fivefold increase at 40 or older compared with women 25 to 29.
- Being underweight. Underweight women have a 72 percent increased risk for miscarriage. Being overweight or of normal weight didn’t affect miscarriage rates according to this study.
- Extended conception time. Women who took 12 or more months to conceive are twice as likely to miscarry as those taking three months.
To reduce your risk for miscarriage, most doctors advise:
- quitting smoking
- getting to and maintaining a healthy weight, which you can determine with your doctor’s help
- eating a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables daily or almost every day
- reducing stress
While ovulation and subsequent menstruation tend to return quickly after miscarriage, it may take some time for you and your partner to heal emotionally.
Discuss your feelings with each other, reach out to friends and family, and get support from your medical team.
Your doctor should be able to put you in touch with a pregnancy loss support group. You can also contact Share for a list of local support groups.
Miscarriage tends to be a chance event, and most women have very good odds of going on to conceive and deliver a healthy baby.
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