Fertility after Miscarriage

Fertility after Miscarriage   Approximately 15-20% of women and couples experience the distress of miscarriage, with 1% experiencing what is referred to as recurrent pregnancy losses (RPL) which is the loss of more than two pregnancies up to twenty weeks gestation. Many forms of therapy have been researched and indeed applied with the aim of preventing miscarriage when the cause is unknown (idiopathic miscarriage), even down to the simplest advice of getting plenty of bed rest. Although, research is lacking on exactly how beneficial bed rest might be as a preventative measure, I personally think it’s a good place to start. In cases where a known cause is identified, such as miscarriage due to an incomplete cervix or insufficient progesterone (our hormone of pregnancy), treatments and specific procedures have shown great success in preventing further pregnancy losses which is wonderful. At the Fertility Health Clinic we design specific personalised ‘Miscarriage Care’ programmes, which are aimed at considering all aspects of the ‘parents-to-be’ health. We consider such things as vitamin and mineral status – concentrating on the likes of vitamin D and selenium, plus possible drivers or contributors to insufficient progesterone (examples might be stress or a western style diet) and even such things as the likelihood of lead exposure in mum, either now or in the past – all of which have been linked to miscarriage. When we see a client who has suffered a miscarriage and is hoping to achieve pregnancy again, the main question they ask us (and their GP/ medical consultant) is usually: how soon can I get pregnant again? So, in answer to that, this blog post concentrates on ‘Fertility after Miscarriage’ and I hope this information benefits you greatly. Take care, Liadh   ‘Fertility after Miscarriage’ The majority of research looking fertility after miscarriage concentrates on the ability to get pregnant following recurrent pregnancy losses (RPL) and not time-to-pregnancy following a ‘sporadic miscarriage’ which is a one-off miscarriage. Also, as with any research (and non-research articles!) the conclusions and results often tend to contradict other findings, with some evidence-based studies indicating high fertility rates after miscarriage and others stating the opposite. What some epidemiological research does show us however is that, even after RPL, delivery rates of healthy babies can be encouragingly high. One specific 2012 longitudinal study (stretching over almost two decades) indicated that approximately two-thirds of the women involved in their study achieved successful pregnancies and births over an average time of five years. Other research concurs with this, but further highlights that the chances of successfully achieving a pregnancy although very possible, does decline with increasing maternal age and with the number of previous miscarriages. A further 2014 study concluded that following idiopathic recurrent miscarriage, the average time-to-pregnancy in those who became pregnant was twenty-one weeks. Furthermore up to 74% of those studied obtained successful pregnancies within one year of trying to conceive, with that number jumping to 86% after two years.   What most women and couples may find comfort in is that research is also telling us that, for those who suffer idiopathic miscarriage, the time-to-pregnancy appears to be comparable to a healthy fertile cohort of women. If you have suffered the distress of miscarriage I would like to guide you towards your next pregnancy with some pointers:
  1. Allow your uterine lining time to heal.
  2. Allow yourself time to grieve.
  3. Build around you what we call a ‘web-of-support’, such as friends and family.
  4. Support your health and fertility by feeding your body what it needs for pregnancy. 5. Accept all the help and advice you can.
  Here’s wishing you a health & happy pregnancy.

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