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Do Women Have Increased Fertility After Miscarriage?

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Updated September 11, 2009

Question: Do Women Have Increased Fertility After Miscarriage?

"I heard that you're more fertile in the month after a miscarriage. Is this true? If so, I don't see why I should wait to get pregnant again."--wondering

Answer:

If you search the Internet you're likely to find articles giving both answers: some will say there is higher fertility in the cycle following a miscarriage, whereas others will write off the notion as a complete myth.

The truth is that there doesn't seem to be a clear answer. One 2004 study by British researchers found that the "time to pregnancy" was longer after a miscarriage, meaning it took longer for women who had a miscarriage to conceive again. A 2003 study, in contrast, found a higher odds of conception in the cycle immediately following an early pregnancy loss. Neither study is enough evidence to state that there is or isn't higher fertility immediately after a miscarriage.

The question of whether it's necessary to wait to conceive again is another story though. It's very common that doctors advise waiting two to three months after a miscarriage, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence that this waiting period is medically necessary for most women who have had an early miscarriage. If you prefer to try again right away, talk to your doctor to determine whether there are any specific medical reasons in your situation for why you should wait to get pregnant again.

Sources:

Hassan, M.A.M., and S.R. Killick. "Is previous aberrant reproductive outcome predictive of subsequently reduced fecundity?" Human Reproduction 2005 20(3):657-664; doi:10.1093/humrep/deh670.

Patient information: miscarriage. UpToDate. Accessed: Sept. 8, 2009. http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=pregnan/5386#18.

Wang X, Chen C, Wang L, Chen D, Guang W, French J. "Conception, early pregnancy loss, and time to clinical pregnancy: a population-based prospective study." Fertil Steril. 2003 Mar;79(3):577-84.

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  3. Miscarriage / Pregnancy Loss
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  5. Fertility After Miscarriage - Is It True That Women Have Increased Fertility After Miscarriage?

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