Couples plagued by loss and trying to conceive after a miscarriage turn to their physicians for guidance regarding continued attempts at family building. Traditionally, 3 months of waiting was the teaching but supported by no concrete evidence. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even extended that time to six months of refrain. These time limits seem far from practical and invoke unnecessary emotional burdens to couples – particularly in the forum where the miscarriage was proceeded by months (and even years) of infertility.
This very hypothesis was questioned and investigated in a recent academic publication by Schliep et al. in Obste Gynecol 2016; 127(2). The authors did an analysis of data collected from studies stemming from 2011. They looked at whether the interval between pregnancy loss and the time for conception attempts impacted pregnancy chance, live birth or risk to the pregnancy/child. They defined “pregnancy loss” as through either miscarriage (earlier than 20 weeks) or planned termination.
Low and behold, an interval of less than 3 months was associated with a live birth more than any other time period. There was no significant increased risk of complications, even in those women who waited less than 3 months. This data suggests there is no physiologic reason to wait to conceive after an early pregnancy loss.
When we think about the endometrium and how it is a rich source of growth factors and possibly stem cells, this data makes great sense. It also may give credence to the practice of disruption of endometrium prior to implantation cycles allowing reparative growth factors to bolster a more nurturing environment for the next embryo and potential for pregnancy.
If you are experiencing recurring miscarriages or loss, please contact us. We can help.