The emotional and physical turmoil that is caused by the loss of a baby can make one hesitate to try again, and wonder if trying to fall pregnant too soon after a pregnancy loss can lead to a high risk pregnancy, or another miscarriage.
Parent24 talked to Dr Yashica Khalawan to find out if there is a 'right time' to wait to fall pregnant after a miscarriage. Dr Khalawan practices as a general practitioner, with a special interest in aesthetic medicine and medical education.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a waiting period of six months is suggested before couples try to fall pregnant again after a miscarriage, even though the WHO acknowledges the limitations of this advice, says Dr Khalawan.
Apart from that, some studies suggest that "getting pregnant again in less than six months isn't associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, and waiting may not be necessary or beneficial" she notes.
She also cautions that not everyone should jump back into pregnancy after a miscarriage. Aside from the emotional toll, there may be physical reasons to hold off, she explains.
Dr Khalawan suggests that patients consult their physicians who will assess them holistically and advise on the right timing.
Repeated pregnancy loss
On one hand, the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health epidemiologic studies have revealed that 1% to 2% of women experience recurrent pregnancy loss.
On the other hand, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also had similar sentiments stating, "only 1% of women have repeated miscarriages and of those with unexplained repeated miscarriages, 65% will have a successful pregnancy after the loss."
Does 'cleaning' your uterus help?
When it comes to 'cleaning' the uterus after a miscarriage, Dr Khalawan says that the dilatation and curettage (also known as a D&C) is indicated if there are non-viable retained products of conception (or leftover tissue from the pregnancy) from the miscarriage.
This is done to prevent further bleeding and infection, as it is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus, she explains.
Dr Khalawan suggests that if curious about this procedure, patients should consult their doctor or local clinic, as the procedure is available at both public and private facilities and the cost is covered by most medical schemes.
Dr Khalawan adds that if dilatation and curettage were indicated post-miscarriage, you can still carry to full term.
However, she highlights that studies show that there are increased risk factors such as post-partum haemorrhage associated with such a pregnancy.