Losing a baby during pregnancy, at any stage, can be a devastating and isolating experience. It can leave you with feelings of guilt, questions as to why it happened, and fear of it happening again.
If you experienced a miscarriage and are thinking about trying again, there are probably plenty of questions about fertility running through your head.
Will I miscarry again? Is my body ready to get pregnant again? When should I try again?
Do the chances of twins increase after miscarriage? Although this is a popular supposition, there is no evidence to support the claim that a miscarriage increases the odds of conceiving twins. However, there is some evidence that seems to support the idea that fertility may be slightly higher in the first few months following a lost pregnancy.
Maybe that is the only answer you needed to hear, but perhaps you are still curious and have more questions about your fertility. Here are some answers that will hopefully help bring you some peace of mind.
Conceiving After Miscarriage
The time after a miscarriage is often a sensitive one emotionally, physically, and sexually. Miscarriage can bring some real pain, fear, and anxiety that can leave couples struggling to figure out when, or if, they should start trying again.
However, if you are committed to trying to become pregnant, take comfort in the fact that most women who experience a miscarriage continue on to have a successful pregnancy.
Does Miscarriage Increase Fertility?
There is no evidence that supports the claim that having one or more miscarriages can make a woman more fertile in the long run.
There is, however, a study that suggests fertility may be higher within the first few months following a miscarriage.
The study shows that couples may be more likely to conceive after a miscarriage sooner if they try to conceive within three months compared to those who wait longer after the miscarriage.
Why Some Doctors Advise Waiting To Conceive After Miscarriage
While there is no perfect amount of time to wait before trying to conceive again, many healthcare providers encourage women to wait at least a few months to ensure they are both emotionally and physically ready to support a healthy pregnancy.
Depending on how far along a woman was when she miscarried, her body might need some time to recover. It may take a few months for the uterus to recover and for the endometrial lining to become strong again.
This is especially true if she was several months into the pregnancy or suffered an ectopic pregnancy.
It may also take a few months for a woman’s hormones to regulate once again after her pregnancy. If a woman’s body isn’t ready to support a pregnancy, she may experience a repeat miscarriage after she conceives again.
Medically, it is safe to conceive after a few normal menstrual cycles following a miscarriage if tests or treatments are not being done to determine the cause of the miscarriage.
However, there is emotional healing to consider as well. Miscarriages can be traumatic and discouraging and can cause an emotional setback for many couples.
Some physicians may recommend that a couple wait until they have accepted their loss before attempting to conceive again.
If you have experienced more than one miscarriage, your doctor may recommend waiting until testing has ruled out a discernible (and often treatable) health factor, such as a hormone imbalance or an incompetent cervix.
Why Wait 3 Months After Miscarriage?
Many physicians advise waiting about three months after a miscarriage before trying to conceive again. This gives the woman’s body time to recover, reset, and have a few normal menstrual cycles before conceiving again.
When Are You Most Fertile After Miscarriage?
There is no evidence that suggests there is a time following miscarriage when a woman is “most fertile.” The best time to conceive is when you and your partner feel physically and emotionally ready.
However, there is one study that found a greater percentage of women conceived when trying within three months of an early (less than 20 weeks) miscarriage compared to those who waited longer.
How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage at 5 Weeks?
Technically, you can get pregnant as soon as your next ovulatory cycle begins. Most doctors recommend abstaining from sex for at least 2 weeks or until all bleeding has stopped to reduce the risk of infection.
Many women who miscarry at five weeks do not even realize they were pregnant and are experiencing a miscarriage.
Because 5 weeks is a very early time to miscarry, it’s likely that there will not be much physical trauma that needs to heal, and it may be easier to get pregnant sooner.
Are Twins More Common After Miscarriage?
Some people believe that you are more fertile in the few weeks to months following a miscarriage and are more likely to conceive twins. There is no scientific evidence to back this claim.
Hyperovulation After Miscarriage
A woman experiences hyperovulation when she releases more than one egg during ovulation.
Typically, hyperovulation is a genetic disposition, and having a miscarriage does not necessarily increase your chances of hyperovulating.
However, hyperovulation is always possible, and chances may be higher when your hormones and menstrual cycle are trying to regulate after a pregnancy loss.
Conceiving After Miscarriage Tips
When you are ready to try again, there are plenty of steps you can take to support your efforts in trying to conceive and having a healthy pregnancy:
- Address any underlying health problems. It is recommended to schedule a preconception checkup with your healthcare provider to make sure that nothing is going on that could prevent pregnancy. If left untreated, conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and thyroid problems can make it difficult to get pregnant.
- Focus on your health. Take time to focus on your diet and exercise habits. Maintain a healthy weight, and limit your caffeine intake. Each of these is a factor in getting pregnant and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
- Discontinue unhealthy behaviors. Stop consuming alcohol, smoking, and drugs to increase fertility.
- Try to reduce stress. Stress can interfere with the functioning of your hormones and ovulation.
- Track your ovulation. Use an ovulation predictor kit that tells women when they are most fertile.
How To Increase Chances of Twins Naturally
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do (naturally) to ensure that you will conceive twins. Conceiving twins naturally happens one of two ways:
- A woman hyperovulates, and two eggs are fertilized, resulting in fraternal twins.
- A fertilized egg randomly splits into two, resulting in identical twins.
Both of these are beyond any woman’s control. Hyperovulation is often due to genetics, and having an egg split is something that happens by chance alone.
With that being said, things such as increasing your folic acid intake, eating “hyperovulation foods,” and taking the birth control pill have all been said to boost your chances of conceiving twins.
Do these things actually work? For some, maybe, but there is no evidence to support that any of these methods truly lead to conceiving twins.
Signs of Ovulation After Miscarriage
Symptoms of ovulation will be the same as they were before the pregnancy loss. Look for the clues to determine when ovulation is near:
- Stretchy, clear vaginal mucus
- Slight increase in body temperature
You can also have an idea of when you are ovulating by tracking your menstrual cycle or using an ovulation predictor kit.
Can you feel when you are hyperovulating? While it would be nice to know if you are hyperovulating, there are no physical symptoms. The only way to know that you are definitely hyperovulating is via ultrasound.
When Does Miscarriage Risk Drop for Twins?
Miscarriage is a heartbreaking possibility for any pregnancy, but the risk is higher the more babies you carry.
The chance of a twin miscarriage that affects both babies is 5-10%. The majority of miscarriages, both twin and singleton pregnancies alike, happen during the first 12 weeks. The risk drops significantly after the first trimester.
Why Does Breastfeeding Increase the Chance of Twins?
Most people think you cannot get pregnant while breastfeeding. Surprise… you can! In fact, you may even get pregnant with two!
While you are breastfeeding, your levels of prolactin and luteinizing hormone (LH) are higher. Both have a direct effect on ovulation, and the combination may increase your chances of conceiving twins.
Fertility is a tricky thing! There are so many things beyond our understanding and control, and each woman is different. For specific guidance and answers directly related to your circumstances, speak to your doctor.
Charlynn is an educator and mom to fraternal boy/girl twins. She loves learning through the experiences she has with her littles and using her knowledge to help other moms as they embark on the journey of motherhood.