A miscarriage can hit you hard – emotionally and physically. It doesn’t matter if you were trying to conceive the old fashioned way or via fertility treatments – either way it can be a devastating experience. The farther along the pregnancy, the harder and longer it may take for you to recover.
You might find comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone: 15-20% of all confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage. Most people don’t like to talk about it, so you likely have family members or friends who experienced a miscarriage that you don’t even know about.
I remember when I was a teenager, I watched an old rerun of All In the Family with my mom. It was an emotional episode where Gloria Bunker Stivic, played by Sally Struthers, had a miscarriage. After the show, my mom told me she had also had miscarriage before I was born. I was shocked and wondered why she never told me. She made it seem like it was a very common occurrence back in the 1970’s. Even so, I could tell it was a sad memory, especially since she was in her second trimester. I was glad we talked about it, because knowing that my mom experienced miscarriage and then went on to have two healthy children, helped me to put things in perspective when I was coping with a miscarriage of my own.
After the loss, some people need to take a physical and mental break from trying to get pregnant. While others may find it comforting to know they can try again. So, how long should you wait? Some doctors recommend waiting one menstrual cycle before trying again, while a few health organizations recommend waiting as long as six months. But, one recent study says there’s no reason to wait at all, stating that the sooner you get pregnant after a miscarriage, the better your chances of success. However, there might be reason to wait if you have health issues, it was an ectopic or molar pregnancy or it was a late term loss.
Even if your physical health is good – your mental health may need more time to recover. According to Psychotherapist Kim Kluger-Bell, “There’s a difference between physical and emotional readiness and if you don’t give yourself time to grieve your loss you may have a more difficult time enjoying a subsequent pregnancy and even bonding with your baby.” The ultimate decision is yours, but a conversation with your trusted physician and perhaps a therapist will at least make it an educated one.