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Lesson 5 of 5

Trying to Conceive After Loss

Video Lesson

Written Lesson

When to Try Again

The decision of when to start trying to conceive again has two aspects to it. The first is the medical side, and the other side is the personal and emotional readiness.

From a medical standpoint, it’s important that the body has returned to its pre-pregnancy state. This requires two things. The first requirement is for pregnancy hormone levels to fall to the pre-pregnancy levels, and the second requirement is for the uterus to fully recover and to ensure that there's no remaining pregnancy tissue present inside the uterus.

From a personal and emotional standpoint, some patients find it most helpful to move forward and try to conceive again, to put the chapter behind them, and to have a successful pregnancy.

For others though, they need time to grieve, to heal and recover, and they'll want additional time before they get pregnant again.

In the past, there was a notion that a waiting period of a year or six months after a pregnancy loss was needed before trying again. The actual time depends partly on how far along the pregnancy was when the loss occurred. The second factor is how quickly the pregnancy resolved itself. In a case of chemical pregnancy (where a woman might have had a positive pregnancy test either on a urine test or on a blood test but not seen on an ultrasound), a person could try to conceive again the following month because hCG levels will likely return to pre-pregnancy levels very quickly.

On the other hand, in cases where the pregnancy was much further along, let's say close to nine or 10 weeks, it could take several months until the pregnancy levels have completely fallen and the uterus has completely returned to its pre-pregnancy state.

There was one study showing those who tried to conceive in a short interval of time, within three months, had a higher likelihood of a successful pregnancy than if they waited more than three months. But this wasn't a particularly well-controlled study.

At a practical level, and in light of this data, once cleared medically, making sure a person is emotionally and psychologically ready to begin trying again is the most important thing.