The vast majority of miscarriages occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Half of them are believed to be due to the foetus failing to develop properly.
It's a devastating experience, especially once you've had a scan and seen the baby. Thinking about trying to get pregnant again can be very difficult. You may well be afraid that youll miscarry again.
Following one miscarriage, your statistical chances of suffering another are still one in eight. If you have suffered three miscarriages in a row, you will be referred to a gynaecologist for further examination.
Here's your six-step guide to trying for a baby after a miscarriage.
1. Wait three months before trying again:
It's usually best to wait a minimum of three months before trying to get pregnant again, so that your uterus has returned to its normal state. If you lost a lot of blood during your miscarriage, then your iron levels will be low, so you should wait until your GP says they've returned to their pre-pregnancy levels before trying to get pregnant.
There are some circumstances, after a molar or ectopic pregnancy, for instance, when you may be advised to wait longer before trying for another baby.
2. Ask why you miscarried:
It will help put your mind at ease if you find out the possible reasons why your baby died. Genetic defects are the main cause of miscarriage, so get checked for chromosomal problems or inherited diseases. If it was due to a blood clot, you might be prescribed heparin in conjunction with a low-dose aspirin to help thin your blood. Sometimes conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) make getting pregnant and carrying a baby to full term difficult. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. Remember though, that sometimes there simply is no explanation for why your miscarriage occurred.
3. Talk it through:
Dont blame yourself for what happened. Discussing your fears of miscarrying again with a group such as The Miscarriage Association (01924 200 799) may help.
4. Boost your fertility:
There are also ways to boost your fertility naturally, such as avoiding stress, eating organic food, taking supplements (zinc, selenium and folic acid) and both partners cutting out alcohol and smoking.
5. Stay calm:
Once you do become pregnant, try to stay calm and positive. Statistically, most women only miscarry once. You will probably be offered more frequent pre-natal checkups. Don't be afraid to contact your GP if you are worried about anything.
6. Look for danger signs:
Be aware of any bleeding or spotting you might experience, as well as swelling of your hands and feet, vaginal discharge and stomach pains. During your first trimester, vaginal sonograms will be used to check your baby's heartbeat and, in the second trimester, a blood test will be able to reveal whether your baby is at risk of neural-tube defects.