Whether it took you two cycles or two years to get pregnant, when that pregnancy ends unexpectedly it can take its toll both physically and emotionally.
Sadly, 1 in 4 pregnant women will learn first hand how devastating such a loss can be.
While most women recover physically from a miscarriage more quickly than they do emotionally, the experience can be filled with uncertainty, doubt, and fear.
Below are answers to some of the more common questions around the physical recovery that come up following a miscarriage.
How long does the bleeding last after a miscarriage?
Bleeding post-miscarriage can last anywhere from 4-5 days to 2-3 weeks, depending on how far along you were in the pregnancy and if you had a “natural miscarriage” or a D&C or D&E.
It can be filled with intense cramping, along with the passing of tissue and large clots.
Is it normal to still feel pregnant and experience symptoms?
The pregnancy symptoms you had experienced during the pregnancy — sore or tingling breasts, morning sickness, and peeing all night long — may continue as your hCG levels begin to return to normal.
Also common is extreme fatigue, bloating, brain fog, and hormone induced mood swings.
When will I get my period again?
Your first cycle post-miscarriage can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks from the date of your miscarriage to show up.
Generally anything earlier (ie – 2 weeks post-miscarriage) is considered to be additional spotting or the passing of more fetal material.
What can I expect my first period to be like?
Your first cycle can be super heavy, crampy and miserable; full of clots and tissue. Almost like the actual miscarriage itself, or worse.
Or, your first cycle could be lighter than normal, painless and clot-free.
While most women tend to fall into the heavier camp, both are considered to be normal.
When will I start ovulating again?
You may or may not ovulate your first cycle post miscarriage.
And using an Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) may not be able to accurately tell if you are ovulating, as one of the hormones they test for is hCG.
If your hCG levels haven’t returned to >5 (or zero) the OPKs can return a false positive.
I’ve heard that you are more fertile right after a miscarriage. Is this true?
There is some research that suggests this is true. For a few months post-miscarriage, at least.
Though most doctors believe that this is not a long-term change and your fertility levels will go back to what they were pre-pregnancy.
When can we start trying again?
Some doctors advise waiting until your first period to try again.
Others will tell you to wait 2-3 cycles for the body to regulate again and to build up enough blood and lining to support a healthy pregnancy.
Others, still, will encourage you to start trying right away.
The point is, there is no definitive answer. And for good reason. A miscarriage takes a toll both physically and emotionally. And if you aren’t emotionally ready for another pregnancy, it doesn’t matter what your body is capable of doing or not.
Talk with your doctor. Talk with your partner. And do what feels right for you.
How long will it take to get pregnant again?
Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule for how long it takes.
Some women report getting pregnant the first cycle after a miscarriage and never get their period. Others say that it took 3-4 cycles or longer (1-2 years).
Once I do get pregnant again, will I be at higher risk for another miscarriage?
In any given pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage is somewhere between 15 and 30% depending on which source you are using.
If you are concerned or want to know more about your personal risks, speak with your doctor.
I used the fertility awareness method prior to getting pregnant. Will I be able to use it again post-miscarriage?
Charting post-miscarriage is definitely possible, though can be hard to understand.
Your temperatures can be wonky (up, down, and all around) and you may not notice a real temperature spike indicating ovulation.
Also, you may not know how to actually track your cycle. Cycle Day 1 (CD1) is generally considered to be the day of the miscarriage.
The Taking Charge of Your Fertility forums are a great resource and can help you make sense of what’s going on.
(Image Source: The Domar Center for Mind/Body Health)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Emily Levenson, MSW, CHHC, AADP
Emily is the founder and creator of Without Child. She has a knack for cooking up conversation, finding meaning in mayhem, and adding sparkle to the spectrum of life.
Emily’s personal journey towards becoming pregnant has been filled with bumps and bruises, hysterics and hope, frustration and inspiration. She believes that it’s time to bring fertility discussion out of the bedroom and into the forefront.