Trying again

I’ve had a miscarriage, when can we start trying again?

Most women who miscarry can conceive again and will most likely carry that pregnancy to deliver a healthy baby. In fact, studies suggest that a 20-year-old who has had three previous miscarriages faces a 90 per cent chance of the next pregnancy successfully going to term, while a 30 year old with the same history has an 80 per cent chance of success. Even though pregnancy loss can take a heavy emotional toll on you, these stats are important to remember.

While we’d recommend couples who have experienced three or more miscarriages come to speak with us about their options, if you've had only one pregnancy loss, then your best bet is to try again. And it makes sense that you need to be happy and healthy if you are trying to get pregnant. Our advice is that you should aim to be in peak health for a good four months before conceiving. Here are some guidelines for keeping yourself in shape for pregnancy.

Life balance

The role of stress and psychological barriers is variously played up and down depending on who you’re speaking with or what research you’re reading. Whether or not it does affect pregnancy outcomes, learning to relax and reducing the stress in your life will certainly improve how you feel in the meantime. It’s also very normal to experience grief about your pregnancy loss. When a pregnancy is lost, intentions are thwarted and the hopes, even fantasies, about the planned baby are dashed and there is often little chance to prepare oneself emotionally for such a loss. It’s important not to brush those feelings under the carpet and instead to take the time to work through them and seek help if you need it. We offer a counselling service for couples who have experienced pregnancy loss, to help them through this difficult time.

Eat well

Try to eat a healthy balanced diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables and cereals - we can help you with a seven day Healthy Eating for Fertility Plan. If you decide to supplement your diet with multivitamins, make sure that they are safe to take in early pregnancy and that you do not exceed the recommended daily limits. Check with your pharmacist if you’re unsure. We recommend that you take folic acid to minimise the risk of spina bifida (a birth defect) and also to overcome some rare causes of pregnancy loss. You should take at least 500 micrograms a day from the time you start trying to get pregnant until you are at least three months pregnant.

Infection control

Some infections that could affect pregnancy can be present in foods (eg. Listeria and Salmonella). While there’s no need to be militant about avoiding infection, here are some precautions that you can take:

  • ensure that all meat, eggs and fish are well cooked, and avoid pâté and products containing raw eggs (eg. mayonnaise) unless pasteurized;
  • ensure milk and soft cheeses are pasteurized;
  • wash fruit and salad vegetables before you eat them; and
  • make sure reheated foods are heated through properly.

Toxoplasmosis is an infection that can be carried by cats or in the soil. Wear gloves when gardening or, if you have cats, when emptying their litter tray. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating if you have been handling a cat. Make sure you are immunised against German measles (rubella) before you get pregnant.

Exercise

It’s a good idea to have a regular exercise regimen to maintain general health and well-being. In particular, exercises that strengthen your back, buttocks, abdominal and pelvic floor muscles are highly recommended and will help you both during your pregnancy and once you have your baby. It’s important to exercise in moderation so don’t over do it!

Generally, you can continue with your normal exercise unless it causes you discomfort or your doctor advises against it. Never persist with exercise if you have a discharge from the vagina in pregnancy or if you have back pain - these are danger signs of cervical incompetence and you should see your obstetrician immediately.

 
 
 
 

The #1 piece of advice our patients pass on to people not having success in having a baby themselves is to ask for help earlier.
Genea’s Fertility Specialists are experts in helping people conceive and seeing one is not a fast track to IVF - in fact we help more than 50% our patients have a baby with fertility treatments other than IVF.

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At Genea we have a number of Fertility Specialists who specialise in miscarriage and we also have a Miscarriage Management Program. If have experienced the trauma of multiple miscarriages and you’re concerned then we’d recommend an appointment with a Fertility Specialist is a good starting point.