Saturday, August 14, 2010

Finally, Good News if You've had a Miscarriage

Here is another medical topic that you probably think is uncommon until it affects you or someone you love- miscarriage. Despite the fact that statistics show somewhere between 5-10% (or higher) of all conceptions miscarry, you don't hear about it. 80% of miscarriages take place in the first trimester, and most of those occur very early-before eight weeks.

What I'd like to share, though, is a new study that brings some good news. Doctors have traditionally told patients who have a miscarriage to wait six months before trying to conceive again. A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) looked at over 30,000 women who had miscarried, then had a subsequent pregnancy. Happily, women who conceived their next pregnancy within six months actually BETTER medical outcomes (less recurrent miscarriages, fewer ectopic pregnancies, and even less c-sections, low birth weight babies or pre-term deliveries) than women who's next pregnancy began six to twelve months after their miscarriage.

Why is this news important? Well, if you've had a miscarriage, I don't have to explain. The significance is not that you should rush to get pregnant again, but more that there is NO NEED TO WAIT. Many women (and men) have anxiously waited to get pregnant the first time, only to miscarry and then be told to wait for half a year before trying to conceive. That's tough for any age, but if you are already in your late 30s (and therefore already have an increased risk of complications associated with having kids), waiting six months is not only emotionally draining, but increases your other risks as you "age". (Mind you, I have MANY friends who had babies even in our early forties, so I'm not judging, here!)

By the way, please recognize that miscarriage can be very emotionally painful- express sympathy but try to avoid phrases like "what happened?" that the mom may hear as "what did YOU do?" We think most early miscarriages are due to chromosome issues, not from something the mom did, didn't do, ate, drank or otherwise initiated.

BOTTOM LINE: New medical evidence shows that there is no physical need to wait six months after a miscarriage before trying to conceive again, so go right ahead whenever you are emotionally ready!