A miscarriage should not deter you from planning your next pregnancy and get pregnant right away.

In fact, a study has now confirmed that women who conceive within six months of their initial miscarriage have the best chance of a healthy pregnancy with the lowest complication rates.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen reviewed the data of over 30,000 women, who visited Scottish hospitals between 1981 and 2000, to come to this conclusion. All the participants had a miscarriage in their first pregnancy, and subsequently conceived again.

According to the study, among those who got pregnant within six months of their initial miscarriage, 85% delivered a healthy baby. While, the ones who waited for more than two years to get pregnant again, the rate was 73%.

The results confirmed that those who conceived again within six months were less likely to have another miscarriage, termination of pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy as compared the ones who conceived between six and 12 months after their initial miscarriage.

Besides, the women who conceived within six months were less likely to undergo a Caesarean section, deliver prematurely or have underweight babies. The findings debunk the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization, which recommends women delay getting pregnant for at least six months after a miscarriage.

Miscarriage or spontaneous pregnancy loss before 24 completed weeks of gestation affects one in five pregnancies.

Lead researcher Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya from the University of Aberdeen explained the broad contours of the research. "Our research shows that it is unnecessary for women to delay conception after a miscarriage. The current WHO guidelines may need to be reconsidered. As per our results, women wanting to become pregnant soon after a miscarriage should not be discouraged. There may be cases where a delay is desirable, for example if there are signs of infection."

According to Dr Bhattacharya, after a miscarriage, women should also be counselled about how to take care of their own health before and during pregnancy in preparation for subsequent conception.

"There is no reason to wait for any extended time after miscarriage," she says. "Get pregnant whenever you are ready." There is no risk of worse outcomes if you conceive shortly after a miscarriage, he says.

"Make sure you are in good health and take your prenatal vitamins, including folic acid, before conception for a healthy pregnancy."  Folic acid helps reduce the risk for neural tube defects in the developing fetus.

Source: Effect of interpregnancy interval on outcomes of pregnancy after
miscarriage: retrospective analysis of hospital episode statistics in
Scotland. BMJ 2010;341:c3967