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Trying again

After a miscarriage or ectopic or molar pregnancy, you may want to get pregnant again as soon as possible, or you may want to wait a while.

Either way, you are likely to have practical questions and worries when preparing for a new pregnancy. We hope this page addresses some of them for you whatever kind of loss you have had, but there is more information on other pages about trying again after ectopic pregnancy and after molar pregnancy. You may also find it helpful to look at our page on thinking about another pregnancy.


What is the medical advice about when is best to try again?

I recently miscarried at 11 weeks.  I would dearly love to conceive again but I’m getting conflicting information on how long we should wait.

It’s not unusual to read or receive different information about when it is best to get pregnant again.  In some cases, there is clear medical advice about waiting (see the next section) but these are the key things to know:


Why might I be advised to wait?

There are some circumstances when you will be advised to wait before trying again:

If you have had a second trimester (late) miscarriage or repeated losses, you may want to talk to your GP or specialist before trying to conceive.  If you are having investigations after recurrent miscarriage  or second trimester loss, you may be advised to wait until those are complete before trying again.


I’m terrified of having another loss.  What are the chances?

After one loss, or perhaps more than one, you are bound to wonder if it might happen again.  Sadly, you can’t ever completely rule out the chance of another loss but there are some things that you might find helpful.

The charity Tommy’s has created a Miscarriage Support tool which estimates the chance of your next pregnancy being successful based on information you put in.

You may find it helpful to look at these statistics, or you might feel they don’t offer any real reassurance. If you do choose to use a tool like this, it’s worth staying mindful of how it makes you feel – if it relieves your worries (and for how long) or if it adds to them because you still can’t be certain.

Statistics are all very well, but the chances for you are either 100% or 0%.

You might find it impossible not to worry about another loss, but it might help if you start thinking about what practical and emotional support you will need if it does happen again – the people and things that can help you through.  Having that in mind might help you feel more confident in your strength to survive if the worst happens, and thus more able to take this chance.  We provide lots of information and support on our pregnancy after miscarriage* support page.

(* We use the word ‘miscarriage’ for search purposes but the page covers ectopic and molar pregnancy too.)


What can I/we do to help us feel more confident in a new pregnancy?

You are likely to want to do what you can to reduce risk and increase the chance of a successful pregnancy. This can make a difference to how you cope.

A good starting point is to follow all the NHS conception and pregnancy advice as best you can. This is likely to include advice about weight, smoking, alcohol and caffeine as well as foods to eat and avoid.  Your doctor or midwife (if you have one) may be able to answer any particular concerns.

It’s also important to talk with your doctor about any medication that you take regularly or often.  That can help you decide whether taking it, or not, is best for you and your baby. In most cases, deciding whether to take a medication is a process of balancing up the risks and benefits with the support of a health professional.

Risk and cause

It’s helpful to understand the difference between a risk factor and a cause. A risk is something that is associated with an outcome. A cause is something that is responsible for producing an outcome.

There are several things that increase the risk of miscarriage but, even if you did any of those things in your last pregnancy, that doesn’t mean that any one of them actually caused your loss.

For example, someone might have smoked heavily in the first months of pregnancy (a risk factor for miscarriage) but their loss may have been caused by something totally different, like a blood clotting problem.

Our leaflets Why me?, Recurrent miscarriage, and Ectopic pregnancy have more information about risk factors and possible causes.


How can I manage my stress and anxiety throughout a new pregnancy?

Pregnancy after a previous miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy can be really tough. Many people experience challenging mixed emotions including guilt, fear, anxiety, worry, hope and relief.

No statistics, information or scans can remove the uncertainty and anxiety completely. But there are things you can do to increase your strength and ability to cope.

Our information on pregnancy after miscarriage might be useful at any time in your pregnancy, as well as support for different stages of pregnancy.  We also have two Pregnancy after Loss support groups on Facebook and a monthly Zoom support group meeting.


Will doing things differently help?

There is no guarantee that doing things differently will lead to a different outcome, but it may help you feel more confident in dealing with the uncertainty.

Some things can be easy to change, for example following health advice more rigorously or taking a treatment if you have been offered one. Others can be more difficult.

For example, you may find that your partner or other family members have strong – and possibly differing – views about what you should or shouldn’t do differently.  They may have opinions about the food you eat or the work or exercise you do. This can be unsettling and undermining and may cause conflict. Although they may all mean well, you may need to find an ally – someone who will support you in doing what feels right for you.

If a surrogate was pregnant for you when you experienced your loss, you may have mixed feelings about whether you would like them to carry for you again. You may feel a need to do things differently by trying to find a different surrogate. They may really want to try again for you, or they may find the idea difficult. It may be hard to find and build a relationship with a new surrogate.

It’s important to try and balance your feelings around making changes with the reality that these changes may make little difference to the outcome.

If you and your partner are both able to get pregnant, you may face the decision of who should carry the pregnancy this time. Some people who experience loss really need to get pregnant again, others may prefer their partner to take a turn.

These decisions can sometimes come with complex emotions around guilt and blame. If you are finding it difficult to find a way through, you may find relationship therapy can support you to have these conversations.


And finally…

When you have experienced a loss or losses, thinking about trying again is almost certain to bring with it a mix of emotions, including both hope and fear.  We hope this page and the resources and stories we link to will help you through.