The prevalence of miscarriage in the UK is higher than most people realise; the NHS website shows that 1 in 8 pregnancies in our country end in miscarriage. Going through a miscarriage is one of the most difficult experiences for a woman and her partner resulting in both physical and emotional pain. This article in The Guardian offers an excellent insight into miscarriages and why we need to raise awareness surrounding the problem. The good news is that most miscarriages are a one-off. So, if you have suffered a miscarriage it is really likely that the next pregnancy you have will be successful.
Am I ready to try again?
It is important for you and your partner to ask yourselves this question to when thinking about trying to conceive again after a miscarriage. Some of you may need support and could go through a long period of grief. This is entirely normal, as your hopes of starting or growing your family were taken away from you. The most important thing at this point is to take time and make the best decision based on how you are feeling. Tommy’s is a UK registered Charity devoted to researching the causes and prevention of pregnancy complications, miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and neonatal death. They do some amazing work and you can find a lot of additional support and information surrounding miscarriages on their website, if you feel that you want more information before trying again.
If you have reached the decision that you are ready to try again then it is important to make sure that all symptoms of your miscarriage are no longer present. Once this happens your body has fully recovered and you can begin to try again.
How can I prevent miscarriages?
Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee you will avoid a miscarriage. However, do remember that most people that go through a miscarriage will have a successful pregnancy the next time they conceive.
How to improve my chances of a successful pregnancy?
A vitally important thing to remember is that a miscarriage is not always directly a result of the woman’s body. Miscarriages often happen due to the male factor so to give your body the best chance when trying to conceive again it is vital that you both take steps where you can.
Whilst they don’t guarantee success, there are a number of simple lifestyle changes that are proven to give you the best chance to avoid going through another miscarriage.
Smoking/drinking during pregnancy
You should avoid all smoking during pregnancy. The Chief Medical Officers for the UK also recommend that if you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant that you should avoid drinking any alcohol to minimise risks to your baby.
Eating a balanced diet is the advice you will often hear if you’re trying to conceive and experiencing issues. This is because the nutrients you and your partner consume have a big effect on the quality of the egg or sperm cells you produce. Read more about what nutrients can help you in our other blog – Micronutrients and Fertility
Many STIs can have an effect on your likelihood of a successful pregnancy including Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis. Make sure you get tested before trying again.
Avoid certain food
Game meats (goose, partridge etc.), liver, mould ripened cheeses (brie, camembert etc.) and unpasteurised milk or products made from unpasteurised milk (e.g. goat’s cheese) should all be avoided. For a full list please check the NHS website
If you are overweight then shifting some pounds will put less stress on you when going through a pregnancy and will help give your body the energy it needs. You can use a BMI calculator to help give you an understanding of what weight you should be aiming for. If you eat a balanced diet and exercise a few times a week you should be able to lose weight and get your body in the best condition before trying to conceive again.
Unfortunately, these changes are not guaranteed to mean you will avoid a recurrent miscarriage. If you sadly experience this then please visit your GP for further information.
The journey to trying again is different for all couples and there is no right answer. Some will be ready to try again immediately whereas others will need time before building up the confidence to keep going. Miscarriages are taxing on both body and mind, so it is vital you care for yourself. Our partners at FNUK have resources and support groups you can look to if you want support.
There is more information around common fertility questions and our products on our blog. Good luck with your journey!