- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The idea that a couple should wait as long as six months before trying to conceive after a miscarriage may be outdated, a new study says.

Couples who lost an early pregnancy and attempted to conceive within the next three months had the same chances — if not greater — of achieving a live birth, compared with couples who waited longer, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said Tuesday.

The findings, published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, undercut the idea that couples should wait many months — even six months, as recommended by the World Health Organization — before trying to conceive again.

“Our data suggest that women who try for a new pregnancy within three months can conceive as quickly, if not quicker, than women who wait for three months or more,” said Enrique Schisterman, chief of the Epidemiology Branch at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and senior author of the study.

The study looked at some 1,000 women who lost a pregnancy before 20 weeks gestation but did not have complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy or abnormal tissue growth in the uterus.

More than 76 percent of these women began trying to conceive again within three months.

This group was compared to the women who waited longer to try to conceive.

Researchers found that the faster-to-try group was more likely to become pregnant (69 percent to 51 percent) and more likely to have a live birth (53 percent to 36 percent) than the women who waited longer to try to conceive.

Researchers noted that while women may be physically ready to try again, some may need more time to emotionally recover from their pregnancy loss before trying again.

But for “those who are ready, our findings suggest that conventional recommendations for waiting at least three months after a loss may be unwarranted,” said Karen Schliep, a postdoctoral fellow in the NICHD Epidemiology Branch and primary author of the study.

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