Aug. 7, 2010— -- Women who try again soon after a miscarriage may be more successful and fare better than those who delay trying to conceive, researchers found.
In a population-based study, women who conceived within six months of their initial miscarriage were 34 percent less likely to miscarry a second time compared with those who got pregnant again six to 12 months afterwards.
A short interval between pregnancies also was linked to lower risk of ectopic pregnancy and cesarean or preterm delivery for these women, Sohinee Bhattacharya of Aberdeen Maternity Hospital in Aberdeen, Scotland, and colleagues reported online in BMJ.
"Women wanting to become pregnant soon after a miscarriage should not be discouraged," they wrote in the paper.
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How soon to try again is the number one question for women actively seeking to become pregnant, but one that has a remarkable lack of evidence, according to an accompanying editorial.
Julia Shelley of Deakin University in Burwood, Australia, called the findings surprising and cautioned that selection and measurement bias may have been at play.
"Of greatest concern is that women with short interpregnancy intervals are more fertile than those whose subsequent pregnancy occurs later because these women seem to have better pregnancy outcomes and fewer complications," Shelley wrote in the editorial.
World Health Organization guidelines recommend waiting at least six months before trying to become pregnant after miscarriage.
Indeed, mental recovery may take some time, and delay may be desirable if there are signs of infection, Bhattacharya's group acknowledged.