Intended for healthcare professionals


Miscarriage and time to next pregnancy

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 05 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4181
  1. Julia Shelley, associate professor
  1. 1School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC, 3125, Australia
  1. julia.shelley{at}

    Women who conceive earlier may have better outcomes and fewer complications

    About half of women will miscarry at least once during their lives. Yet it is unknown how best to care for women and their families in such an event. Research has focused on the causes of recurrent miscarriage and possible ways to prevent it, but with limited success.1 2 Increasing evidence supports the use of medical evacuation of the uterus and expectant care as alternatives to the more invasive and expensive surgical evacuation of the uterus that was the mainstay of care for decades.3 4

    For women actively seeking to become pregnant, “how soon can we try again?” is a central question. To date, there is a remarkable lack of evidence on this question, especially from Western countries. In the linked retrospective cohort study (doi:10.1136/bmj.c3967), Love and colleagues assessed the optimum interpregnancy interval after miscarriage in a first pregnancy.5 They found that women who conceived again within six months were significantly less likely to have another miscarriage, …

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