TTC After Pregnancy Loss Might Increase Odds

Losing a pregnancy is devastating and it may take you a few months to get over it emotionally—but this study shows, if you want a baby, acting soon might be key.

TTC After Pregnancy Loss Might Increase Odds Phil Jones/Shutterstock

Conceiving soon after a lost pregnancy might represent your best chance at achieving a live birth the second time around, according to a recent study.

The research, conducted by the National Institutes of Health and published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, contradicts traditional advice parents receive, which states that they should wait at least three months after a failed pregnancy to try again. This study, on the other hand, indicates that staying within this three-month time frame is actually the key to increasing one's chances of a live birth.

"Couples often seek counseling on how long they should wait until attempting to conceive again," Enrique Schisterman, Ph.D., chief of the Epidemiology Branch at NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and senior author of the study, said in a release. "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."

This particular study's research was conducted with data from a trial that took place between 2007 and 2011. The study found that 99 percent of the women surveyed lost a pregnancy within the first 20 weeks—and that 76 percent of the women surveyed attempted within three months of losing a pregnancy.

The results? The group of women who conceived within three months had a 69 percent chance of becoming pregnant again, as compared to the 51 percent rate the other group of women had. The group who conceived earlier also had higher rates (53 percent) of live births as compared to the other group, whose live birth rate was just 36 percent.

The study's abstract also points out that while there is discussion of when women should become pregnant after a lost pregnancy, there's not much information about when they should start trying to conceive.

"While we found no physiological reason for delaying attempts at conception following a pregnancy loss, couples may need time to heal emotionally before they try again," Karen Schliep, Ph.D., a primary author of the study, said. "For those who are ready, our findings suggest that conventional recommendations for waiting at least three months after a loss may be unwarranted."