Will a miscarriage impact your fertility?

Pregnant woman stomach A miscarriage can have a profound impact on your health. (Image: Sandhya Raghavan)

This article has been contributed by Dr Bharathi Ramesh, Senior Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Banashankari, Bangalore.

A miscarriage can understandably be emotionally and physically draining, for you as well as your partner. The anxiety that follows of not being able to conceive again and giving birth to a healthy baby in the future is comprehendible, too. A lot of women who suffer a miscarriage constantly live under the fear of another miscarriage, even when they get pregnant again and there are no complications.

A miscarriage, which is referred to as the sudden loss of pregnancy before the 20th week occurs in nearly 10% of pregnancies, globally. However, the number could be as high as 25% since many miscarriages occur without women realizing that they were pregnant because it can also occur a few days after conception.

Dr Bharathi Ramesh, Senior Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Banashankari, Bangalore

Will a miscarriage impact your fertility?

In most cases, especially if you have suffered a miscarriage in the early stages of your pregnancy, you should not have a problem conceiving again. Having one or maybe even two miscarriages would not even warrant your doctor suggesting you take a fertility test and you still stand a good chance to conceive naturally.

While there could be multiple reasons explaining why a miscarriage occurred, one could be as simple as a random chromosome error occurring during the early formation stages of an embryo.

However, in case you have suffered more than two or three miscarriages, which in medical terms are referred to as Recurrent Miscarriages, then you should consult a fertility expert who can suggest a treatment plan to prevent a miscarriage in the future. A recurrent miscarriage can be caused due to several reasons such as:

  • An underlying medical condition
  • Genetic causes
  • Uterine abnormalities
  • Advanced maternal age

In addition to the above-stated factors, there could be other medical or non-medical reasons that may lead to a repeated loss of pregnancy which could only be pointed out by a fertility expert or gynaecologist. 

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However, it is important to note that there are people in the world who have suffered recurrent miscarriages, yet they have been able to become pregnant again and have given birth to healthy babies. So, do not feel disheartened in case you have experienced the same as there are still very high chance that you would be able to carry your pregnancy to term in the future.

Ectopic Pregnancy and its impact on fertility

In case you have suffered an ectopic pregnancy wherein the implantation of the embryo occurs outside of the uterus, which could include the fallopian tubes or somewhere else in the abdominal cavity. Immediate medical intervention is required as a continuation of pregnancy in such cases could prove to be life-threatening. 

While, in case you have experienced an ectopic pregnancy in the past, there is about a 10% chance that it may occur again depending on the factors that had caused it in the first place. However, surveys show that about 65% of the women who had experienced the same have been able to conceive again and carry a full and normal pregnancy to term within 18 months of the ectopic pregnancy.

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Medical science in terms of fertility and obstetrics has come a long way. It is advisable to stay in touch with your doctor after you suffer a miscarriage to understand how your body is behaving in the subsequent months. It is also advised to not immediately try conceiving and wait for a little duration to allow your body to return to normal to boost your chances of a healthy pregnancy in the future.