Global Health Asia-Pacific Special Issue | Page 41

Women can safely conceive shortly after miscarriage or abortion

The current six-month wait recommendation is not supported by data

Women who decide to conceive within three months after experiencing a miscarriage or induced abortion will not face increased risk of pregnancy complications , according to a new study that calls into question the guidelines set by the World Health Organization ( WHO ).

“ The World Health Organization currently recommends women wait at least six months after a miscarriage or induced abortion before falling pregnant again due to an increased risk of health complications in their next pregnancy ,” lead study author Dr Gizachew Tessema from the Curtin School of Population Health in Australia said in a press release .
However , the researchers sifted through the data of 49,058 births following a miscarriage and 23,707 births following an abortion in Norway and found that women conceiving within three or six months after a previous miscarriage or abortion experienced no higher risk of preterm pregnancy complications or conditions like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes .
“ Instead , we found that women were at a lower risk of pregnancy complications such as low birth weight and gestational diabetes if they conceived within three months after a miscarriage . One possible explanation for this is that women who chose to conceive shortly after a miscarriage were more likely intending to conceive and therefore may have been seeking medical support to avoid another complication ,” the press release stated .
Since similar findings have been recorded in other studies , the authors of the new research called for a revision of the current WHO advice on pregnancy spacing after pregnancy loss as this could help people who are often going through stressful times .
“ Experiencing any type of pregnancy loss can be an extremely difficult and traumatic experience for families and having to wait an additional six months before trying to conceive again could be very difficult ,” Dr Tessema said .
Despite the findings , the researchers also recommend more studies to gather additional evidence and stressed that some time was still needed to recover from the previous pregnancy . “ This will vary from person to person , but if I had to pick a number , it ’ s at least six weeks ,” she said in the Guardian . Waiting too short a period between pregnancies could also reduce the time needed for infections or inflammations to clear up , so women are advised to consult their doctor to plan for a safe pregnancy .
The emotional side of trying for a new pregnancy is another important component to ponder .
“ You may need to allow yourself time to grieve for your lost baby before you think about the future . Other couples feel trying again will help them come to terms with what has happened ,” said the baby loss support charity Tommy ’ s to the BBC .
“ It is an individual choice or one you need to make as a couple if you have a partner .”
Women were at a lower risk of pregnancy complications such as low birth weight and gestational diabetes if they conceived within three months after a miscarriage .
GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com ISSUE 6 | 2022