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  • Writer's pictureGrace Health

The First Period After Miscarriage: What To Expect

Updated: May 18, 2023

We know this is a difficult time in your life, you’ve lost your baby and now you may be wondering what should you expect from your next period. When will it be, will it be like before and can you start trying to conceive right away?

Because we are aware of how real these concerns are we have compiled a few things you need to know as you expect your next period.

In this article:

When will I get my next period?

This is probably the main question on your mind, especially if you would like to conceive again soon. The answer to this question depends on various factors. However, many women can expect their first period four to six weeks after a miscarriage. Depending on when your human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG hormone levels return to zero. This timing could vary from person to person.

Some of the main factors that can delay your period are:

If you had regular periods before your miscarriage

Eventually, your period is likely to be the way it was before you conceived. So if you had an irregular cycle, expect it to be irregular again. If this is the case it could take longer than 6 weeks to see your period again.

How far along in your pregnancy you were

The further along you were in your pregnancy, the higher your hCG levels. If you miscarried late in the first trimester or the second trimester, it will take longer for your hCG levels to return to zero and your periods to resume.

If you had a "complete" miscarriage

A "complete" miscarriage means all the pregnancy tissue is gone from your uterus. It could have passed on its own or your doctor may have performed a D&C (dilation and curettage), a procedure that physically removes that tissue from your uterus. In some cases, medications (usually misoprostol and mifepristone) can help complete a miscarriage.

However, if fragments of the placental tissue remain in the uterus after a miscarriage (or, more rarely, after a D&C) miscarriage bleeding may continue a few days later. This doesn’t mean your period has returned; it’s a continuation of a pregnancy loss. Your periods will not return to normal until this pregnancy tissue is gone.

When will I ovulate?

Since ovulation happens before you get a period in any given cycle, ovulation can occur as soon as two weeks after an early pregnancy loss. But not all women ovulate during their first cycle after a miscarriage. If you do not wish to become pregnant again right away, talk to your doctor about birth control.

What will my period look like?

Your first period after a pregnancy loss is often a little different than usual. It may be:

  • Accompanied by discharge with a strong odour - It’s perfectly normal to experience brown discharge for a few days after you have your period. This is old blood leaving your body.

  • Heavier than usual

  • Longer than usual

  • More painful than usual

What PMS symptoms can I expect?

Hormonal fluctuations after a miscarriage can be quite significant. Sometimes the emotional symptoms women experience after a pregnancy loss may be similar to those of postpartum depression. Research suggests about 20 per cent of women have symptoms of anxiety or depression following a miscarriage, especially those with a history of depression and those who don’t have good social support systems.

So can I start trying to conceive again?

The return of your period is one of the first signals that your body is ready to start trying again. But most doctors recommend waiting at least a cycle or two, or two to three months, after your miscarriage before you begin trying to get pregnant again so that your body can have time to heal, and so that you can get your nutritional reserves back up to where they should be to conceive. Even when you're physically ready to get pregnant again, however, you may or may not feel emotionally ready. Only you and your partner can decide if you’re emotionally ready to try for a baby again.

How likely am I to conceive after a miscarriage but before my first period?

The good news is, It is still possible to get pregnant even after a pregnancy loss! But keep in mind that the return of your period doesn’t necessarily mean the return of ovulation. It’s possible that you may have one or more anovulatory cycles after a miscarriage (which means that you get your period but you haven’t actually ovulated). To figure out if you’re ovulating, you’ll need to begin tracking your cycles and looking for signs of ovulation again.

We recommend waiting until after your first period to resume charting ovulation. Until then, your readings will likely be all over the place and not very reliable.

When to see a doctor

The basic rule is to see a doctor right away if you think you have miscarried. You may need to undergo a procedure to remove any remaining fetal tissue from your uterus. If your period remains abnormal for multiple cycles, or if you're having severe pain or other concerns associated with your period, you should let your doctor know.

Also if it has been longer than 2 or 3 months since your miscarriage and you haven't yet had a period, you should inform your doctor.

Be sure to contact your doctor if you're experiencing any of the following signs:

  • Appetite changes

  • Fatigue and low energy

  • Irritability or restlessness

  • Loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, guilt, or helplessness

  • Persistent pains or digestive problems that do not respond to treatment

  • Problems in concentrating and making decisions

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Thoughts of suicide

In summary

A miscarriage is challenging to deal with both physically and emotionally. After a miscarriage, it takes about a month for your body to adjust back to its normal state. During that time, you may experience an unusual first period, which is rarely a sign of a problem. If symptoms persist for longer, seek medical attention.

Stay informed, stay in control Hope this was helpful!

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