Women who conceive within six months of a miscarriage are more likely to have a successful pregnancy than those who wait longer, according to new analysis.
The findings are contrary to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines that recommend waiting at least six months.
The comprehensive review by the University of Aberdeen found that pregnancies were most successful if conceived within half a year of a miscarriage.
The meta-analysis confirms an earlier study by Dr Sohinee Bhattacharya and colleagues that found conceptions within six months of a miscarriage were less likely to result in another miscarriage or a subsequent pre-term birth.
Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy), low birth weight babies and stillbirths were no different in conceptions within half a year and those after that timeframe.
Dr Bhattacharya, who led the meta-analysis, said: “This review of all the published research to date shows categorically that conceiving within six months after a miscarriage is best.
“In 2010 we were the first to report that conceiving straight after miscarriage was more successful than waiting.
“Subsequently, more papers came out finding the same thing, which is why we did a comprehensive review of all available research.
“Contrary to WHO guidelines, recommending at least six months’ wait after a miscarriage, our meta-analysis of all published studies on this subject to date shows definitively that less than six months is best.
“It is not clear why this is the case — one explanation might be that if somebody has had a miscarriage they might take particularly good care of themselves, be more motivated and may even be more fertile — but that is just speculation at this point. “
The meta-analysis is published in the Human Reproduction Update journal.
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