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A miscarriage is a physically and emotionally traumatic event for a woman and her partner- healing both physically and emotionally can take a while. Getting back to routine life and trying to have sex with your partner after experiencing a miscarriage can be a challenging task. This article talks about how long to wait to have sex for the first time after a miscarriage,whether it is safe to have sex after a miscarriage, learning to deal with the emotional trauma, and also gives tips for getting pregnant post a miscarriage.
When Is It Safe to Have Sex After a Miscarriage?
The waiting period to resume sex after a miscarriage varies for each couple on the basis of the time required for physical and emotional healing. A couple can resume sex once they feel emotionally ready and after the woman’s body has completely recovered.
Typically, if miscarriage occurrs in the first trimester and there are no complications like pain, vaginal odour, bleeding or continuing symptoms of pregnancy, sex can be resumed after 2 to 3 weeks. However, if miscarriage occurrs in the second or third trimester, it is better to wait at least 6 weeks to resume sexual activity.
Learning to Deal With Your Emotions After a Miscarriage
Apart from dealing with physical changes after a miscarriage, a woman has to deal with strong emotions too. It is quite normal to feel sad, anxious, angry, guilty or irritable after a miscarriage. These conflicting emotions may make it difficult for you to be intimate with your partner again, and that is perfectly normal.
The 5 Stages of Grief After a M iscarriage
The aftermath of a miscarriage is emotionally trying for a couple. Although time and comfort heals wounds, understanding the stages of grief can help you and your partner cope with the emotional upheaval.
Denial is the first stage of mourning. Your mind may deny the tragedy, and that might make it difficult for you to come to terms with what has happened.
Once the realisation of having lost your child hits you, anger may take the place of denial. You may replay the events of the fateful day in your head and blame yourself or others for it.
In this stage, you may ask yourself, “why me?” and turn towards a higher power or God. Some women also tend to strike up a bargain (mannat) with God to return her child.
Strong, negative emotions may spiral into depression. You may start feeling like there’s nothing left to live for.
However, there are good things waiting to come. Most couples accept the situation and move on. They also understand that the sooner they stop grieving, the sooner they can try for another pregnancy.
Explain to your partner how you feel and ask for support.
Give yourself ample time to recover from the emotional pain caused by this devastating event. It is also prudent to be open about your feelings with your partner and family. Seek grief counselling or couples counselling if necessary. Discuss with your partner and decide if you are ready to try for a second pregnancy.
When Can You Try for Another Pregnancy?
Most doctors advise couples wanting to get pregnant again to wait till the first menstrual period following a miscarriage. This usually takes up to four weeks. A woman’s body requires this time to ensure that the hormone levels return to normal after a miscarriage. Also, once your regular menstrual cycle resumes, you can calculate your fertile period accurately. So ideally, you should wait at least a month post miscarriage to begin trying to conceive again.
How long you should wait before trying for a second pregnancy also depends on the time required for physical healing. Some women may experience vaginal bleeding for a few weeks after miscarriage. Whether or not it is painful, it is better to abstain from sex until the bleeding has completely stopped, so as to reduce the chances of infection.
Some women may have to undergo surgical removal of the pregnancy tissue which requires a longer healing period. Also, the cervix and uterus remain partly dilated post miscarriage, making them vulnerable to infections. Hence, doctors advise against sex and use of tampons until these organ heals completely. This healing process may take up to two weeks.
In case the cause of miscarriage is identified and found to be treatable or recurring, then the next pregnancy should be planned after addressing the cause.
Tips for Getting Pregnant Post a Miscarriage
- Take Prenatal Vitamins: Start taking prenatal vitamins, especially folic acid, at least a month before you start trying to conceive Note that this medication should be prescribed by your doctor.
- Wait Until You Have Completely Healed: Make sure you have recovered physically and are emotionally ready for pregnancy Talk to your doctor and do not hesitate to seek trauma counselling or bereavement support if you require help to overcome the emotional pain of miscarriage.
- Healthy Diet and Regular Exercise: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables with your meals. A healthy diet will help to lower the risk of further miscarriages significantly. Exercise regularly to remain fit.
- Avoid Harmful Substances: Avoid alcohol, nicotine and drugs. Limit or preferably avoid caffeine intake. All these substances can increase the risk of miscarriages and cause other complications in pregnancy.
- Relax and De-stress: According to research studies, stress increases the risk of miscarriages significantly. Try to relax and remain stress-free by doing yoga andbreathing exercises, reading a book, going for a walk or indulging in any other activity that makes you feel calm and happy.
- Wait to Resume Sex As Per Your Doctor’s Instructions: Follow your doctor’s advice and wait before resuming sexual activity. If you are experiencing vaginal bleeding after the miscarriage, wait until it has completely stopped. Take carewhen you have sex for the first time after miscarriage bleeding. In case the bleeding resumes, stop having sex and consult your doctor.
- Healthy Sex Life: Studies show that having sex at least thrice a week increases the chances of getting pregnant considerably. You can use an ovulation kit to determine your fertile period. Having sex at least 3 to 4 days before and on the day you are ovulating can improve your odds of becoming pregnant.
- Preconceptional low dose aspirin should be started 3 months prior to trying again.
Going through the event of a miscarriage is an agonising experience for a couple. Healing physically is not enough to resume intimacy and start trying to get pregnant again; you have to give yourself time to overcome the emotional pain. Discuss your worries, fears and other feelings with your partner candidly. When you feel emotionally ready to take on the challenge of motherhood again, consult your doctor. Take prenatal vitamins and resume trying to conceive once your doctor gives you the go ahead.