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How Long After Miscarriage Do You Get Your Period?

It is helpful to know how long after miscarriage do you get your period, so you are not caught unaware when you begin spotting blood.  In this article, we’ll answer this and other post-miscarriage questions. 

The time during and after a miscarriage can be one of deep emotional upheaval. You may be feeling guilty, angry, or fearful for your next pregnancy. 

You may be feeling ready to try to get pregnant again, or you may be wanting to take a break after your loss. All of these emotions and thoughts are normal. 

If you’ve recently miscarried, the first thing you should know is that you’re not at fault. 

Besides the grief, your body is also making some adjustments post-pregnancy. Physically, your body will attempt to return to its natural rhythm. 

Fluctuating hormones after a miscarriage often lead to abnormal periods in the first month or two. These changes can swing your emotions as well. 

Everyone experiences this time differently. Here are some common experiences you can expect for your  first period after miscarrying. 

What to Expect From Your First Cycle after Miscarriage

After miscarrying, many women may not ovulate again for a month or more. For women who lost a pregnancy in the 13th week, it may be possible to ovulate in the weeks following a miscarriage. Remember that it is possible to get pregnant if you ovulate. It’s important to use birth control if you are not wanting to get pregnant right away. 

Your first period after a miscarriage may be later than you’d think.

You can start expecting your first period 4-6 weeks after miscarrying. For some women, it may  come a little later than that. 

Most miscarriages happen before 12 weeks. If you were nearing the end of the first trimester, or into the second trimester when the miscarriage happened, your first period may take longer to return. 

This is because of the higher levels of hCG at these  points in pregnancy, which will take longer to return to baseline. 

The timing of the  first period after miscarrying also depends on when the miscarriage became “complete.” 

This period of completion refers to when  components  of pregnancy, including the placenta, have been shed through bleeding. 

This process can happen quickly if the pregnancy was in its  early stages. In later-term miscarriage, your body may take weeks to fully release all the tissues of pregnancy. Your body will only resume the menstrual cycle once this process is complete. 

About half of all miscarriages require medical intervention for the complete removal of  all pregnancy tissue. This is called a Dilation and Curettage (D&C). In a D&C, the cervix is dilated so that the uterine lining (or endometrium) can be scraped with a curette. 

This procedure ensures that the uterus isn’t holding on to any pregnancy tissue, and it also prevents infection and bleeding. If your miscarriage happened before 10 weeks, it is probably complete and you won’t need a D&C. Miscarriages that happen after 10 weeks may require a D&C.  

You can expect an irregular flow during your first period after a miscarriage.

Whenever your first period after miscarriage happens, you can expect it to be irregular. This may not be like your usual menstrual flow. If you’re used to lighter periods, you may notice this one is heavier, and vice versa. 

Some women have a heavier period, called  menorrhagia, after miscarrying. This is because ovulation hasn’t occurred, and so the endometrial lining can be thicker than normal. The release of this lining can cause a period that is both heavier and longer. 

Along with this heavy flow, you may notice that you’re passing more clots. This is normal and comes with shedding a thicker uterine lining. 

For other women who have lighter periods after miscarrying,  other symptoms like cramping and bloating can still be severe.  

A lighter period after miscarrying is not usually a problem. But pay attention to other consecutive  cycles after the first one.  

It’s rare, but a condition called Asherman’s syndrome can happen in women who undergo a D&C after miscarriage. This is when scar tissue forms inside the uterus and takes up space on the uterine lining. Consult  your doctor if you notice several light periods after miscarrying. 

You may have more cramping and pain than usual.

For many women, their first period after a miscarriage is more painful than others. You may notice your breasts are more tender or swollen as well. 

This is  because the endometrial lining is thicker, so the uterus has more to shed. But even women who have a lighter first period can have extreme pain and cramping. 

Other Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms may be more severe as well. You may notice more extreme  mood swings, food cravings, acne, and fatigue. 

Your flow may last longer than usual.

For instance,  if your typical period lasts t 5 days, your first period after a miscarriage may last 7 days or more. 

Again, this is because the uterine lining has gotten thicker than usual, so you have more tissue to shed. If this happens during your first period, it is generally not something to worry about. 

If you notice several longer periods after miscarrying, it is best to  tell your doctor about it. This can be a sign that your cycle is being thrown off by endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

You may have spotting or bleeding between miscarrying and your period.

The remaining pregnancy tissue in the uterus can cause spotting and bleeding before your first period date after miscarriage arrives. 

So don’t be surprised if you notice some bleeding or pink discharge in the meantime. This is normal, as your body is shedding all the tissues built up for pregnancy. 

You may notice more pain with bleeding. Taking a break from sex, using a heating pad, and avoiding tampons may be good ways to treat pain. 

If your period is taking months to return, let your doctor know. Other things to talk to your doctor about are intense pain and mood swings, as well as profound emotional distress after a miscarriage. 

Hormonal Changes After a Miscarriage

After a pregnancy loss, your hormones fluctuate before returning to their regular rhythm. 

Some of these hormonal changes depend on the timing of a miscarriage and how far along the pregnancy was. 

Since most miscarriages happen before 12 weeks, pregnancy hormones like hCG wouldn’t have  had the chance to peak yet. Women who miscarry early may return to their normal cycle more quickly. 

As your hormones stabilize in the weeks between miscarrying and your period, you can experience intense emotions. 

The grief of losing a pregnancy can even mimic postpartum depression and anxiety.  Hormones can make the stress of losing a pregnancy even worse.  

If you’re having severe  mood dips  after miscarrying, see your primary care provider. These emotions are normal, but you shouldn’t have to experience them alone. It would help to keep your emotional support systems close. 

When Can I Try to Get Pregnant Again After Miscarriage?

The discourse over this question is conflicted.  Usually,  doctors recommend waiting  one or more menstrual cycles to pass before getting pregnant again. This is meant to give the body time to regulate back into a normal fertility cycle before beginning a new pregnancy. 

However, recent research has found that there may not be evidence to support this advice. 

In a retrospective study, there was no difference between women who waited to get pregnant after miscarrying and women who didn’t. Women who conceived earlier were no more at risk for miscarrying again than women who waited. 

But while your body may be physically ready for another pregnancy, it may be  you’re not emotionally ready yet. 

The World Health Organization recommends waiting at least six months after miscarrying to try for pregnancy again. This gives women time to heal both  emotionally and physically from the loss. 

It is best to keep your healthcare provider in the loop,  if you have a complex medical history.  

Consult with your doctor after miscarrying for specific recommendations on post-miscarriage care and when you can try to get pregnant again. 

For women who miscarry several times, see your doctor about extra precautions to avoid miscarrying again. 

A few habits can make you more at risk for miscarrying, such as smoking, heavy caffeine intake, STD’s, and diabetes. Limiting your exposure to harmful substances and getting treated for other disease can decrease the odds of miscarrying. 

Summary:

  • Between miscarrying and your first period, you may be experiencing major  physical and emotional changes. 
  • How long after your miscarriage do you get your period depends on several factors, such as how far along you were in your pregnancy. 
  • Your first period after miscarrying will likely be irregular. It may be later, heavier, and more intense than your usual periods. 
  • The hormone fluctuations after miscarrying can make the grief after a pregnancy loss even more intense. 
  • Some doctors and health organizations recommend waiting several months to get pregnant again after a loss. Your doctor may have specific recommendations for when you should attempt another pregnancy. 

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