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I Can't Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage – Am I Normal?

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I Can't Get Pregnant After a Miscarriage – Am I Normal?

May 09, 2019

For couples attempting to conceive, a miscarriage can be a tragic setback. A minority of couples may find it difficult to conceive again. Is that normal? Or is something else causing conception difficulties? Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones says most couples are likely to get pregnant again within the next year. For those still having trouble, it may be time to visit a fertility specialist.

Episode Transcript

Interviewer: You had a miscarriage and you're trying again, but for whatever reason, you can't get pregnant again. Is this normal? We'll find out next, on The Scope.

We're talking to Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones, the expert on all things woman. Dr. Jones, the scenario is, you and your partner got pregnant. For whatever reason, unfortunately got a miscarriage and you're trying again, but it's been a while and you can't get pregnant again. Is this normal?

Dr. Jones: Okay, good question, and the answer is, it depends.

Interviewer: It always depends.

Miscarriage Rates

Dr. Jones: It all depends. So the rate of miscarriage in healthy couples under 35 is about 15 percent. It's very common. And if people got pregnant relatively easily, it means they weren't taking years to get that pregnancy that miscarried, they got pregnant easily, then it is not normal for them not to be able to get pregnant again. And the vast majority of people get pregnant again.

Miscarriage & Ovulation

Now, sometimes, the miscarriage is a sign of an underlying problem. So let's take the 40-year-old who took three years to get pregnant. She miscarried, she can't get pregnant. Now it's been a year or two. That miscarriage was probably a sign, along with that three years of trying, that she was running out of eggs. And now, she's kind of more run out of eggs.

So sometimes a miscarriage is a sign of an underlying problem that's getting worse, and in fact, it's true for sperm problems. So men with abnormal sperm can have more miscarriages, and in the process, their sperm is getting more abnormal. So it was sort of abnormal and they had a miscarriage, and now it's really abnormal, they're not getting pregnant.

Interviewer: So it can depend on both the woman and the man.

Dr. Jones: Right.

Interviewer: Okay.

Infection After Miscarriage Treatment

Dr. Jones: And lastly, sometimes the treatment for a miscarriage. For example, let's say you miscarried, you passed some tissue you didn't pass at all, so they had to go in, you had a little infection in your uterus, so they did a D&C, and in the process of doing that D&C in a scarred, in an infected uterus, the uterus got scarred. And so that can be the cause of the secondary inability to get pregnant.

But for the majority of people who are not old, and they got pregnant easily, and they miscarried, the majority of them, 85 percent to 90 percent, will be pregnant again within a year. So not getting pregnant is not normal.

updated: May 9, 2019
originally published: June 29, 2017