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Timing of Conception after Losing a Pregnancy can affect Live Birth Rates, Study Says

Update Date: Jan 13, 2016 11:39 AM EST

Attempting to conceive within a few months after losing an early pregnancy can increase a couple's odds of getting pregnant and having a live birth, a new study is reporting.

For this study, the researchers from the National Institutes of Health set out to examine whether or not the timing of conception after losing a pregnancy that lasted less than 20 weeks affected the chances of having a live birth.

The team compared people who tried to conceive within three months to those who waited more than three months. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends women to wait at least six months after losing an early pregnancy before trying to get pregnant again.

The team looked at data taken from the Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction trial that analyzed the effects of taking a daily low-dose aspirin on reproductive outcomes. The trial, which lasted from 2007 to 2011, had recruited 1,228 women between the ages of 18 and 40 who had a history of pregnancy loss.

From this sample, the researchers focused only on 1,083 women. 99 percent of this group had a history of losing an early pregnancy. At least 76 percent of the women had attempted to conceive within three months of losing an early pregnancy.

The researchers then compared pregnancy and live birth rates in women who did not wait to conceive to those who did. In the group who did not wait more than three months, 69 percent of them had gotten pregnant and 53 percent had live births. The two rates were much lower in the group of women who waited more than three months to try to conceive. In this group, 51 percent got pregnant and 36 percent had live births.

The researchers added that women who tried to conceive earlier did not seem to have an increased risk of pregnancy complications.

"While we found no physiological reason for delaying attempts at conception following a pregnancy loss, couples may need time to heal emotionally before they try again," Karen Schliep, Ph.D., the primary author of the study, noted reported by Medical Xpress. "For those who are ready, our findings suggest that conventional recommendations for waiting at least three months after a loss may be unwarranted."

The study's findings were published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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