Supporting the return of fertility after a miscarriage

Experiencing a miscarriage can be a time of deep sadness, grief and helplessness. The juxtaposition from the joy of finding out you’re pregnant, brimming with new life and preparing for a new future to that reality suddenly stopping and now facing deep grief and loss is unlike anything else in the human experience. 

 

Women have always held the balance between life and death in their bodies however, despite this history as long as time, there is very little support and cultural knowledge on how to support a woman and family through processing and grieving a pregnancy loss. 

 

Every woman’s experience of a loss will be different. Some may want to wait a while before trying to conceive again and others may want to try again as soon as possible. Neither is right or wrong and is totally up to the individual. 

 

The menstrual cycle reestablishing after a miscarriage can also vary from woman to woman.

 

This can depend on whether she experienced a spontaneous miscarriage where the bleeding may last for days or weeks and may take time to completely pass, a D&C (the surgical procedure of dilation and curettage), or a combination of the two. 

 

The time for the pregnancy hormone HCG (as well as oestrogen and progesterone) to come back down to baseline can also vary from woman to woman and can influence when her menstrual cycle will return. 

 

Some women may ovulate as soon as two weeks after a miscarriage, for others it may take 4-6 weeks. Noticing cervical mucus changes can give you insight into when your body may be gearing up for ovulation again and tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) will help 

you to definitively confirm when your ovulation has taken place, taking out the element of guesswork. 

 

When supporting the return of the menstrual cycle and fertility after a loss, the first step is fully allowing the process of the loss to take place. Give the body time it needs to process, heal and recalibrate. 

 

Once any bleeding has completely finished and hormones have returned to baseline, we can typically expect the process of ovulation to promptly begin again and for the menstrual cycle to re-establish for most individuals. 

 

Some ways to support ovulation, fertility and menstrual health after a loss are: 

 

Tend to your nervous system

Experiencing a pregnancy loss can be a traumatic event for many, and has the potential to give rise to ongoing stress relating to future fertility as well as the grief of the loss. Nervous system support is crucial here, to not only support a feeling of safety in the body but to also support the hormonal dance of ovulation and the menstrual cycle. 

Some ways that may be helpful to support this include speaking regularly with your partner, trusted family, friends or even a therapist to help process how you’re feeling and moving through this time. Physical body work such as acupuncture, massage, chiropractic and shiatsu to name a few provide direct support and regulation to the nervous system. 

 

Nutrition

After a pregnancy loss, no matter how far along it was, you are still postpartum. Focus on lots of nutrient-dense, warm, cooked foods to soothe and support your body. This is no time for restriction, but deep nourishment. Reaching out to friends and family to help you with some cooking or meal drop-offs may feel supportive for you during this time. 

 

Sleep

The deepest healing always happens whilst asleep. Nurturing your sleep will not only help your body to recover and heal but support your hormonal health and fertility on a deep level, from supporting egg quality, hormone production and regulation to reducing inflammation and supporting your metabolism. 

Aim to reduce your screen time in the hour or two before sleep, try to be asleep before 10pm, and start your day outside with the light hitting your eyes to help set your circadian rhythm (even if it’s only a minute or two!) and aim to keep consistent sleep/wake times. 

 

Keep up with your prenatal and other supplements

If you were on a specific supplement regime during pregnancy, check with your practitioner first, but it’s likely to continue to benefit you during this time of healing and re-establishing your menstrual cycle. Many nutrients found in high-quality prenatals including b vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium and much more are not only beneficial during pregnancy but also for supporting optimal ovulation and menstrual health. 


No matter where you are along your journey to starting or growing your family, at Femtek we are here to support you.

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