Pregnancy loss may impact you and your partner (if you have one) in different ways. One common response is a reduction in sexual desire, and it is important to know that this is normal.
Things to consider about sex after a miscarriage
Individuals and couples who have experienced a miscarriage often report feelings of hesitancy towards resuming sexual activity, for both physical and emotional reasons. What is most important is that you take care of yourself, and keep the lines of communication open.
What factors influence when someone can start having sex again?
Sex after miscarriage is a very personal and individualized situation. That being said, there are some physical and mental factors that most people will want to take into consideration after experiencing any kind of pregnancy loss.
After a pregnancy loss, women are generally advised to maintain ‘pelvic rest’, including no tampon use or sexual activity, for two weeks after miscarriage. This is partially due to the fact that the cervix and uterus are more dilated in the weeks following a miscarriage, which makes infection more likely. A pelvic exam from a provider is the best way to know for sure if you’re medically ready to have sex again. Sexual activity can typically be resumed after this time. However, a healthcare provider may give different recommendations about when it’s safe to resume sexual activity based on their assessment and your experience.
Many people don’t feel quite ready to start having sex again for some time after a miscarriage. This is very normal. Open, honest conversation between partners should be encouraged in order to remain connected and work through these feelings.
Your healthcare provider is a valuable resource to help you determine when it is safe to resume sexual activity and, if you’re ready, to try and conceive again if that is something you want. Your provider will base their recommendation on multiple factors including the type of loss, the gestational age at the time of loss, and the your personal experience.
When does the menstrual cycle return?
You may ovulate as soon as two weeks after a miscarriage, but it is also normal for ovulation to take longer to resume. Healthcare providers usually recommend waiting at least one menstrual cycle before trying to conceive again, and that people not try to conceive until they feel emotionally healed. These recommendations may be different for those who have had more than one miscarriage. As always, it’s a good idea to ask your healthcare provider for their opinion about when it’s safe to start trying again. In the meantime add a safe method of protection, if that’s necessary for you, until you’re cleared.
It’s normal to experience a shift in mood, or strain in a relationship after a miscarriage. While short- and medium-term grief and sadness are expected, if you’re experiencing grief or depression lasting for months and it’s impacting your ability to perform daily activities, seek the help of a specialist. There are many options to get the help you need. This could be a therapist, a psychiatrist, a support group, or a combination of them; the most important thing is that you feel comfortable talking to your healthcare provider about how you’re feeling and any concerns you may have. Sexual activity after loss might be emotionally or physically difficult at first, but as long as both partners are respectful of one another and understand where each other are at in the healing process, things will get easier over time.
- “When can I resume sex after a miscarriage or pregnancy loss?” UTMBHealth. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, 2016. Web.
- “How soon can couples have sex again after a miscarriage?” ISSM. International Society for Sexual Medicine, 2016. Web.
- “Getting pregnant: when is the best time to get pregnant after a miscarriage?” MayoClinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, May 17 2016. Web.