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Contraception after miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy

After a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (the pregnancy starts outside the womb), you may need time to recover both physically and emotionally.

  • Early miscarriage (during the first 3 months happens) occur in approximately 20% of pregnancies - read more here
  • There are lower rates of late miscarriage - read more here.
  • Ectopic pregnancies can occur in 11 out of every 1000 pregnancies - read more here 

You may wish to try again for a baby straight away, and this is fine if you and your partner feel physically and emotionally ready.

Some women/couples may need more time in between pregnancies and if this is the case, it's important to start contraception as soon as possible after the miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

Which type of contraception should I choose after my miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy?

Most methods of contraception are available immediately after a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

Intra-uterine contraception (‘coils’) may not always be suitable straight away after an ectopic pregnancy - this depends on the type of treatment that was given.

As always, your contraception should be one that best meets your current needs and circumstances. It's important to take into account your medical history and lifestyle (eg smoking, weight etc)

The type of contraception may also depend on your future plans for trying again for a baby and when you might feel ready.

Have a look at our contraception choices page and then chat to your GP or one of our sexual health nurses who will help you if you have any questions or need advice. You can register for a telephone advice call back here or by calling 0300 1235474. If you know what you want, you can also book an appointment online too.

What if my GP or nurse doesn’t ask me about contraception after my miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy?

You may well have an opportunity to talk about whether you’d like to start contraception after your miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy with your GP or nurse. However some health care professionals may be reluctant to ask women about their contraception choices, as they worry about upsetting their patients at such a difficult time.

Please do ask about contraception as your health care professional will be most happy to help and advise you.

How long should I wait before trying to get pregnant again after a miscarriage of an ectopic pregnancy?

There are not a lot of studies on fertility after miscarriage, but experts say that a woman can ovulate (release an egg from her ovaries) as early as 8 days after a miscarriage.

There is no need to wait if you and your partner feel physically and emotionally ready to try again. Some studies have shown it’s actually better to get pregnant again within 6 months of a miscarriage

After an ectopic pregnancy, fertility can return within a month.

If you have been given a treatment called methotrexate for an ectopic pregnancy, it's very important that you use an effective method of contraception during the treatment and for 3 months afterwards, as the treatment can be harmful to a developing baby.

The most effective methods of contraception are LARC (Long acting reversible contraception) methods. You can book an appointment online for contraception, including LARC.

Additional information

Last updated: 20/05/2020