Women who have suffered a miscarriage are sometimes told by their doctors to wait six months before conceiving again to reduce the risk for another miscarriage.

But: New research suggests that this advice, which is based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, is misguided.

The new study included more than 30,000 women who had miscarried in their first pregnancies.

Findings: Compared with women who delayed their second pregnancies for six months or more, those who conceived again within six months were significantly less likely to have another miscarriage...have an ectopic pregnancy in which the embryo starts to grow in a fallopian tube or elsewhere outside the womb)...need a Cesarean section...give birth prematurely...or have a baby with a low birth weight.

Caveat: It is possible that some of the women who conceived more than six months after their miscarriages did so not by choice or on the advice of their doctors, but rather because they had trouble getting pregnant again and that this fertility problem also negatively affected their birth outcomes. However, given the large number of women included in this study, it is unlikely that this would be the only explanation for the results.

Bottom line: This study is good news, especially for women over age 35. Given that fertility decreases with age, not having to wait six months after a miscarriage can significantly boost the chances of being able to conceive again.

Editor's note: Some US doctors advise waiting two months to conceive again so that the uterine lining has time to regenerate-talk to your obstetrician.

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