A woman's menstrual cycles usually return to normal a short time after miscarriage. In general, a woman can expect to begin menstruating within four to six weeks of having a miscarriage. This is not the case for all women, however, and some women begin menstruating much sooner. For example, some women may have a period as soon as two weeks after having a miscarriage. The first menstruation after miscarriage is usually a normal period, although some women notice this first period is a bit lighter or heavier than usual.
The bleeding a woman experiences during a miscarriage is not a period. Instead, a woman bleeds because her body is emptying the contents of her uterus and shedding the lining that was to nourish the developing infant. This bleeding may be heavy for a time and then taper off to spotting. Some women experience heavy bleeding again after the initial miscarriage bleeding has stopped entirely. In some cases, this may mean that some tissue has been left behind in the woman’s uterus. To rule this out, a woman who experiences this should usually contact a doctor for advice.
Some doctors recommend that a woman consider the number of days since her miscarriage in determining whether she is resuming menstruation, or possibly experiencing a miscarriage complication. In general, bright red vaginal bleeding that occurs after miscarriage bleeding seems to end — but sooner than 20 days after a miscarriage — may be cause for concern. Bleeding that occurs at least 20 days after a miscarriage may be a woman’s first menstruation after miscarriage. To be sure the body is returning to normal and make sure undetected pregnancy tissues have not been left behind in the uterus, a woman would do well to seek a follow-up visit with her doctor within a few weeks of having a miscarriage.
When a woman has a miscarriage, she will probably have to deal with emotional turmoil in addition to the changes her body goes through as the result of a pregnancy loss. The emotional distress typical of miscarriage may be present without regard to whether a pregnancy was planned or not. If a pregnancy was not planned and a woman is not ready to have children, she may eagerly await her first period as a sign that her body is getting back to normal. If a woman is hoping to conceive a child, however, she may look forward to resuming menstruation, as it represents the chance for her to try to conceive again. Unfortunately, a woman cannot be sure how quickly she will return to normal menstruation after miscarriage, and some women’s bodies take longer than others.