How soon after a miscarriage can you have sex?

Originally Published: December 22, 2000 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 16, 2015
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Dear Alice,

How long to wait for sex after a miscarriage? What if you already had sex too soon after a miscarriage? What will happen if you did?

Dear Reader,

Typically, the longer the pregnancy lasted before miscarriage, the longer the recommended waiting period before inserting anything into the woman's vagina — this includes a penis, finger, tampon, or sex toy. After a miscarriage, a woman is more susceptible to infection because the uterus and cervix remain partially dilated. If a woman is exposed to bacteria before the healing process is complete, the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, cervix, and vagina could potentially become infected. It's also possible that bleeding can reoccur. If you have already had intercourse without consulting your health care provider, it is highly recommended to make an appointment as soon as possible to ensure that you are healthy and not experiencing any complications.

Women's experiences with miscarriage may vary. For some, a miscarriage may occur within the first three to four months of pregnancy. If there are no complications — such as heavy bleeding, pelvic pain, vaginal odor, fever, or even continued pregnancy symptoms — sexual activity can resume two to three weeks afterwards. For others, a miscarriage may take place in the last five months of pregnancy. If this is the case, a woman needs to wait at least six weeks. However, regardless of when the miscarriage occurs, women are advised to see their health care provider for a pelvic exam before having sexual intercourse again.