The ideal time for getting pregnant after undergoing a miscarriage is within six months of the event, according to a study conducted at the University of Aberdeen.

The Scottish researchers reason that the six months following miscarriages is ideal because the women can have healthy pregnancies during this period with fewest complications. The new findings contradict the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation asking women to hold pregnancy by at least six months after suffering a miscarriage.

"Our data showed, that at least in Scottish women, there is no justification in delaying a pregnancy following an uncomplicated miscarriage," says lead researcher Dr. Sohinee Bhattacharya, a lecturer in obstetric epidemiology at the University of Aberdeen, Dugald Baird Centre for Research on Women's Health at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital in Aberdeen.

"This research will help healthcare providers counsel women regarding timing of future pregnancies and will allow couples to make informed choices based on hard evidence," Bhattacharya says.

The WHO recommendations need to be revisited as these guidelines may still be applicable to women in developing countries, the researchers say in their study published in the August 5 online edition of the British Medical Journal.

To arrive at this conclusion, Aberdeen researchers analysed data collected from 30,937 Scottish women who had had miscarriages in their first pregnancy and then became pregnant again between 1981 and 2000.

They found that women who got pregnant again within six months were less likely to miscarry again, to have to terminate the pregnancy or to have an ectopic pregnancy compared with women who got pregnant six to 12 months after their miscarriage.

However, the researchers found a higher risk of induced labour among those who had miscarriages.

For those who conceived within six months also had lesser chances to have a caesarean delivery, or a premature delivery or a low birth weight baby, the researchers say.

They observed some risks in delaying pregnancies after a miscarriage. "Women over 35 are more likely to experience difficulties in conceiving, and women aged 40 years have a 30 percent chance of miscarriage, which rises to 50 percent in those aged 45 years or more. Any delay in attempting conception could further decrease their chance of a healthy baby," particularly in developed countries, can be problematic, researchers say.