Conception After an Abortion – Is It Possible?
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- Is It Easy to Get Pregnant After an Abortion?
- How Soon Can I Conceive After an Abortion?
- Can an Abortion Cause Infertility?
- Does Abortion Affect Fertility?
- What If I’ve Had More Than One Abortion?
- When Does the Pregnancy Test Show Accurate Result After Abortion?
- Tips to Get Pregnant After an Abortion
- Things to Remember While Planning for a Baby
- Can You Reduce the Pregnancy Complications After Abortion?
- When to Consult a Doctor?
Conception can bring lots of happiness to the family. However, involuntary abortion or miscarriage may take away your bundle of joy and all the dreams and joys. The common question after a miscarriage or abortion is whether it’s possible to conceive after an abortion. However, the good news is that you can always plan for a baby again. This topic carries emotional weight and requires sensitive handling as individuals seek reassurance and understanding. In this article, we’ll delve into the factors affecting conception post-abortion, care tips, precautions, and provide insightful information for those seeking answers to getting pregnant after abortion.
Is It Easy to Get Pregnant After an Abortion?
‘Can you get pregnant after abortion?’ is a pretty common question women think of at least once in their lifetime. To tell you the truth – abortion doesn’t affect the fertility of a woman, and the ovulation process resumes after an abortion. This means that getting pregnant after an abortion is very much possible. One thing to note here is that having an abortion may slightly increase the chance of preterm delivery in future pregnancies. However, when an abortion is done in an improper way, it may lead to complications like trauma to the bladder and intestines and long-term damage to the reproductive system in rare cases. More than these, it is an infection which can clog the tubes later. These complications mainly arise if the surgeon is unskilled or lacks the necessary tools to carry out the procedure.
How Soon Can I Conceive After an Abortion?
Are you thinking, “When can I conceive after an abortion?” Let us tell you—as soon as ovulation resumes after the abortion, you can conceive again. If you haven’t used birth control measures, in rare cases, you can get pregnant within 7-10 days if you are ovulating. But, this is not recommended as the body needs to heal itself.
Doctors recommend waiting for a minimum of 3 months before trying for a baby again. This is to ensure the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby.
If you had a surgical abortion or a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) procedure, your gynaecologist will advise you to wait for at least a month to allow the uterus to heal. If your abortion was in the second or third trimester, the doctor may recommend waiting longer so that you’re well-rested. You may also be prescribed folic acid supplements to reduce the chances of neural tube defects in the next pregnancy. If there were no medical complications, then pregnancy after an abortion is safe.
Can an Abortion Cause Infertility?
Having a miscarriage takes a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. If the abortion was legally performed by a skilled surgeon, you should not have any issue conceiving whenever you are ready for pregnancy. However, the chances of conceiving a second-time decrease if the termination was done illegally or by untrained doctors, midwives, or in unclean conditions. There could be complications, like infections, scarring or incomplete abortion, resulting in major health risks to the woman.
Infertility problems are caused in the case of:
- An incomplete termination is where the pregnancy has ended, but remnants of the fetus have not been removed completely. Thus, increasing the risk of infections, scarring and complications.
- In some cases, if the D&C procedure is not done correctly and with care, the chances of damage to the uterus while cleaning are high.
- Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection that can set in post-abortion. If not treated on time, it can cause blockage around or inside the fallopian tubes and enhance the risk of ectopic pregnancy.
- There could be scarring inside the uterus or on the apex of your cervix (opening of the uterus). If you miss your periods or have light periods post-procedure, it could be due to scarring. Your doctor may test for scarring through hysteroscopy, a procedure whereby a tiny camera is passed through the cervix to the uterus to verify any such signs. The doctor may repair the scarred tissue simultaneously. Abnormal scarring of the uterus may be caused by scraping of the uterus with a curette during the D & C procedure. In case of extensive scarring, it may lead to infertility; it is termed ‘Asherman’s syndrome’. In theory, Manual Vacuum Aspiration will eliminate this risk, as there is no involvement of scraping. Similarly, Suction Abortion / Suction Curettage will reduce the risk of scarring.
- If you have had a history of multiple abortions, you may have cervical weakness, which could be because of dilation of the cervix done during the procedure. This may be treated with a few stitches to keep the cervix closed.
Does Abortion Affect Fertility?
Abortion doesn’t generally interfere with a future pregnancy. If you plan to get pregnant and your uterus is ready to conceive, there’s nothing to be worried about.
Due to advancements in medical sciences, abortion is now a safe procedure. When performed under proper medical regulations and by an expert, it does not affect future fertility. If abortion has been illegally or incorrectly performed by an inexperienced doctor, there are chances of infection or damage to the reproductive organs like the fallopian tubes, ovaries or uterus lining.
Abortion involves dilation of the cervix; if done repeatedly, it can weaken the cervix and lead to premature dilation. Besides, multiple D&C procedures could lead to scarring inside the uterus or at the top of the cervix.
What If I’ve Had More Than One Abortion?
Women who have had more than one abortion are at an increased risk of infection after the procedure. In some cases, the fallopian tubes get blocked, making natural conception impossible.
When Does the Pregnancy Test Show Accurate Result After Abortion?
If you take a pregnancy test shortly after abortion, it may give false results as there remain traces of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the body for some time. After an abortion, the hCG levels tend to decline but still may take about days to weeks to return to baseline.
You can take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after the end of your pregnancy, as about this time, a home pregnancy test may give an accurate negative test result. Therefore, if you happen to find a positive test result in a home pregnancy test after the 3 weeks of the end of pregnancy, it may be the case of a new pregnancy. To be 100 percent accurate, it is best to get a blood test done by a healthcare professional.
Tips to Get Pregnant After an Abortion
Here are some tips for safe pregnancy after an abortion:
- Speak to your gynaecologist before planning for a baby.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and quit smoking and drinking. Lower your caffeine intake.
- Having an active sex life with your partner increases the chances of pregnancy.
- Have sex frequently when you’re ovulating. You can buy an ovulation kit or download an ovulation tracker app on your smartphone.
- Post-intercourse, elevate your feet and hips by placing a pillow under your buttocks.
Things to Remember While Planning for a Baby
If you’re trying to conceive again, you should take a few precautions:
- Have a detailed discussion with your gynaecologist or fertility expert. You may also have to get your reproductive system checked.
- Think about whether you’re physically and mentally ready to handle pregnancy again. If you’re not ready for pregnancy, use birth control methods like condoms or contraceptives.
- If you’ve had multiple abortions, you can get a stitch to keep the growing baby safe. You can also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises.
- If you had an abortion recently, allow your body to heal and prepare for the next pregnancy. Conceiving too soon after an abortion causes stress and anxiety, consequently affecting the development of the fetus.
- If you’re unable to conceive after an abortion, consult a fertility expert for IVF or IUI.
Can You Reduce the Pregnancy Complications After Abortion?
Many healthcare experts suggest holding the decision to have sex until the bleeding from the miscarriage has stopped (which can last for around 2 weeks or more) and the woman has got at least one menstrual period. Delaying sex immediately after the abortion or miscarriage can reduce the risk of potential infections.
It gets very important to delay the decision to conceive in cases when the abortion takes place in the later stages of pregnancy or if any complication results after the abortion.
When to Consult a Doctor?
After abortion, if you experience any of the following, you should immediately consult your doctor:
- Heavy bleeding
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Cramps or discomfort
- Fever after several days of the procedure
- Abdominal pain
Post-abortion checkup for any complication or infection is an ideal way to stay healthy and reduce infertility complications in the future.
1. How to Cope Up With Emotions After Abortion?
Abortion can stir up all kinds of emotions and wreak havoc, and emotional healing is as important as physical recovery. The experience of abortion can impact mental health, potentially affecting the ability to conceive. While it is important to remain calm during this time, it is also necessary not to ignore any emotion or feeling during this time so it does not bundle up and eventually harm women.
Seeking support from professionals or support groups can aid in emotional recovery. Whether it is family, friends, support groups, forums, therapies, or healthcare providers, women can choose any safe space to channel their emotions for the free flow of energy.
2. Should I Mention a Previous Abortion to My Doctor or Midwife?
You don’t need to share your past abortion with medical professionals, but it’s advisable during pregnancy for a complete medical history to be shared with your doctor so that they can diagnose you better and keep an eye on anything unusual. It’s a normal topic, nothing to be embarrassed about, and it can remain private. You can discuss it confidentially with a midwife or doctor, even in a one-on-one appointment.
In the journey of life, each individual’s path is unique. While the question “Is it possible to conceive after abortion?” doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer, understanding the factors involved empowers individuals to make informed choices. Abortion doesn’t close the doors to motherhood. As long as it’s performed at an authorised clinic, you shouldn’t have a problem conceiving again. With patience, emotional support, and medical guidance, many women who have experienced abortion can go on to have healthy pregnancies and fulfilling family lives.
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4. Can having an abortion affect my fertility?; NHS; https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/can-having-an-abortion-affect-my-fertility/
5. What happens; NHS; https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/miscarriage/what-happens/
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7. Will a past abortion affect my pregnancy?; Tommy’s; https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/ask-a-midwife/will-past-abortion-affect-my-pregnancy