Chances of Conceiving After an Abortion

Conception can bring lots of happiness to you and your family. However, involuntary abortion or miscarriage may take away your bundle of joy. If this happens, you should avoid getting depressed as you can always plan for a baby again.

Is It Easy To Get Pregnant After an Abortion?

Abortion does not affect the fertility of a woman and the ovulation process continues even after. This means that getting pregnant after an abortion is very much possible. However, abortion, when done in an improper manner, may develop complications like trauma to the bladder and intestines and lead to long-term damage of the reproductive system. These complications mainly arise if the surgeon is unskilled or lacks the necessary tools to carry out the procedure.

How Soon After an Abortion Can I Get Pregnant?

Are you thinking, “When can I conceive after abortion?” We’ll tell you. Ovulation is a natural phenomenon. As soon as the normal cycle of ovulation resumes after abortion, you have a chance of conceiving again. If you have not used any birth control measures, you can get pregnant within 7-10 days post abortion, even if you are still bleeding. But, this is not recommended as the body needs to heal itself.

How Soon After an Abortion Can I Get Pregnant?

It is advisable to wait for a minimum of 3 months before you try for a baby again. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both mother and child. Your body will also need time to recover from the trauma. Your doctor will recommend a few investigations and pre-natal care to rule out the reoccurrence of miscarriage.

If you had a surgical abortion or a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) procedure, your gyneacologist will advise you to wait for at least a month to allow the uterus to repair itself. If your abortion was in the second or third trimester, the doctor might recommend waiting longer, so that the body is well rested. You may also be prescribed supplements like folic acid to reduce the chances of neural tube defects in the next pregnancy. If there were no medical complications, then pregnancy after abortion is totally 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 case of:

  • An incomplete termination 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, 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 for 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 curette during D & C procedure. In case of extensive scarring, it may lead to infertility; it is termed as ‘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. However, there is no extensive research to support the theory.
  • If you have had a history of multiple abortions, you may have a cervical weakness which could be because of dilation of cervix done during the procedure. This may be treated by few stitches to keep the cervix closed.

Unwanted Pregnancy

Does a Past Abortion Make It Difficult to Conceive?

There isn’t sufficient evidence to prove that abortion or repeat abortions interfere with future pregnancy. If you plan to get pregnant and your uterus is ready to conceive, there’s nothing to be worried about.

Some couples choose to abort if they are not prepared to start a family or because of medical reasons. Pregnancy post abortion will require precaution and planning. Couples are often worried whether an abortion can affect their chances of getting pregnant.

  • Due to advancement 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 Are the Risk Factors?

Abortion, if handled professionally, does not carry any risk factor and should allow a woman to have a normal second pregnancy. Sometimes, it may pose pregnancy problems after abortion. These can be handled by taking proper care and precautionary measures.

Am I At More Risk 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 the worst cases, the fallopian tubes get blocked, making natural conception impossible.

Getting Pregnant After an Abortion

Here are some tips for safe pregnancy after abortion:

  • Speak with your doctor to ensure safe pregnancy post abortion.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and quit smoking, drinking and lower your caffeine intake. An optimal level of fitness will lead to a healthy pregnancy.
  • An active sex life can increase your chances of pregnancy.
  • Keep track of your ovulation and have frequent sex during this period. You can buy an ovulation kit or download an ovulation tracker app on your smartphone.
  • Post-intercourse, elevate the feet and hips by placing a pillow under the bottom and help the sperm reach the eggs.

How to Confirm Whether You’re Pregnant Again After An Abortion?

How to Confirm Pregnancy after Abortion

A simple pregnancy kit can help determine pregnancy. A test kit can show positive results for about a month after abortion even if you haven’t conceived. If you’re unsure, repeat the test after a week.

Things to Know While Planning a Baby After Abortion

If you are trying to conceive again, you should take a few precautions.

  • Have a detailed discussion with your gynaecologist or fertility expert. You may be advised a check-up of your reproductive system and your physical and mental readiness to handle the pregnancy.
  • Multiple abortions may weaken your cervix. You can get a stitch to keep the growing baby safe. You can also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by including Kegel exercises to your routine.
  • If you recently had an abortion, allow your body to heal and prepare for the next pregnancy. Conceiving too soon after an abortion may cause stress to the body. The loss of an unborn child can also have a psychological impact which could lead to anxiety and consequently affect the healthy development of the fetus.
  • If you are not ready for pregnancy, ensure you use contraceptives.
  • You need to be mentally prepared to have a baby as you would be dealing with hormonal changes, erratic periods, and mood swings post abortion.
  • Consider assisted pregnancy if you are unable to conceive after trying. Consult a fertility expert on options like IVF and IUI.

An abortion doesn’t necessarily mean that pregnancy is no longer possible. Due to the taboo nature of the topic, many people tend to believe wrong things about abortions. As long as they are performed at authorised clinics, they are perfectly safe and don’t affect the health of the mother.

Also Read: How To Terminate Pregnancy After 1 Month