Pregnancy after Abortion: What are Your Chances of Conceiving?

Conception After an Abortion – Is It Possible?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Nina Mansukhani (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Conception can bring lots of happiness to you and your family. However, involuntary abortion or miscarriage may take away your bundle of joy. However, the good news is that you can always plan for a baby again.

Is It Easy to Get Pregnant After an Abortion?

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. 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?” We’ll 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.

How Soon After an Abortion Can I Get Pregnant?

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 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 the 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.
  • 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 a few stitches to keep the cervix closed.

Unwanted Pregnancy

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 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 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.

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.

How to Confirm Pregnancy after Abortion

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.

An 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.

Also Read: How To Terminate Pregnancy After 1 Month

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