How soon can you be pregnant after an abortion?
Have you heard the rumours that it’s nearly impossible to get pregnant after an abortion throughout Australia? These are misconceptions you shouldn’t believe. The truth is that it is possible to become pregnant after having an abortion. So how soon is it actually safe to try again?
To answer this question accurately, we’ll examine how abortion affects ovulation and fertility when you can get pregnant after abortion and share reliable tips for getting pregnant safely and efficiently after having an abortion. So, whether you are in Australia or other parts of the globe, you will find these answers helpful.
Is it possible to get pregnant after an abortion?
Yes. Any woman can get pregnant after an abortion, whether they had a medical or surgical abortion.
If you recently had an abortion and are not ready to have a child soon, you can still get pregnant right after the procedure. For this reason, you need to use protection every time you have sex.
If you have undergone an abortion recently and still want to conceive in the future, understand that abortion will not affect your chances of getting pregnant at any point in your life. You can safely carry a pregnancy to full-time and have children after an abortion.
How does abortion affect ovulation?
Generally, abortions do not have an impact on fertility or ovulation. Remember that before the abortion, ovulation will have stopped because of the pregnancy. After an abortion, your body will automatically restart the menstrual cycle. This means that you can ovulate and have your periods within weeks after an abortion.
How soon can you ovulate following an abortion?
There isn’t a standard duration that you expect to ovulate after undergoing an abortion procedure. Everyone’s body is different, and some cycles can last for 21 days while others last up to 40 days.
Let’s assume your cycle starts the day after the procedure. If so, you can expect to ovulate within the next two to three weeks. A study on women who had a medical abortion and used drugs misoprostol and mifepristone revealed that ovulation could return approximately three weeks after the procedure.
If a woman was further along in the pregnancy and had to undergo surgical abortion, it may take longer to ovulate. This occurs because the pregnancy hormones remain in the body for several weeks after the procedure hence prolonging the beginning of another menstrual cycle.
When will the menstrual cycle become normal after an abortion?
The menstrual cycle can resume right away after an abortion. However, since every woman’s body is different, some women may get their period again within four weeks, while others may have to wait up to 12 weeks for their menstrual cycle to bounce back to normal.
If you do not get your period within 8 to 12 weeks after an abortion, you should consider speaking to your doctor for further guidance.
Does abortion affect fertility?
If you aborted sometime in the past or recently, you might be concerned about your capability to get pregnant again or the impact of the procedure on your fertility. We will share some common questions about infertility and abortion below to ease your concerns.
How does abortion impact future pregnancies?
When you have a legal and safe abortion, you will not negatively impact your fertility in the future. As suggested by this research, you should be able to get pregnant, maintain a healthy pregnancy, and deliver successfully.
But in some cases, there’s a probability of developing a condition known as a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This occurs in cases where an infection spreads throughout the uterine tubes, womb, and ovaries following the procedure. If you develop PID, the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy or infertility will increase.
If you want to prevent PID, you should follow these tips:
- Make sure you receive a surgical or medical abortion from an authorised medical provider
- Do not try self-induced abortion
- Familiarise yourself with the early signs of PID (fever, painful urination, severe pelvic pain, foul-smelling discharge, and yellow or green discharge)
- Inform your doctor immediately you notice any of these symptoms
If your abortion was done surgically, your doctor will have prescribed a round of antibiotics to ensure you do not have infection problems in the first place. But it is still essential to know the warning signs of an infection following an abortion to minimise the risk of developing PID.
How soon can one get pregnant after an abortion?
Since the menstrual cycle can resume immediately following an abortion, it is possible to get pregnant right away. If you ovulate within two to three weeks, you can technically become pregnant in a month after the abortion procedure.
But it is important to remember that everyone’s body and timeliness varies, so the earliest chance of getting pregnant after an abortion will vary from one woman to another. If you’d like to prevent pregnancy, you will need to take birth control straight away, and this should be done before you have unprotected sex again.
What are your chances of conceiving after the termination of pregnancy?
Abortion will not affect your chances of conceiving in the future unless you have some complications during the procedure. This means you are likely to get pregnant in the future, even after having an abortion.
What risks are associated with getting pregnant following an abortion?
The risks of conception you may face after an abortion are few and usually depend on the kind of abortion procedure.
If you have undergone a medical abortion (a process that involves taking oral medication at a doctor’s office or home), the risk of complications with future pregnancies will be lower. This means the chances of experiencing difficulties during the pregnancy, having an ectopic pregnancy, giving birth prematurely, losing the pregnancy, or having a low-weight baby are low.
Suppose you had a surgical abortion (a procedure that involves using tools to remove the fetus through the vagina). In that case, the risk of having pregnancy complications in the future is slightly higher. One study revealed that women who underwent dilation and evacuation had a slightly increased risk of premature delivery or a low-weight baby. Doctors usually recommend having an abortion early in the pregnancy (to qualify for medical abortion) to avoid such complications.
Guidelines to help you get pregnant following an abortion
Regardless of the kind of abortion you had, it is normal to want to conceive at some point in your life. Here are various tips you can use to navigate pregnancy post-abortion.
Allow your body to heal
Abortion usually takes a toll on your physical body and affects your emotional well-being. This is why it is vital to ensure the body and mind recover fully from the experience. Giving your body and mind sufficient time to heal is good for your health and critical for the safety and health of other future pregnancies.
So make sure you wait until your menstrual cycle becomes regular (which takes a few months) before you try to get pregnant. Due to the hormonal fluctuations, it’s common to experience increased feelings of irritability and fatigue, sleeping problems or have cases of depression or anxiety – all these feelings impede the efforts of conceiving in the future.
If you realise you struggle to cope with the emotions after the termination of pregnancy, you should prioritise your mental health by seeing a counsellor. Taking some time off work and joining support groups will also help with the healing process. Once you are emotionally and physically ready to conceive, you can have a conversation with your doctor before having unprotected sex with your partner.
Ensure you ovulate regularly
One surefire way to increase your chances of getting pregnant is to track your ovulation and plan your sex schedule accordingly. This technique will come in handy if you recently had an abortion because it may take some months or weeks for your ovulation patterns or cycle to return to normal.
You can monitor your ovulation over time to understand your cycle better. Here are some common techniques you may use:
The calendar method – This method involves tracking the dates of your period to calculate your ovulation day (you may need to do this for several months to understand your cycle).
The basal body temperature method entails taking your body temperature early in the morning before any activity to detect a slight increase in the temperature, which usually happens 12 hours after ovulation.
Finding the best way to track your ovulation may take some time, but you will understand your menstrual cycle better with a bit of patience. This will increase your chances of planning a pregnancy after an abortion.
Plan your pregnancy attempts carefully
If you manage to understand your cycle and can predict ovulation, you will know the days you are most fertile. Planning to have sex during this period with your partner will increase your chances of conceiving.
Generally, there are about six days in a cycle when you can conceive. This is what doctors call the fertile window, and it begins around five days before you ovulate and ends 24 hours after ovulation. If you want to maximise your chances of getting pregnant, you should aim to have sex as much as possible during this fertile window.