Pregnancy After Abortion: What You Need to Know

Is it possible to get pregnant after an abortion?

A woman considering an abortion may wonder about any effects it may have on future pregnancies. In most cases, abortion does not affect fertility and other pregnancies.

There are two methods of abortion: medical abortion and surgical abortion. Research shows that abortions do not affect fertility and the risks associated with both types are low. Most of the time, women who have had abortions can have healthy pregnancies.

A woman can become pregnant immediately after having an abortion. Anyone who does not want to become pregnant within weeks after an abortion should use contraception.

Does abortion affect future pregnancies?

Typically, the answer is no.

The risk of medical abortion appears to be lower than the risk of surgical abortion, but this may be because medical abortions are more common during early pregnancy. In general, having an abortion early in pregnancy reduces the risk of complications.

Medical abortion involves taking medication, and women tend to use this method in the first trimester. A combination of mifepristone and prostaglandin drugs has a success rate of up to 99%.

Medical abortion is relatively safe. Research shows that it does not increase the risk of future pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, pregnancy loss, or ectopic pregnancy involving the embryo attaching somewhere beyond the uterus.

Surgical abortion, also known as dilation and curettage, involves the removal of the fetus with an instrument called a suction and curette.

In rare cases, surgical abortion can result in injury to the uterine wall. Doctors call it Asherman syndrome. If scarring occurs, it may be more difficult to get pregnant again.

How soon after an abortion can you get pregnant?

Ovulation can occur 2 weeks after the abortion. This means that a woman can get pregnant again before her next period. However, menstrual cycles vary in length, and women with shorter cycles may ovulate earlier.

It is necessary to use contraception to prevent pregnancy immediately after an abortion. According to American Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a woman can use any method of contraception, including an intrauterine device, immediately after the pregnancy is over.

Anyone wondering if they are pregnant right after an abortion should take a pregnancy test. If the result is positive, it is important to see a doctor who can determine if there is a new pregnancy or if there are residual pregnancy hormones.

Security and risks

Abortion is safe when it occurs as early as possible in pregnancy.

Serious complications are unlikely to occur from either type of abortion. One study found that 2.1% of women who had abortions had complications and 0.23% had serious complications.

Where complications do occur, further treatment may be needed to reduce the risk of problems in the future.

After abortion (including both methods), many doctors recommend waiting for the bleeding to stop before having sex again. Bleeding after abortion can last for 2 weeks or more.

Some doctors recommend waiting until at least one menstrual period has come and gone. Postponing sex will help reduce the risk of infection.

In some cases, it is necessary to delay having sex for a longer period of time, especially if the abortion occurred later in pregnancy or if there are complications.

Getting pregnant after abortion

Women can get pregnant within 2 weeks after an abortion. For those who are ready to become pregnant again, there is usually no medical reason to delay trying to conceive unless the doctor advises otherwise.

Women do not need to do extra things to get pregnant after an abortion.

However, some doctors recommend waiting until your first period is over. This will make it easier to predict the due date of the next pregnancy.

Women who have had an abortion for medical reasons may seek a full medical evaluation before trying to conceive again. The checkup can help determine if they will experience similar problems with future pregnancies.

When are post-abortion pregnancy tests accurate?

Shortly after an abortion, a pregnancy test may give a false positive result. This occurs because the body still contains significant levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

While hCG levels tend to drop rapidly after an abortion, it may take several days or weeks for them to return to baseline.

Usually, a home pregnancy test shows an accurate negative result 3 weeks after the pregnancy ends.

If the pregnancy test shows a positive result after 3 weeks, this may indicate a new pregnancy. To be sure, see a doctor who can do a blood test or ultrasound.

Summary

In most cases, abortion does not affect fertility or future pregnancies. It is possible to ovulate and become pregnant within 2 weeks after an abortion.

In rare cases, surgical abortion can injure the uterine wall or damage the cervix. These complications can make it harder to get pregnant again. They can also increase the risk of future pregnancy loss, premature birth, or low birth weight.

However, both medical and surgical abortions are low risk. The right method will depend on the stage of pregnancy and your personal preference. A medical professional can assist with this decision.

Anyone who has questions or concerns about pregnancy after an abortion should speak to a doctor.

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