Conceive after abortion: Dos and don'ts

Is it possible for a woman to conceive after abortion? Experts answer some hard-hitting questions

In all the battles that an Indian woman fights in her lifetime, abortion is the one battle she wins and loses simultaneously. And it is because of this physical and emotional dilemma, that women contemplate two possibilities.

  1. Will I ever conceive after abortion?
  2. How soon can I conceive after abortion?

Experts suggest that to conceive after abortion is not difficult. But women must be informed of all the risks involved.

conceive after abortion

Abortion involves detachment of the embryo from the uterine wall, followed by contraction of the uterus and pushing out of the embryo

Is it safe to conceive after abortion?

Abortion, if performed by a certified medical practitioner under proper guidance is usually a safe procedure. It does not affect fertility in any way.

Dr Rahul Manchanda, consultant gynae endoscopic surgeon at Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI), Delhi, says, “Conceiving after abortion is quite possible. One must only fear complications if the procedure did not go well and damaged reproductive organs like ovaries or the fallopian tubes.”

Risk Factors post abortion

He adds that India witnesses many cases of unsafe abortions that have resulted in complications. “In addition, abortion drugs are being sold off-the-counter by chemists. This privilege is being misused and it can lead to several medical complications.”

According to a recent data by Ipas, India; unsafe abortions are killing one woman in every two hours. Therefore, a thorough consultation with the gyneacologist is must before you go in for an abortion.

Continue reading to know more about the risk factors involved post abortion.

Dr Manchanda of Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI), Delhi, lists the following risks. These are especially true for an abortion that is carried out post 21 weeks, which is the last week of legal abortion:

  • Excessive bleeding: An abortion that is done after the legal 21 weeks time period can create serious haemorrhage or excessive bleeding problems in women. Studies have shown that excessive bleeding occurs in about one in every 1,000 abortions. This lends the body iron-deficient. However, excessive bleeding does not affect a woman’s ability to conceive in the future.
conceiving after abortion

An abortion that is done after the legal 21 weeks time period can create serious haemorrhage or excessive bleeding problems in women

  • Cervical damage: This is the damage to the entrance of the womb. Experts suggest that this damage happens to 10/1,000 abortions. This happens when a surgical procedure is undertaken to remove the feotus from the womb. It can also happen, if you have undergone repeated abortions. If you opt for D&C, it can cause scarring in the uterus. This damage could mean that conception in the future would become difficult.
  • Infection: Abortions without medical guidance can also lead to infections or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This kind of complication can affect fertility and even cause death in some cases.

Note: However, let’s not forget that even though unsafe abortions can risk future conception and even fertility in women, it must be clarified that a medical abortion carried out under proper medical supervision does not risk either fertility or future conception.

Cooling-off period post abortion

Experts advise that apart from being aware of such complications, women should abstain for sometime before trying to conceive.

“We advise women to wait for at least a period of three months. This is done to give time to the body and mind to regenerate and fix deficiencies caused by the procedure,” says Dr Manchanda.

He lists the following two reasons because of which women are suggested this cooling-off period: 

  • Reduce medical risks: Women are given this time period because if somebody had an abortion due to medical reasons then both the mother and the child are at high risk of future medical complications.
  • Reduce life risks: Women may choose to abort in case where they or their baby is already in danger.

“In both cases, the decision to get pregnant early can put her in grave danger,” says Dr Manchanda of PSRI, New Delhi. However, he adds there it is not impossible to get pregnant almost immediately after an abortion.

Watch this video to understand how safe it is to conceive after abortion:

How soon can I conceive after abortion?

Remember that although a three-month cooling-off period is best for the mother and child, it is possible to conceive almost 7-10 days after the abortion. Here’s why:

  • If no birth control is employed, you can conceive as soon as your normal ovarian cycle resumes. Therefore, if you do not want to get pregnant again, use birth control or consult your doctor on how to prevent another pregnancy.
  • Early medical abortion can also enable early pregnancy almost immediately. Therefore, waiting at least a month after surgical abortions is recommended.

Continue reading to know about precautions for a quick recovery.

Precautions for speedy recovery

Since abortion is a physically and emotionally challenging period, you must take the 9 following precautions to recover faster:

  • Consume plenty of fluids including water, juices, soup and fruits that contain high amount of water
  • Avoid heavy-lifting for about three-weeks in order to give time to the uterus to heal
  • Consume antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor in order to avoid further infections
  • Avoid exercising for at least two weeks post the abortion
  • Avoid hot baths and saunas so that the inner lining of the uterus can remain dry and infection-free
  • Avoid using tampons, douching or sex for about two to four weeks post abortion
  • Consult your doctor for plan future pregnancies and birth control
  • If the woman aborts after nine weeks of pregnancy, then she may experience release of milky fluid from breasts. In such a case, you should wear a snug bra till the problem persists.

Once you follow these precautions, you can try your luck at conceiving after abortion.

conceive after abortion

Try light exercises and yoga asanas to boost fertility and to keep fit in order to conceive after abortion

How to conceive after abortion?

  • Consult your doctor: Post abortion, you must remain in touch with your doctor to share your daily progress report. This will help you know of any complications that may develop, if at all.
  • Use precautions for damage during abortion: In case you have had to suffer damages during the abortion, you must consult with the doctor and use optimum precautions.
  • Keep fit: Try light exercises and yoga asanas to boost fertility and to keep fit in order to conceive after abortion. It will rejuvenate your mind and body.
  • Start sexual activities: You can resume sexual activities once the cooling-off period is over in order to conceive after abortion. Increased frequency of sex can increase your chance of becoming pregnant.
  • Abstain for a few weeks: Even though you should increase your sexual activities after the cooling-off, you should refrain from it before this cooling-off period.
  • Use ovulation kit: You can use ovulation kits to monitor your menstrual cycles to conceive after abortion. This will help you keep a tab on the day you can get pregnant.
  • Use bed rest to lie straight: During this cooling-off period you can place a pillow below your hips to relax. This will ease the method to conceive after abortion.

Experts recommend that you be extremely careful with your body in case you want to conceive after abortion. This means that you must keep yourself fit and eat recommended highly nutritious food that can also boost your immunity.

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