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Is It Safe to Have a Pregnancy After Abortion?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2016
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The safety of pregnancy after abortion is individually determined, and is best discussed with an obstetrician or gynecologist. A legally performed abortion that yielded no complications is typically treated much like a miscarriage. Women are asked to wait at least three months before they try again for a pregnancy, or longer if the abortion was mid or late term. If the abortion was illegal or if a woman suffered complications, she may need to wait longer. Provided there are no medical complications that might interfere with pregnancy, as assessed by a physician, pregnancy after abortion is usually safe.

Not every woman waits three months after a first term abortion, and it’s hard to judge the safety of not waiting. Giving the body time to rest is usually thought wise. Some women may get pregnant before their periods have even reestablished themselves, anywhere from four to six weeks or later after an abortion has occurred. The safety of pregnancy after abortion in these instances can be evaluated based on numerous factors. First, it is very important to take folic acid prior to conception to help prevent numerous neural tube defects that may occur. In one way, pre-conception behavior can matter very much to the fetus.

The reason for quickly getting pregnant again needs to be scrutinized. Some women have had to get an abortion due to medical reasons, which means if these still exist there may be risk to mother and child. Alternately, some women seek to make up for an abortion they regret by quickly getting pregnant again, and this may not be the most psychologically sound choice. Also, if a woman found herself aborting because she feared for the life and safety of a new baby in certain living scenarios, the choice to quickly get pregnant again may still engender these risks for the child and the mother if her circumstances haven't changed.

Pregnancy after abortion may be more complex when women have had multiple abortions. Sometimes a high number of abortion procedures can cause scarring, which has the potential to prevent pregnancy. There is not necessarily a specific number of abortion procedures, although many believe that three or four abortions may make it less likely that conception or the ability to carry to full term will occur. This varies, though, and it’s quite possible that women can have healthy and safe pregnancies after multiple abortions.

Things may change if licensed medical practitioners did not perform the abortion, and at these times, pregnancy after abortion may be most risky. Illegal or backdoor abortions have a reputation for causing problems like scarring, incomplete abortions, and infections. If a woman has had one of these at any time in her life, she may be less likely to have a safe pregnancy. It is strongly advised that women don’t have these procedures, but if they have already had one, they should plan to disclose this to an obstetrician or gynecologist and get advice on whether it is safe to conceive.

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