When Can You Get Pregnant Again After Having a Medical Abortion
According to the international statistics, about 10 % of abortions cause various gynecological diseases, and 7% of women who have had abortions suffer from infertility. In order not make part of this sad statistics, get pregnant and bear a child, you should be aware of possible complications and ways to prevent them.
Consequences of Abortion
Despite the fact that nowadays an abortion is considered an ordinary surgery, the complications are still very common, they are mainly caused by a hormonal imbalance rather than by medical errors. They can lead to changes in the menstrual cycle, diseases of thyroid gland, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, mammary glands, affect fertility.
Risks of negative changes are particularly high in nulliparous women. It is proven that if a woman who already has children undergoes an abortion, her body needs about three months for rehabilitation, while in a nulliparous woman this process takes up over one year.
In addition, there is an increased likelihood of endometritis, inflammatory diseases of the uterus and its adnexa, cervix and mucous membrane, which can result in miscarriages in subsequent pregnancies.
Fertility After an Abortion
Any abortion may cause complications in subsequent pregnancies. For example, it may cause the inability of the uterus to retain a pregnancy (the so-called cervical insufficiency) due to a cervical injury. The risk is particularly high if the first pregnancy was interrupted.
Another reason for infertility is the change in hormonal regulation, which may result in the lack of hormonal support in the subsequent pregnancy. This often manifests in the lack of progesterone, a "female" hormone, which to a certain extent "is responsible" for the development of the fetus in early pregnancy.
The endometrium is traumatized during abortion, while its good condition is essential for the placental development. The ovum can attach only in the parts of the endometrium that don’t feature injuries, adhesions, thinning. Often after an abortion, such “healthy” places are located only in the lower uterus that subsequently causes low-lying placenta and the occurrence of a cervical pregnancy that ends up with an abortion.
The endometrium thinning after an abortion increases the risk of improper placental formation that can result in the insufficient supply of the fetus in nutrients and oxygen and the growth retardation. If the uterine walls are significantly thinned (usually after several abortions), the risk of its rupture increases.
Finally, we should mention the asymptomatic at the first sight, but important complication of Rh sensitization, that may occur if the abortion was carried out after the sixth weeks of pregnancy. If the woman is rhesus negative and the fetus is rhesus positive, during the abortion a number of rhesus-positive red blood cells can get into the mother's blood, leading to the formation of antibodies. If the fetus in a subsequent pregnancy will be Rh positive, these antibodies can affect its development and even cause the intrauterine death.
Preparing for Pregnancy After an Abortion
Despite that all of mentioned above complications are very serious, you can prevent them following certain rules. Abstain from sexual intercourse for three weeks after the abortion in order to minimize the risk of infecting the injured uterus.
It is important to avoid overheating and overcooling, measure the body temperature daily and immediately contact your doctor in case of fever, pain and discharge, delayed or anticipated menses. Pay special attention to the genital hygiene, change underwear as often as possible. Avoid swimming in open water and in pools.
The specialists advise to postpone a new pregnancy for six months after an abortion. Before the conception, consult your gynecologist to pass tests and examinations and if necessary undergo a course of treatment for the inner layer of the uterus (endometrium). The doctor can also adjust the tactics of the pregnancy follow-up after an abortion.
Finally, perhaps the most important condition for reducing the risk of complications and threats for subsequent pregnancies: abortion should only be performed in specialized clinics, respecting the following terms:
- up to 6 weeks of pregnancy it is possible to have a medical abortion, the least traumatic one;
- up to 5 weeks – a mini-abortion by vacuum aspiration, also minimally traumatic;
- up to 16 weeks – a surgical abortion, the most dangerous and risky.
Video: Can I get pregnant after an abortion?