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Many women who have recently had an abortion ask how soon after the procedure they can get pregnant again, either because they wish to avoid pregnancy or because they are planning to try to conceive. 

Abortion After Care Means Avoiding Intercourse

Women who have undergone a vacuum abortion and those who had a medical abortion are both advised to refrain from inserting anything into their vagina for a week. You are likely to experience bleeding or at least spotting during the first two weeks and perhaps beyond, and the advice to avoid inserting objects into the vagina is part of a protocol to minimize your chances of infection while your body heals from the procedure. 

That means you should abstain from sexual intercourse for at least seven days after your abortion, as well, and hence cannot try to conceive right away. 

Return To Ovulation After Abortion

You may be able to get pregnant as soon as two weeks after an abortion. How soon your ovulation returns depends on the method used to carry out your pregnancy termination, however. 

Women who had a vacuum aspiration abortion will ovulate again an average of 29 days after their abortion. Those whose abortion was induced with mifepristone and misoprostol will usually ovulate again three weeks after the procedure, despite the fact that these drugs involve anti-progestins that were once believed to have the ability to cause disturbances in the menstrual cycle for a time. 

What Does This Mean?

It means that you should assume that you can get pregnant as soon as you resume sexual intercourse. Average timetables for the return to ovulation are just that — some women will ovulate earlier. 

If you would like to get pregnant again as soon as possible, I would advise you to attend your three-week follow-up appointment before trying to conceive from a medical point of view. Emotionally, it is up to you how soon you feel ready to get pregnant again, but at least consider giving yourself time to process your pregnancy termination before taking the plunge. 

Those women who wish to avoid pregnancy can discuss contraceptive options with their abortion provider even before undergoing the procedure. If you have not chosen a long-term form of birth control (yet), use condoms while you decide what other contraceptive options may serve you well. 

Does Having An Abortion Have A Long-Term Impact On My Fertility?

If your abortion was carried out by a licensed, skilled, and experienced provider, it is highly unlikely to have any impact on your future fertility.

The only scenario in which an abortion can harm your future chances of conception is if you develop an infection after your pregnancy termination. 

Please get in touch with your provider right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Severe abdominal pain that feels qualitatively different from menstrual cramps
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

It is always better to prevent infection in the first place, and you have an important role to play in that. Don't have sex for a week, don't insert tampons or use vaginal douches, and shower rather than immersing yourself in bath water that may contain pathogens. 

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