Can you conceive post abortion? Fertility experts answer | Health - Hindustan Times
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Can you conceive post abortion? Fertility experts answer

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Apr 17, 2024 06:19 PM IST

Understanding your fertility is important whether you are aiming to conceive or looking to prevent pregnancy. Know whether you can conceive post abortion, here

The choice to undergo an abortion is intricate and numerous women opting for it may still desire to start a family later on but understanding your fertility is important whether you are aiming to conceive or looking to prevent pregnancy. Typically, an abortion has minimal impact on fertility, allowing you to conceive, experience a healthy pregnancy and safely deliver a baby but given the prevalence of misinformation surrounding abortions, acquiring accurate information is crucial.

Can you conceive post abortion? Fertility experts answer (Photo by Shutterstock)
Can you conceive post abortion? Fertility experts answer (Photo by Shutterstock)

How does abortion affect future pregnancy?

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Sandeep Talwar, Fertility Specialist at Nova IVF Fertility, In Delhi's Vasant Vihar, shared, “Abortion, whether medical or surgical, can impact future pregnancies, with the risk and severity of complications dependent on the chosen method and pregnancy stage. Medical abortion, using drugs like mifepristone and prostaglandin, is common in the first trimester, while surgical abortion, or dilation and curettage (D&C), involves suction and a curette. Surgical abortions pose a higher risk of complications, including infections, cervical tears, uterine perforation (leading to Asherman syndrome), bleeding, and retained tissue. Safety is highest with early abortions, as complications increase as pregnancy progresses, underscoring the importance of early intervention.”

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Talking about abortion’s impact on fertility, he said, “Numerous studies suggest that abortions generally do not have a significant impact on fertility, and the risks associated with both medical and surgical procedures are low. Most individuals who have undergone abortions often proceed to have healthy pregnancies in future. However, a slight risk to fertility exists if the abortion procedure leads to a womb infection. While the possibility of a womb infection is extremely rare after a medical abortion, it is more common following a surgical abortion, as any surgical procedure carries some risk of infection.”

In the event of a womb infection, Dr Sandeep Talwar asserted, “Timely and proper treatment is crucial and if managed accurately, there is typically no cause for concern. However, if left untreated, a womb infection can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection affecting the female upper genital tract, including the womb, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. In certain instances, PID can lead to scarring and narrowing of the fallopian tubes, potentially hindering the passage of eggs into the womb. This scarring increases the risk of infertility and gives rise to complications such as ectopic pregnancy.”

How soon can you conceive after an abortion?

Dr Shweta Wazir, Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynecology at Motherhood Hospitals in Gurgaon, answered, “After an abortion, the timing of conception largely depends on several factors, including the type of abortion procedure, the individual's reproductive health, and any underlying medical conditions. Generally, fertility can return relatively quickly, often within a few weeks to a couple of months. Following a medication abortion, fertility may resume once hormonal levels normalize, typically within a few weeks. Surgical abortions, such as aspiration or dilation and curettage (D&C), may involve a brief recovery period, after which fertility typically returns within a month or two.”

According to her expertise, listed below are the factors that can influence a woman's ability to conceive after an abortion -

1. Type of Abortion Procedure: The method used for termination, whether surgical or medical can affect how quickly fertility returns.

2. Reproductive Health: Pre-existing conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or uterine fibroids can impact fertility post-abortion.

3. Age: Age plays a significant role in fertility, with women in their 20s generally having higher fertility rates compared to those in their 30s or older.

4. Hormonal Balance: Hormonal fluctuations post-abortion can temporarily affect ovulation and menstrual cycles, influencing the timing of conception.

5. Uterine Healing: The uterus requires time to heal after an abortion, particularly after surgical procedures, to ensure optimal conditions for implantation and pregnancy.

6. Emotional Readiness and Healthcare Support: Emotional well-being post-abortion is essential for individuals considering conception. Access to healthcare providers for post-abortion care, including guidance on contraception options, fertility counseling, and monitoring reproductive health, can facilitate informed decisions and improve fertility outcomes.

By considering these factors and seeking appropriate medical guidance, women can better understand their fertility potential and make informed choices regarding conception after an abortion.

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