Pregnancy after an abortion

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Photo credit: Erica Cervantez for BabyCenter

If you've had an abortion or you're considering one, you might be worried about future pregnancies. However, research shows no link between abortion and the ability to conceive. And, in almost all cases, having a previous abortion won't affect your future pregnancies. The majority of women go on to successfully have healthy babies and pregnancies following abortion. In fact, you can become pregnant within just a few weeks of having an abortion.

I've had abortions – can I still get pregnant?

Yes, you can still get pregnant if you've had abortions. Medication abortion has no impact on future fertility. Similarly, uncomplicated abortion procedures, such as a dilation and curettage (D&C) or dilation and evacuation (D&E) have no impact on future fertility. The only exception is if an abortion procedure results in intrauterine adhesions, also known as Asherman's syndrome.

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Intrauterine adhesions are very rare complications that can result from any kind of surgery in the uterus, severe pelvic infections, or radiation to the pelvis. If you're diagnosed with this condition, you may need to see a fertility specialist so they can help you determine if you'll need to explore fertility treatments to become pregnant.

Can abortions cause infertility?

In almost all cases, no. Abortions don't affect your ovulation cycle, and thus, don't have any bearing on future fertility or pregnancies. This is especially true for medication abortions – and for the most part, other abortion procedures (such as D&Cs and D&Es), too.

As mentioned above, the only time having an abortion might impact your fertility is in the case of complications during a medical abortion where scar tissue or adhesions form inside your uterus (Asherman's syndrome).

This is extremely rare. It's hard to know exactly how many women experience this because it's so unusual. It's very unlikely you would experience Asherman's syndrome as a result of abortion or any other procedure, but if you do, surgery to remove the scar tissue would be an option to address fertility issues. 

How soon after abortion can you get pregnant?

You can get pregnant again very quickly after having an abortion – even as soon as two weeks later. Abortion doesn't change your regular ovulation cycle.

Many providers will tell you not to put anything in your vagina for two weeks after an abortion, including no vaginal intercourse, in order to prevent any possible infection and to allow your body to heal. If you don't want to become pregnant, it's important to plan contraception right after your abortion. You can talk to your provider about when to start using that contraception. Most forms of contraception can be started immediately or almost immediately after abortion.

When to call your doctor about trying to conceive after abortion

If you've had an abortion in the past, you don't need to check with a doctor before trying to conceive. But, in general, it can be helpful to have a preconception checkup with your doctor before conception. This is especially true if you're taking medications that could affect pregnancy or if you have a complicated medical history.

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At a preconception visit, or at your first prenatal visit, your provider will ask about your pregnancy history. It's important to be honest about your past pregnancy history, including any abortions. And always feel free to bring up any worries or concerns you might have about your past pregnancies and your new efforts to conceive. Your doctor will likely reassure you that you can go on to have a healthy pregnancy.

Signs of pregnancy after abortion

The next time you get pregnant, the signs and symptoms of pregnancy will likely be exactly the same as if you hadn't had an abortion. These signs include:

Previous abortions don't affect your ability to get pregnant, or carry your baby to term, unless a complication occurred. But you can always talk to your provider if you're concerned about your fertility or any previous surgeries or procedures.

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BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

ACOG. 2022. Abortion Care. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. a new window [Accessed October 2022]

Cleveland Clinic. 2022. Asherman's Syndrome.'s%20syndrome%20is%20a%20rare,the%20room%20smaller%20and%20smaller [Accessed October 2022]

Mayo Clinic. 2022. Medical abortion: Risks. a new window [Accessed October 2022]

Mayo Clinic. 2022. Could an elective abortion increase the risk of problems in a subsequent pregnancy? a new window [Accessed October 2022]

UpToDate. 2022. Cervical insufficiency. a new window [Accessed August 2022]

UpToDate. 2022. Overview of pregnancy termination. a new window [Accessed October 2022]

Alexandra Frost
Alexandra Frost is a Cincinnati-based freelance journalist, content marketing writer, copywriter, and editor focusing on health and wellness, parenting, real estate, business, education, and lifestyle. Away from the keyboard, Frost is also mom to four sons under age 7 who keep things chaotic, fun, and interesting.