Women make the decision to terminate a pregnancy for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes that decision is difficult to make, and sometimes it's not, but regardless it's a decision every woman in the United States has the legal right to make. Of course, after a pregnancy is terminated it's important to stay as informed as possible about the possibility of future pregnancies. So, how soon you can get pregnant after an abortion? The answer might surprise you but, thankfully, there are numerous birth control options that can prevent a future, unintended pregnancy.
According to Planned Parenthood, one of the nation's leaving providers in affordable health care and sex education, abortions are as common as they are safe. In fact, their site states that, "Overall, 3 in 10 women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the time they're 45 years old." In fact, and according to the Guttmacher Institute, 22 percent of all pregnancies will end in abortion." The majority of women who seek an abortion are also parents. Planned Parenthood states that 6 out of every 10 women who get an abortion are already parents. So while women's bodily autonomy, reproductive rights, and safe, legal, and affordable access to quality abortion care has become a passionately debated, highly politicized topic in the United States, it remains a common medical procedure all women from all walks of life seek out when they need and/or want it.
While there's a lot of misinformation about abortions, including the falsehood that having an abortion can ruin a woman's fertility and her chances of ever becoming pregnant again, getting pregnant again after an abortion can happen as soon as you next ovulate. A 2014 study from the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that for most women an abortion does not negatively affect future fertility at all, and women can and do become pregnant after an abortion fairly quickly. The study goes on to say:
"Ovulation can occur as early as 8 days after an abortion and 83 percent of women ovulate during the first cycle following an abortion "
The ability to get pregnant so early after an abortion is why it's worthwhile for women to discuss birth control options with their health care provider prior or directly after the procedure. In fact, at Planned Parenthood (and other health care clinics across the country) it's common practice for providers to give patients birth control directly following their abortion procedure. As a result, and according to Planned Parenthood's site, Planned Parenthood services help prevent an estimated 560,000 unintended pregnancies in a single year.
The American Psychology Association states that it is normal for some women to feel feelings of sadness and loss after an abortion. However, they also point out that abortions do not cause mental health issues.
"There is no credible evidence that a single elective abortion of an unwanted pregnancy in and of itself causes mental health problems for adult women."
In fact, a 2015 study published in the the multidisciplinary academic journal PLOS ONE found that 95 percent of women who have abortions to not regret their decision to terminate their pregnancies. Many of those women also go on to have safe, healthy pregnancies when they're ready, willing, and able.