Getting pregnant after an abortion or a miscarriage can be difficult. In the first few weeks, abstain from sex to allow your body to heal and to prevent infections.
When you are ready to try to get pregnant again, you should make new healthy habits, get support from family and friends, and consult your healthcare provider. Keep a positive attitude, you can make a baby in spite of the past abortion(s).
You may worry about your new pregnancy, its development or even be concerned you couldn’t deliver it. Your healthcare provider can help you work through this.
Abortion or miscarriage is when a foetus is lost or removed. This can be voluntary (abortion) or spontaneous (miscarriage). Most women who experience a miscarriage usually do so only once and have full-term pregnancies afterwards. Some women may have repeated miscarriages, which may be a sign of an underlying condition. See your healthcare provider about this. You may be referred to a specialist doctor.
A problem with the unborn child (foetus) causes most miscarriages. The mother's body releases signals that lead to the removal of the foetus. Other causes include medical conditions of the mother, like poorly controlled blood sugar levels or problems with the womb.
After a miscarriage or an abortion, many women will ask themselves: when is the right time to try again?
You should abstain from sex for two weeks after an abortion or miscarriage to prevent infections and allow your body to heal. It is also essential that you and your partner are mentally ready to try again.
If you have two or more miscarriages, your healthcare provider may want to run some tests before advising you to try again. These tests can include a chromosomal test and blood tests for you and your partner.
Once you are ready to try again, here are some steps to take:
- Prenatal vitamins: start taking your vitamins, especially folic acid (0.8 to 5mg daily), as they improve your chances of getting pregnant again.
- Monitor ovulation: use a calendar to monitor your cycle so that you can predict your ovulation day. This starts your fertile days; read more here.
- Sex: plan to have sex every day during your fertile days. It improves your chances of getting pregnant.
- Eat healthily: aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet to maintain your health and wellbeing and support your growing foetus. You can find out more here.
- Stop smoking and drinking: stop smoking and quit alcohol consumption when you plan to become pregnant and throughout the pregnancy. Both are risk factors for the poor development of your pregnancy and your baby.
Once you have confirmed that you are pregnant here are the some next steps to take:
- Register at your health centre for antenatal services. The healthcare provider and birth assistant will support and guide you through your pregnancy. You should plan to attend all scheduled appointments.
- Routine ultrasound investigation to ensure that your pregnancy is going well and the foetus is growing as it should.
- Rest as much as you need and, if you have been placed on bed rest, ensure that you spend most of the day in bed.
- There are usually WhatsApp groups and communities of pregnant women that offer support at the health centre where you register.
- Keep an active lifestyle, including exercises like walking and breathing exercises. Please note that you should avoid any activity if you have been asked to take bed rest.
- If you feel sick, see your healthcare provider so you can be treated quickly.
- Inform your healthcare provider if you have any preexisting conditions like hypertension or diabetes. During pregnancy, your blood pressure and blood sugar will be monitored closely.
Pregnancy after an abortion or miscarriage can be emotionally stressful, but most women have had healthy babies after such an experience. Ensure that you are physically and mentally ready to have a baby, then take appropriate steps with the help of your healthcare provider.