How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After an Abortion?

Woman considering pregnancy after abortion consultation

After getting an abortion, many people have questions about their fertility or ability to get pregnant again. What many do not realize is that you can get pregnant again very soon after having an abortion.

To further understand pregnancy after an abortion, this article will explore how abortions can affect your fertility and contraception to prevent unwanted future pregnancies.

Will abortion affect your fertility?

Getting an abortion does not usually affect your fertility or your ability to have a normal pregnancy in the future. In general, when done correctly, abortions are very safe, secure, and common.

When can I have sex again after an abortion?

There are no medical or scientifically proven recommendations when it comes to having sex again after an abortion. However, you should only have sex again when you are ready, which may be soon after the abortion or may take some time.

If you choose to have sex after an abortion, it’s worth noting that the possibility of pregnancy remains.

How soon can you get pregnant after an abortion?

It is important to know that having an abortion does not prevent you from getting pregnant in the weeks following the procedure. In fact, you can get pregnant very soon after having an abortion. You are most fertile during ovulation and the weeks before (also known as your “fertility window”), when your ovaries release an egg. Ovulation can occur soon after an abortion, even if you have not yet gotten your period again (1).

Because of the possibility of pregnancy after an abortion, it is essential to start an effective birth control method right away if you want to avoid another unwanted pregnancy. Thankfully, there are several birth control methods available, some of which you can start immediately after your abortion.

What forms of contraception can I use after an abortion?

There is a wide array of contraceptive options to choose from after having an abortion. Selecting an effective method of contraception is essential and doubling up with two forms of birth control is even better. Some examples of birth control methods are outlined below.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

An IUD is a small T-shaped device that is put inside the uterus by a health-care professional. There are two types of IUDs: copper and hormonal. Copper IUDs contain copper to prevent fertilization. Hormonal IUDs, on the other hand, contain levonorgestrel, a hormone that helps prevent pregnancy (2).

Hormonal methods

Hormonal birth control functions by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg every month. There are several hormonal birth control methods available, including:

  • birth control pills – taken daily;
  • the ring – placed in the vagina and replaced monthly;
  • the implant – a rod placed under the skin by a health-care professional, lasting up to three years;
  • the patch – worn on the skin and replaced weekly with the exception of one off-week each month; and
  • the shot – administered by a health-care professional every three months (2).

Barrier methods

Barrier methods provide a physical barrier to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Common examples include male and female condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, birth control sponges, and spermicide (2).

When will contraception start working?

When the contraception starts working depends on what method you use and the type of abortion you had. Let’s review the details of contraception with regards to both types of abortions.

After a surgical abortion

If you’ve had a surgical abortion, an IUD can be inserted immediately after. In fact, it can be inserted during that same visit when you are under sedation or anesthetic. Additionally, hormonal pills, implants, and injections can be effective immediately if started within five days of the abortion. If started later than five days after the abortion, it is recommended you use a second form of birth control (e.g., condoms) for at least a week (3).

After a medical abortion

You can start hormonal pills, implants, and injections when you are having a medical abortion or right after. In terms of an IUD, it can be inserted right away or a few days afterward (3).


In summary, abortions are not likely to affect your fertility and ability to get pregnant. In fact, you can get pregnant very soon after having an abortion. Thus, people who want to prevent another unwanted pregnancy might want to consider starting one of the multiple forms of birth control available according to their needs and circumstances. Depending on your preferences, options include IUDs, other hormonal methods (e.g., the pill, patch, or shot), or barrier methods (e.g., condoms).

  1. “Risks.” NHS, Accessed June 2024.
  2. “Choose the Right Birth Control.” US Department of Health and Human Services, Accessed June 2024.
  3. “Contraception After an Abortion.” Better Health, Accessed June 2024.