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Abortion/pregnancy after abortion

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QUESTION: Hi doctor i asked this same question to a different doctoe and i got no response back...plz answer!! I had a surgical abortion on oct 6...bled for awhile then i think i had my period oct 17-20...i want to get pregnant again so me and my husband(3 years:) r trying again..i have been tracking my ovulation but it seems that my calculations r wrong...if i am correct i was suppose to ovulate on 30-31..took an ovulation said negative and it keeps saying negative and today is nov 5....could i have already ovulated the whole week after my peiod (also had unprotected sex 5 times)and if i did could i be pregnant or did i do something wrong and not ovulate at all??? too soon to take a hpt. mind i am very fertile i have 4 boys,2 miscarriages and 2 abortins.....so getting pregnant should not b the issue..plz help

ANSWER: Hello, hannah,

I can see why some people here might not answer. But I will. But please know I am not a doctor. I am a medical researcher. And I have had training in determining when a woman ovulates.

First of all, it is important to know HOW the timing of ovulation works. Ovulation occurs 14 days before a woman's NEXT period starts (if she has one). The length of a period can vary widely, so trying to calculate from a previous period is usually not terribly productive. Ovulation tests measure hormones. They don't measure whether or not an egg is AVAILABLE for fertilization. Among other things, if the Fallopian tube is blocked, a woman can release an egg, but it will never be fertilized because the sperm cannot reach the egg. Unfortunately, abortions, especially surgical abortions, can cause the Fallopian tube to be blocked. This is because of the formation of scar tissue. If the tube is partly blocked, sperm might reach the egg, but the egg won't be able to enter the uterus. This causes a condition known as tubal pregnancy. It is very dangerous for the mother, and requires immediate emergency surgery. If you start to feel pain in early pregnancy, especially on one side, GO TO THE DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY!

Another factor is that an abortion disrupts a woman's hormonal balance. So you cannot determine ovulation nearly as accurately. Bleeding can happen for reasons other than having a period. It would probably be impossible to determine if the bleeding you had starting on October 17 was a period. If it was, you would have miscarried anyway, and having an abortion was pointless. Yet another factor is your state of mind. Abortion is a VICIOUS attack on a woman's body, and on some level, every woman knows it. There are often emotional repercussions, and emotions can stop a woman from conceiving.

I don't have figures for after two abortions, but after one abortion, 14% of women will never conceive again. After three abortions, a woman has only a 50% chance of ever conceiving again. You could easily be a woman in the 50% who don't. You need to stop having abortions. You are destroying your reproductive organs! If you WANT a child, there is no reason to have an abortion. Don't try to use abortion for sex selection. You are just damaging your body for no good reason.

I cannot tell you that you are capable of having another child, in spite of your history. You may not be. The only thing you can do is try. Abortion is dangerous and can kill you or harm your future children. It would be foolish to have so many abortions and then expect to have a completely healthy child, because abortion can harm your children. And since you have four boys already, they need you, and threatening your own life like that is simply not wise. The media want you to think abortion is safe. It is NOT. It is very, very dangerous, and it ALWAYS damages a woman's body. Eventually, the damage will take its toll. Please, no more abortions! You really deserve better.

Please take care of yourself. Please let me know what happens.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: maybe u misunderstood me...i have had 4 healthy babies i only had 2 abortions 1 because of chromsomes 15 disease issues..the other was just too soon and i was on the patch but obviously didnt work..i was just wondering how to track ur ovulation..if i am pregnant is it a high percentage to have a tubular pregnancy...and i had 1 of the abortions before my kids so i think that wouldnt b the issue i thank u for the response eithern waY

ANSWER: Hello, hannah,

I do appreciate the additional information.

The fact that you were concerned about chromosome 15 disease (I assume Trisomy 15), means that had you refrained from abortion, you probably would have had a miscarriage anyway, which would have been a lot safer. The fact that you got an apparent period so quickly after abortion probably means it would have happened in the next few days had you not had an abortion. Here are a couple of links that explain more about Trisomy 15:

http://downsyndrome.about.com/od/whatcausesdownsyndrome/a/othtrisomies_ro_2.htm
http://rarediseases.about.com/od/rarediseasesp/a/praderwilli.htm

The fact is, you have a greater chance of having a child with a defect if you DO have an abortion, than if you let nature take its course, provided you have another child after the abortion. Surgical abortion damages the cervix, which often then won't hold the weight of a full term baby, and the baby may be born very premature. This kind of prematurity can cause cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, mental retardation, blindness, or deafness, as well as other conditions. Abortion also causes miscarriage of future pregnancies. While it was apparently a certainty that your baby had Trisomy 15, sometimes tests give false positives, but we will assume in this case, it was accurate. This obviously means your certainty of having a child with this condition is 100%, so such comparisons become difficult. But because most of the babies don't make it to birth, this obviously also lowers your chance of having to raise a child with the defect. But it is still not a wise risk to have an abortion. There are people waiting to adopt a child with such problems, so it isn't necessary to take that kind of risk with your future children, if you don't feel capable of handling a child with such a defect.

Your chance of having a tubal pregnancy after a surgical abortion increases by 500%. Tubal pregnancies are not extremely common, but they ARE dangerous. Just under 2% of pregnancies are tubal pregnancies, though breaking that down is somewhat difficult because investigators refuse to identify the probable cause of tubal pregnancy. For example, this article

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0215/p1080.html

admits that scarring that blocks the Fallopian tube can cause tubal pregnancy, but they don't say what causes the scarring. They don't mention abortion at all. This is typical. Nobody wants to admit that abortion causes damage.

Figuring out what percentage of the current rate of tubal pregnancies is due to abortion from what they say is just about impossible. This and other articles do say that the incidence has skyrocketed. Promiscuity will also cause scarring, because of sexually transmitted diseases, and that has also drastically increased.

The actual figures are hard to come by, but here is a basic statement:

Among women who had aborted their first pregnancy, there was a 500% increase in subsequent ectopic pregnancies. Chung et al., "Effects of Induced Abortion Complications on Subsequent Reproductive Function," U. of Hawaii, Honolulu, 1981

Here is another:

There has been a 600% increase in ectopic (or tubal) pregnancies in the U.S. since abortion was legalized. In 1970 the incidence was 4.8 per 1,000 live births. By 1980 it was 14.5 per 1,000 births. By 1992 it was 19.7 for a total of 108,800, and 28 women died. Center for Disease Cont: AP/NY Times, Jan. 27, 95

This should give you a pretty good idea of what the risks are. What this tells us is that of the 2% of tubal pregnancies I mentioned above, 5/6 were due to prior abortion.

Another possible risk is having an abortion in which the abortionist doesn't detect the fact that the pregnancy is a tubal pregnancy. A close friend of mine had that experience. She went for abortion, and they didn't diagnose the tubal pregnancy. Her tube ruptured, and she almost died.

To answer your question about fertility, the best method uses several different symptoms, though the observation of fertile mucus is reliable, provided you chart carefully and don't use any medications that will change your hormones. This includes any kind of chemical contraception. For more information about this, please visit this web site:

http://www.fertilityuk.org/

I think you indicated that you have used a detection method that involves some kind of strip, as well. This is something that came along after I had finished having children, and I don't know how reliable it is. If you learn how to tell when you are fertile, this will help you know when you should have sex for possible conception.

Tubal pregnancy is only one risk that goes with abortion. There are enough risks that people have written entire books about it. The possibilities are just overwhelming. In fact, abortion ALWAYS causes damage, but sometimes it doesn't manifest itself for some number of years. For example, abortion of a first pregnancy is especially concerning because it increases the risk of getting breast cancer before a woman is 40. The type of breast cancer a woman gets is called "triple negative" because three different methods of treatment will NOT work. 1/4 of the women who get this will die. I tell women that if she has had an abortion, she needs to take Vitamin D3 for the rest of her life. There are other things she can do as well. A good dose is about 5000IU a day, and the woman will need to have her blood tested occasionally to make sure that her blood levels don't go above 100 ng/ml. She should have a level around 75.

The mere fact that you had an abortion before having four healthy children doesn't mean there is no damage. The fact that you did does mean that you were luckier than some women. But it is always a matter of taking a terrible chance.

I hope this answers your questions. I realize I got somewhat technical on you, but I hope it helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: okay yea u did get technical but thats okay..i read everything so basically i just want to know IF i did ovulate earlier than expected could i already BE pregnant assuming that taking a opk wouldnt tell u yes or no..i would have to wait anyway but could i b if i tracked it incorrectly..or getting pregnat 1 month after an abortion is that out of the question? sorry for asking so much! thanxs

Answer
Hello, hannah,

You're welcome.

It is possible you could be pregnant. If I had my druthers, I would like to have seen you let your body heal for a few months, but if you are already pregnant, that's not an option. As for the likelihood, nobody can answer that question. Not on the internet. Not in a doctor's office. I will give you an example of why this is so.

You would probably imagine that a woman who is already pregnant couldn't possibly conceive another child a few months later. Well, I know of TWO situations where it happened, and one of them was very close to "home". If a woman can conceive a second child while she is still pregnant, obviously, the situation is a lot more complicated than most people realize. For all we know, it happens occasionally in general, but because most of the time, doctors intervene, and in the process destroy one or both children, we wouldn't find out about it. If a conscientious doctor discovered he had taken a living child, do you think he would TELL the mother? I would be sorely tempted not to.

As I said, abortion disrupts a woman's hormones. So there is no predicting what will happen next. Since I think it is entirely possible you would have miscarried anyway (because that is overwhelmingly the most likely thing with a child with Trisomy 15), that would be the most LIKELY scenario for your fertility to return early, because in at least one case, a woman experienced fertile mucus while she was pregnant, but the older child didn't make it, so without that second conception, she would probably have miscarried.

Does this explain the problem in answering your specific question?

It's difficult to wait on these things, but really, the only way you are going to know is wait and see. Take care, and keep in touch.

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Pat G

Expertise

I can help women with the consideration of their decision, and with resources, and I can share my own experiences as the mother of seven and grandmother of eleven. My approach is to show love and concern, and help women work through the issues, emotional, spiritual, practical. I also help women deal with boyfriend and family issues. I am not a doctor, but I have done extensive medical research, so I may be able to help with information. I am female. When you write, if you are or were pregnant, please tell me how far along you were or are, and if you have had an abortion, please tell me what kind. Thank you.

Experience

I have been working with women who are considering abortion for several years. I also work with women who have had abortions. Our family has also experienced adoption, so I can talk about that as well.

Education/Credentials
I am mostly self-taught. I also studied midwifery for awhile. I have spent years doing research on this topic. In fact, I have been doing research and working in this area since the early 1970's. I have been helping women online for a few years, under the guidance of a woman who was formally training in counseling.

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