How Many Abortions is Too Many?
It is not an uncommon experience to have multiple abortions.
It is a common misconception that abortions are only for young girls that make mistakes. Abortions happen throughout all stages in life, sometimes with decades in between.
We always imagine that this abortion will be the last one. There is no way to know what is coming ahead in one’s life. The reasons you may choose a future abortion may be very different from why you chose abortion today. The reasons may be the same.
The reality is–the way we choose to manage our reproductive lives, and destinies, are very personal. There is no magic number of “too many abortions”.
On Managing Future Fertility
The way you decide to manage your fertility from here is very personal. After an abortion, you will be fertile again, potentially as soon as two weeks after you stop bleeding. It could be up to 4 to 6 weeks. Your body is primed for pregnancy, and it could happen again.
Are you open to being pregnant again very soon? If yes, prepare your body with good foods, lots of exercise and see a doctor or nutritionist to be sure that your body is fully recovered and prepared for another pregnancy.
If you do NOT want to become pregnant again now, there are forms of contraceptives available to prevent pregnancy. If you want to know pretty much 100% that you will not become pregnant again, a contraceptive option may be right for you.
On the Presence of Sperm and How We Get Pregnant
To become pregnant, sperm has to be present to fertilize the egg. Sperm can live in the vaginal canal for up to 6 days, which means they are swimming around waiting for an egg to present itself.
Ovulation lasts for up to 12 hours. This means that out of one menstrual cycle–an entire month–you ovulate for only 12 hours. Withdrawal or the “pull out” method is actually very effective when done correctly.
The most surefire way to become pregnant is to let your partner ejaculate inside of you. “Pre-cum” actually does not have live sperm. However, if someone has ejaculated, and not urinated in between, sperm can be present in “pre-cum”.
There are a number of contraceptive options available, hormonal and non-hormonal. No one contraceptive method is 100%, yet most contraceptive failures are also due to human error. It’s always best to back up any contraceptive method with condoms.
Hormonal methods include: daily birth control pills, emergency contraception pills, shots (like Depo-Provera), Mirena IUD
Non-hormonal methods include: copper IUD, condoms, knowing your ovulation cycle
For more in-depth information on contraception, Bedsider is the industry star. Go HERE for side-to-side comparisons of contraceptive methods.
A formal contraceptive method is the surest way to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the future. When you are ready to become pregnant, you can intentionally quit your method and conceive naturally. Contraceptives will not harm your future fertility.
Natural Contraceptive Methods
If you are averse to formal contraception, and you prefer to keep your body naturally, it is important to get closer to your cycle. Get to know the way your body shifts and changes over a menstrual period. A period tracker app, which you can keep on your phone is a good place to start. This way you will have a general idea of the week that you should be ovulating.
Ovulation and menstruation cycle through like the phases of the moon. You may notice that you often bleed close to a full or new moon. Our cycles shift and change as well, so you may spend months bleeding on a new moon, and then slowly migrating towards the full moon bleed. If you bleed on the full moon, you can be fairly certain that you will be ovulating near the new moon. Two weeks from bleed is the week of the seed.
There is something mystical about using the moon to track your menstrual cycle. I always feel at my strongest and most healthy when my cycle aligns with the moon. Bleeding at the new moon is known as a White Cycle. It symbolizes the space of a womb ready to become pregnant. The cycle is that of the maiden, or mother. To bleed with the full moon is known as the Red Cycle. To bleed with the full moon symbolizes a powerful woman manifesting towards creation in the outside world. Both cycles are sacred, and conception is possible at your ovulation, regardless of if your cycle aligns with the moon.
If your cycle is NOT lining up with the moon, there is nothing wrong with you. Your cycle will move towards a full or new moon over time. When your cycle is not aligning, it is a period of powerful transition for you, and you should take note of this as well. Throughout our lifetimes, we will cycle with both full and new moons at different eras and periods of our lives. Paying closer attention to this can give mystic insights into your lunar life.
Tracking Ovulation with Cervical Mucus and Period Tracker
Getting a good period tracker is really helpful in tracking your cycle and getting to know exactly how your personal cycle works. It doesn’t matter which period tracker you use, as long as it works well with your lifestyle.
You can find a good list of period tracker app options for your phone HERE
Once you have your period app, you can add details of your abortion to start. This way you can clearly track the days until your first period after the abortion, and start to get a handle on your new cycle.
As a general rule, your cervical mucus cycle is as follows:
- Dry, days without discharge
- Cloudy, sticky discharge before ovulation
- Clear, slippery mucus-like egg whites during ovulation
- Cloudy, sticky discharge after ovulation
The days leading up to ovulation can have a sort of uncooked bready smell, this is all healthy and normal. The most important thing is that you learn YOUR OWN personal “normal”.
If you do NOT want to become pregnant, pay attention to when your discharge is signaling that you are about to become, or are fertile. Use condoms on these days, and for three days after. Have your partner “pull out” even with a condom on. If you want to be 100% sure you will not get pregnant, avoid sex. It is normal to be extra sexual during your ovulation period, so just take extra precautions if you are having sex.
Tracking Ovulation with Ovulation Tests and Temperature
You can start to take your temperature daily, marking in your pregnancy app. Be sure to take your temperature first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink, or even move around.
When you are ovulating, your temperature should be raised by 0.5 degrees. Once you do this for a few months, you should start to see patterns of when you are ovulating.
You can also buy ovulation test kits at the drug store. There are two different kinds:
- Ovulation Predictor Kits test the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. They will tell you when you have a surge in LH hormone 12 to 36 hours before you ovulate
- Progesterone Ovulation Tests measure the amount of progesterone metabolite in your urine over a period of days. The levels rise 24 to 46 hours after ovulation, so this will signify that you recently ovulated.
On Natural Methods and Unwanted Pregnancy
If you do have another unwanted pregnancy resulting in failed natural methods, there is nothing wrong with having many abortions or using abortion as a form of birth control. Abortion IS birth control. The choices you make about your own body and how you want to manage your fertility is up to you–and you only.
A lot of personal shame comes from opinions from the outside, friends, family, and the culture in general. This can make you feel as though the choices you are making are morally wrong. Pregnancy should never be a punishment. We all have free will, and the choice to have an abortion can be just as sound a decision as carrying to full term.