Becoming pregnant after


My fiance and I are planning to have a baby soon, and I'm wondering what my chances are of becoming pregnant for an August baby. I've had two abortions, and I've read that chances of having a successful pregnancy are not good with this kind of history. My fiance says I shouldn't worry about getting pregnant. I've been off birth—control pills for one year. How should I achieve a successful pregnancy?——L.M.

Get married. You should enter into a contract between the two before you contract for a new life.

After you take this first step, consider such additional the timing of sexual intercourse to coincide with the time of Maintain an excellent diet, do proper exercise and get plenty

A previous abortion DOES markedly increase the chance of and sometimes permanent sterility. Yet I consider my first response the most important for you. Get married. The cultural and biological advan- tages of the legal, societal and religious bonds of marriage are, in my opinion, a crucial component in overcoming sterility.

of you

factors as ovulation. of sleep. temporary

You advised a young woman that "a previous abortion does markedly increase the chance of temporary and sometimes permanent sterility." As a consul- tant to the National Institutes of Health, I recently reviewed literature on long—term medical effects of abortion. I found that sterility has been a problem in the past, when abortions were done clandestinely, with poor hygiene and many infections. A study from Greece shows the same results. But numerous studies in countries where abortion has been legal and

performed under clean conditions show NO problems with subsequent infer- tility. This question will be explored further in NIH studies, but we

do not expect to find a connection between abortion and infertility.

Incidentally, I thoroughly subscribe to your advice that this

couple should get married!——J.W.D., Medical Director, Washtenaw County League for Planned Parenthood

I am happy that you and I share some common ground regarding the advis- ability of marriage.

As for abortion and infertility, your studies claim that sterility is not a problem with "proper" abortions.

Other studies claim the opposite. It all boils down to a duel between the Planned Parenthood crowd and the Right—to—Life committees. Both sides have at their disposal rational, as well as emotional, arguments. From my observation of fellow physicians, I am not nearly as optimistic as you are about the medical benefits of legal abortions done in hospitals. I expect that the battle of expert investigators will continue for as long as there are advocates and opponents of abortion.

The following is the introduction to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, June 27, 1980:

"We compared prior pregnancy histories of two groups of multigravidas [women with more than one pregnancy]——24O women having a pregnancy loss up to 28 weeks' gestation and 1,072 women having a term delivery. Women who had two or more prior induced abortions had a twofold to threefold increase in risk of first~trimester spontaneous abortion. .. The increased risk was present for women who had legal induced abortions since 1973. It was not explained by smoking status, history of prior spontaneous loss, prior abor-