If you’ve had an abortion in the past and you are experiencing troubles getting pregnant now, it’s unlikely that the two are related. That’s because the eggs and ovaries are not harmed during a medical or surgical abortion. There are some differences, though, based on the type of abortion you had and whether it caused damage to the cervix or uterus in the process. However, this is exceptionally rare, and usually only happens when a woman has had more than 1 abortion when scar tissue has formed on the cervix or the uterus has been otherwise damaged.
It is important to note that surgical abortions should be performed in a regulated healthcare setting, as unsafe, illegal abortions are much more likely to cause permanent damage to your reproductive organs and impact your reproductive future.
The Rare Cases in Which an Abortion Can Impact Your Fertility
There are two main types of abortion: medical and surgical. In a medical abortion, the woman swallows a pill which terminates any existing pregnancy, and this is usually only an option for women who had accidental unprotected sex and they worry about getting pregnant. It must be taken within 72 hours of intercourse to be effective, and it may not be effective for all women, especially women who weigh more than 170 pounds. A medical abortion should have absolutely no impact on future conception.
How a Surgical Abortion May Impact Your Fertility
On the other hand, a surgical abortion is much more invasive. During a surgical abortion, a woman has an instrument inserted into the cervix to access the uterus to expel the fetus. Any medical procedure that involves inserting surgical instruments inside the uterus, as is the case in a surgical abortion, can cause scarring in the area. The chance of scarring is increased with multiple surgical abortions. Still, it is still extremely rare for there to be complications from surgical abortions if the woman was treated by a qualified practitioner.
Having multiple surgical abortions can affect your reproductive organs and impede conception, but it may also impact future pregnancies, as well. A woman who becomes pregnant after having an abortion may have a placenta that implants abnormally, which is an obstetrical complication. One way your fertility could be impacted is if there is excess scar tissue on the cervix or in the uterus from surgical abortions, which is why it’s so important to contact a fertility specialist to rule out the remote chance that this has happened to you.
Interested in Starting a Family? Seek Help from a Fertility Specialist.
The good news for women who wish to conceive after previously having an abortion is that if scar tissue is the cause of your infertility, the problem can likely be reversed by surgically removing the excess scar tissue. If you’re concerned that a previous abortion has affected your ability to conceive, contact us at Palm Beach Fertility Center to discuss fertility treatments with our physician.