Abortion affecting future pregnancy- An Insight
Decades of research backs up the fact that having an abortion does not affect future pregnancy. Ovulation can return as quickly as 3 months after a safe abortion. There may be a risk to fertility and future pregnancies if the elective abortion is performed under unsafe conditions. Medical or surgical procedures for safe abortion in Chennai seldom affect future pregnancy unless a womb infection develops during the procedure and does not get treated promptly. Women having had an elective abortion and concerned about its possible impact on a future pregnancy, are advised to consult an abortion specialist to better understand the potential risks and the steps that can be taken to promote a healthy pregnancy.
It is only a Myth that abortion affects future pregnancy
Induced abortion is often ascribed to subsequent reproductive complications. Having an abortion does not mean that pregnancy is not possible at a later time. Abortion procedures are sought out for a multitude of reasons and many of them do so with the intention of having a family in the future. The effect of induced abortion on subsequent reproduction becomes a very significant one because most women obtaining induced abortions are at the beginning of their reproductive life. Myths about abortion only attach stigma and prevent people from accessing right information and treatment.
World Health Organisation has recognised abortions as a human right that allows a person to decide freely the number, spacing and timing of their children, without coercion and violence. However, future pregnancies after abortion are attached with a lot of misinformation and misconceptions. Actually, the belief that abortion could impact fertility is grounded in the very real history of infertility caused by unsafe underground abortions. In the interest of keeping patients away from having an abortion, certain groups try to make it believe that any abortion causes many problems including infertility. But, it is important to realize that these are not true and are misleading. Talking about fertility after abortion, it is a fact that women can become pregnant within days of having a safe abortion procedure.
Unsafe abortions can affect future pregnancy
According to the American College of Gynaecologists (ACOG), medically supervised abortion is a low-risk procedure. Review of literature findings confirm that, except in the case where an infection complicates induced abortion, there is no evidence of an association between induced abortion and secondary infertility or ectopic pregnancy. Technically, anything that causes inflammation in the uterus has the potential to affect future fertility, but it is most likely to happen only with abortion procedures that are carried out by unqualified or inexperienced practitioners. The later in her pregnancy a woman has an abortion, the greater is her risk for complications. Some of the potential complications associated with unsafe abortion include:
- Bleeding – A woman can experience bleeding after an abortion that has been performed carelessly. Blood loss from abortion is usually not extreme and does not become a medical problem, but a woman may sometimes bleed excess that she needs a blood transfusion.
- Incomplete abortion – Happens more often with medication abortion where the risk higher when the woman takes medication without medical guidance or is not monitored. The complication arises when tissue or other products of conception may remain in the uterus, and a D&C is required to remove the remaining tissue, failing which an infection may set in and affect future pregnancy
- Infection – Occurs if antibiotics are not prescribed before an abortion. Safe abortion procedures at Chennai abortion clinic follow certain protocol to prevent this risk.
- Injury to surrounding organs – A doctor who is not trained to carry out abortion procedures may accidentally injure nearby organs such as the uterus or bladder, during surgical abortion. The risk of such injuries increases with how far along a woman is in a pregnancy.
- Asherman’s syndrome – A rare acquired condition called Asherman’s syndrome is possible after certain type of abortion. It is a possible complication after abortion, where the condition is marked by adhesions inside the uterus. Up to 15%-20% of people who undergo D&C to induce abortion or after a miscarriage are at risk for Asherman’s syndrome.
Factors that actually affect future pregnancy
Some type of birth control is always recommended by doctors to be used immediately after abortion because it is highly possible for a woman to start ovulating and get pregnant soon again. The woman is also advised to avoid sexual intercourse for some time following an abortion, so that it gives time for the body to heal. Women may have difficulty in getting pregnant after an abortion, only if there are other factors that could potentially affect their fertility. Such factors that can affect fertility include:
- Age – fertility decreases with age. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women older than age 35 are at higher risk for infertility.
- Lifestyle habits – smoking and drug use are some of the lifestyle habits in a woman or her partner that can affect fertility.
- Medical history – sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia or gonorrhoea are more likely to affect fertility. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders and hormonal disorders also impact the ability to get pregnant.
- Partner’s fertility – a woman’s ability to get pregnant is more often affected by the partner’s semen quality. Though been pregnant with the same partner in the past, partner’s lifestyle habits and aging may affect chances of future pregnancy.
There is no plausible reason to associate infertility with abortion unless in rare cases of severe uterine damage and severe infections/Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) like reports of abortion sepsis wards that happened in 1960. Current abortion practises do not allow for such negligence in terms of safety and infection control. Fertility specialist in private abortion clinic in Chennai can help identify potential underlying causes of infertility and advise on lifestyle measures and other possible treatment options for couples experiencing problems in achieving pregnancy.