Abortion & Infertility

If you have decided to have an abortion you may be wondering what affect that might have on your future chances of becoming a parent.  Your circumstances may change, you may want to start a family with a new partner or perhaps you are just not ready for a baby at this time.  Whatever your reasons for having an abortion now, they may not always be there in the future.

There is no evidence that would suggest having a straightforward, uncomplicated abortion can cause infertility or reduce your chances of having a healthy baby at any point in the future.  In fact, you will be very fertile immediately after having an abortion and can fall pregnant again straight away.  You should remember to take precautions when having sexual intercourse after having an abortion. 

Early abortions carry minimal risks of affecting your fertility but the chances are raised very slightly the further into your pregnancy you are when you have an abortion.

If you have repeated abortions there is some suggestion that this can increase your chances of having late miscarriages or a pre-term delivery of your baby as they can damage your cervix.

If you have had an abortion where there were some complications or you got an infection that was untreated you do have an increased chance of not being able to have a baby but this situation is rare.

The biggest concern after having an abortion is getting an infection.  This risk can be minimised quite easily by following the aftercare information you will be given by your clinic. 

The main advice is to avoid using tampons until after the bleeding has stopped (you can start use tampons again from your next period), not have sexual intercourse for at least two weeks after the abortion or until the bleeding has stopped.  You may be given antibiotics at the time of your abortion to help prevent an infection.

Signs to watch out for an infection are:

  • Having a high temperature
  • Excessively heavy bleeding where you soak more than two sanitary towels in the space of an hour and this carries on for more than two hours in a row
  • Regular blood clots
  • Severe abdominal pain and cramps that are not eased by painkillers
  • Unusual and smelly vaginal discharge

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease & Ectopic Pregnancy

If you have an infection and it is left untreated it may cause a far more serious problem called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).  Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection of your reproductive organs and can lead to infertility.  An ectopic pregnancy is very dangerous and needs urgent medical help.  It is when the embryo implants in a fallopian tube instead of the womb.

Signs to watch out for an ectopic pregnancy are:

  • If you experience continuing symptoms of pregnancy such as breast tenderness or morning sickness
  • If you have abdominal pain, it might be on one side only and can be severe
  • If you are feeling a pain under your ribs or in your shoulders
  • If you are fainting or feeling light-headed

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