Will Early Surgical Abortion Hurt Your Chances of Conceiving a Child Later?

Abortion is an emotionally and politically charged topic. As such, there are quite a few misconceptions floating around about it, one of which is that getting an abortion can make it difficult to bear children in the future. While early surgical abortion is a completely safe procedure, it can slightly increase your risk of developing fertility issues down the line depending on a number of factors. Here's what you need to know.

The Risk Lies in the Possible Complications

Surgical abortion involves dilating the cervix and manually emptying the uterus using a suction tool called a cannula. Afterwards, the healthcare provider may follow up with a metal instrument called a curette to remove any tissue left behind. The actual procedure only takes a few minutes and is typically performed by someone with surgical education and experience.

As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications developing, albeit a very low one. Trauma to the uterus is one possible complication that could negatively impact future fertility. Specifically, if the procedure isn't done correctly (or is done poorly), the patient may develop scarring on the uterine wall that may interfere with the ability of future embryos to implant themselves. Damage to the cervix (e.g., cervical tearing) could result in spontaneous premature delivery of babies later on.

It's important to understand that these types of complications are very, very rare. In fact, fewer than 1 out of 100 people who undergo this procedure experience any serious complications at all. Even a study involving 1 million women found the risk of preterm birth at a later date only increased by 0.7 percent. Thus, it's highly unlikely you will experience any issues conceiving and birthing children when you're ready after undergoing a surgical abortion.

Avoiding Problems with the Surgery

If you are particularly concerned with how a surgical abortion will impact your fertility, there are a few things you can do to ensure things go well. The most important thing you can do is to get the procedure done by a well-trained medical professional in a safe and clean facility.

Another thing you want to do is disclose all relevant medical history that could impact how your body responds to the procedure so the health care provider can take appropriate precautions. For instance, uncontrolled diabetes can negatively impact healing times, and the doctor may prescribe additional antibiotics to minimize the risk of you developing an infection.

Lastly, if you feel this procedure is just too risky for you, talk to the health care provider about getting a medical abortion, which involves using medication to terminate the pregnancy.

For more information about early surgical abortions or to discuss any concerns you have about the procedure, contact a medical professional.