Can an Abortion Really Lead to Infertility?
As with all medical procedures, there are potential risks and side effects involved with abortion procedures. Some of the most common risks and side effects include heavy bleeding with blood clots, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Some of the less common, but still relevant, side effects include damage to the uterus or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can both lead to infertility. If you are still uncertain, let’s look at how this can happen. First, we need to understand the abortion procedure in order to realize how these side effects can occur.
There are two different types of surgical abortions: Dilation and Curettage (D&C) abortion and Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) abortion. The basic process of the D&C abortion is as follows: the woman’s cervix is dilated and then a vacuum aspirator is inserted into the woman’s uterus, which then vacuums out the fetus. During a D&E abortion, a woman’s cervix is dilated and then instruments are inserted into her uterus to pull the fetus out piece by piece. With both procedures, after the above steps are complete, a curette (a metal, spoon-shaped instrument) is used to scrape the lining of the woman’s uterus to remove any remaining tissue.
The above procedures can lead to infertility in a number of ways. First, dilating the cervix and inserting instruments into a woman’s uterus can allow bacteria and infections to enter the woman’s body. This can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Sadly, PID can lead to the inability to become pregnant or to carry a pregnancy to full term.
Also, the vacuum aspirator or the curette can cause damage to a woman’s uterus. If a woman’s uterine lining is damaged or there are worse side effects from these instruments such as, punctures in the uterus, this too can affect her ability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to full term. Finally, an incomplete abortion can also lead to problems with fertility. Unfortunately, there have been cases when women become ill following an abortion because a piece of the fetus was left behind, leading to infection. An infection in the female reproductive system can also cause infertility.
What Should You Do?
If you just found out you are pregnant and this was not expected, you have the right to full disclosure regarding all of your options.
At Your Options Medical, we can provide you with the pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and pregnancy options counseling you need! Each patient is treated with respect, dignity, and compassion. Because we do not financially benefit from your decision, there is no pressure to decide while you’re in our clinic. We allow you time to ask questions and process the information received.