Tools and Resources
Abortion: Does it affect subsequent pregnancies?
Could an abortion increase the risk of problems in a subsequent pregnancy?
Generally, abortion isn't thought to cause fertility issues or complications in subsequent pregnancies. However, some research suggests a possible link between abortion and an increased risk of:
- Vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy
- Preterm birth
- Low birth weight
- Placenta previa when the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix, which can cause severe bleeding before or during delivery
During a medical abortion, a woman takes oral medications such as mifepristone (Mifeprex) in early pregnancy to abort the fetus. During a surgical abortion, the fetus is removed from the uterus typically with a vacuum device, a syringe or a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge (curette) as an outpatient surgical procedure. Rarely, a surgical abortion can damage the cervix or uterus. In such cases, surgery might be needed to correct the damage before a woman can conceive again.
If you've had an abortion and are concerned about the possible impact on a future pregnancy, consult your health care provider. He or she can help you understand the potential risks, as well as what you can do to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
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