Does Abortion Impact Fertility?


Before undergoing a surgical abortion at our clinic, patients often ask:  "Will I be able to have a baby in the future?"

And the answer is yes. After a surgical termination of pregnancy, most people quickly return to their baseline fertility. Ovulation can happen within seven days, and conception is possible even before the first period.

Rare Exceptions

There is a historical association between surgical abortion and Asherman Syndrome, where uterine scarring can hinder a pregnancy. This condition is linked to the use of "sharp curettage," a method involving scraping the endometrial cavity with a curved blade. However, it's crucial to note that most clinicians now avoid such tools.

FPA avoids this risk by utilizing the suction aspiration technique, which has not been linked to fertility.

There is also an extremely rare risk of cervical insufficiency after 2nd trimester surgical termination of pregnancy. In this scenario, the cervix does not stay closed, thereby increasing the risk of future pregnancy loss. This risk is rare and thought to be related to inadequate cervical dilation. 

FPA reduces this risk by having patients insert osmotic dilators, or the medication Misoprostol. This helps soften and prepare the cervix before a 2nd trimester surgical termination, which reduces risk of injury.

Other Considerations

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Fertility naturally declines with age. Patients wanting to conceive in their 30s or 40s, whether or not they've undergone a pregnancy termination, face a reduced ovarian reserve. The risk of decreasing fertility related to aging is not related to (or accelerated by) having a surgical termination of pregnancy. 

If your surgeon asks you to follow-up after your surgical abortion, please make every effort to return to the clinic at their instruction.  While follow-up isn’t required, your surgeon might have a concern that could benefit from a second visit.  Listening to your surgeon’s follow-up instructions will minimize your chances of complications after the procedure.

Statistically, most women seeking a termination of pregnancy are already mothers. Be reassured that choosing a surgical termination of pregnancy at one point in your life does not affect your ability to have a healthy pregnancy in your future, when the timing feels right.