A person staring off in to the distance wondering if a past abortion affect pregnancy

Future pregnancy with past abortion history

Abortion is a medical or surgical procedure that ends a pregnancy. Abortions can be either medical or surgical depending on gestational age, any medical conditions, and a woman’s preference.

Will a past abortion affect my next pregnancy?

Here are the facts, a past medical or surgical abortion is unlikely to affect a person’s future ability to conceive, but here are some other facts to consider.

Medical abortion

Medical abortions are often used in the first 4-10 weeks of pregnancy, and involve a combination of medications, such as mifepristone and misoprostol.

Mifepristone, which is given first, blocks the effects of progesterone, which is the hormone that supports an early pregnancy before the placenta develops. Sometime in the next 48 hours, a dose of misoprostol is also given, which causes bleeding and cramping.

These medications are between 91 and 98% effective, depending on the gestational age. If medication doesn’t finish the process, healthcare providers will typically turn to a surgical option.

These medications are not linked to any future reproductive difficulty, but there is a very small chance of infection after a medical abortion.

Surgical abortion

Surgical abortion is used between 6 and 14 weeks’ gestation, or when a medical procedure is unsuccessful.

Due to the use of instruments, there’s always a small risk of cervical or uterine injury associated with a surgical abortion. There is also a risk of infection, so women will typically be given antibiotics to prevent an infection. An untreated infection may result in Pelvic Inflammatory Disorder (PID), which can have serious reproductive side effects, but this is rare when antibiotics are taken correctly.

Other considerations

Some abortions are necessary for medical reasons, such as ectopic pregnancies. Surgical abortion of an ectopic pregnancy may make pregnancy more difficult later on depending on the location of implantation. Implantation in an area like an ovary or fallopian tube can lead to complications later.

The vast majority of women trying to conceive who have had abortions in the past go on to conceive, and deliver healthy babies in the future. However, you can always speak with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.


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