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Does pregnancy loss impact future conception?

Most healthcare practitioners agree that previous pregnancy loss does not impact a woman’s ability to conceive later in life.

How pregnancy loss may affect future conception

Most miscarriages are one time occurrences, and are not indicative of underlying issues. While prior abortions do not usually lead to pregnancy complications, some research does suggest a link between abortions and increased risk of vaginal bleeding, preterm birth, low birth weight, and placental problems. Consult your healthcare provider if you are concerned about the impact of a previous pregnancy loss on your fertility.

Potential miscarriage complications

Most women who miscarry go on to have healthy pregnancies, and less than 5 percent of women have two consecutive miscarriages. If you experience two or more miscarriages, consider consulting a healthcare provider about any underlying causes before attempting to get pregnant again. Tests can include blood tests, chromosomal tests, ultrasounds, and hysteroscopies to detect problems with your hormones, immune system, or uterine system.

While physical recovery from a miscarriage lasts only a few hours to a couple of days, the emotional impact of a miscarriage can continue for several months. Most women get their periods 4 to 6 weeks after pregnancy loss, and you can get pregnant the first time you ovulate after miscarriage. The World Health Organization recommends waiting 6 months before trying again due to the emotional and physical impacts of miscarriage.

Potential abortion complications

During a surgical abortion, the fetus is removed from the uterus using a vacuum device which, in some rare cases, can damage the cervix or uterus. In these cases, further surgery is needed to repair the damage before a woman can conceive again.

Most surgical abortions dilate the cervix, a process that can lead to weakening of the cervix muscles. Especially in women who’ve had more than one abortion, the cervix can open prematurely, known as cervical insufficiency, which can lead to a higher risk of premature birth in a later pregnancy.

Read more
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Pregnancy after miscarriage: What you need to know.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 3/14/2013. Web.
  • Sohinee Bhattacharya, et al. “Effect of miscarriage on future pregnancies.” Future Medicine. 5(1): 5-8. Web. 2009.

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