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Can having abortions affect fertility?

(32 Posts)
Poppet13 Sat 01-Mar-14 20:53:25

Exactly that, really.
I had an abortion at 16 (11 weeks) and (I'm ashamed to say) again, when I was 19/20. They were both surgical abortions.
I'm now a lot older, and me and my partner have moved into a new place ready to start thinking about children.
I just wanted to know really if it can affect later fertility, or if anyone has gone through the same thing they can offer some advice or kind words that it will be okay??
Thank you.
Ps - apologies I posted in here, seemed like the fertility page wasn't the right place for it.

K8eee Sat 01-Mar-14 21:34:13

Apparently it does. I have no idea from experience, but I went to school with a girl who had three abortions, but then went on to have 2 healthy children! I think it all depends on how your body copes with that sort of trauma. how are your periods now?

DulcetMoans Sat 01-Mar-14 21:38:41

If they were surgical and not medical then it could, I don't know the details but I know that way is riskier for later conception. Might have something to do with internal scaring? By no means impossible though! Just something to consider. If no luck after a year then go to docs and make sure you tell them.

dixiedoodle Sat 01-Mar-14 21:39:19

Our fertility nurse said abortion wouldn't effect fertility unless there was infection or damage to the uterus - both which you would have known about at the time if they happened.
I am in similar position though and sincerely hope not.

EugenesAxe Sat 01-Mar-14 21:46:55

It may well do, but if it gives you hope, I had one age 26 then conceived DCs aged 33 and 35 on first and second cycle respectively.

I think k8eee is right really - I hadn't been on the pill for years before TTC and my cycles were very regular.

Poppet13 Sat 01-Mar-14 21:57:56

Thank you :-)
Maybe I should see the doctor anyway, let him know we're trying and ask for advice. But there was no infection etc.
I'm completely off the pill now, periods are fairy regular although they are 5 weeks apart, not 4.
Thank you for the kind words! Xxx

joanofarchitrave Sat 01-Mar-14 22:04:15

Very unlikely unless you already know that you had a complication at the time. NHS page on this

Apparently there may be a SLIGHTLY increased risk of miscarriage if the abortion was surgical.

A close relative has had absolutely no problem.

LizCurly Sat 01-Mar-14 22:08:16


That is a myth put about by Cura and the like. Their so-called impartial advice.

Cariad007 Sat 01-Mar-14 23:05:00

No, it doesn't affect your fertility. And there's no need to feel ashamed - you made the right decision at the time and now are in a place where you want children. Nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever.

Pregnantberry Sat 01-Mar-14 23:22:03

"Induced abortion increases the risk of miscarriage 128% for up to 2 years

When comparing women who had had a previous pregnancy with primigravidae (first pregnancy), women whose 1 previous pregnancy ended in induced abortion, those whose 2 previous pregnancies ended in induced abortion, and those who had at least 1 induced abortion in their 3 or more previous pregnancies faced an increased risk of miscarriage (odds ratio = 1.41, 4.43, and 1.35, respectively). The researchers found the same risk when they adjusted for vaginal infection. Second trimester abortions were associated with an increased risk of first miscarriage (odds ratio = 4.63). Women whose last induced abortion occurred 12-24 months before the current pregnancy with no pregnancy in between the induced abortion and the current pregnancy faced an increased risk of miscarriage (odds ratio = 2.28). There was no increased risk of miscarriage when the induced abortion occurred at least 24 months before with no pregnancy in between the induced abortion and current pregnancy, suggesting that the uterus requires time to recover before successful future implantation. "

Taken from

Pregnantberry Sat 01-Mar-14 23:23:01

Whoops, forgot to convert the links. "

Taken from

Pregnantberry Sat 01-Mar-14 23:24:29

So, yes, but it sounds like you will be safe given the amount of time which has passed.

RufousBartleby Sat 01-Mar-14 23:51:38

Its not a myth - this annoys me, like to suggest it happens makes you pro-life. I'm in this position at the moment, I'm going to an NHS fertility clinic and none of the doctors have seemed particularly surprised, so its obviouslynot just me! although there is precious little balanced discussion about it in real life or on the internet. The majority if people are obviously fine and Im sure you will be one of them. I believe problems are more likely after 12 weeks when the bone has hardened. I wish there was more open and less emotionally weighted discussion about this. I feel i was hugely under-informed about the risks.

joanofarchitrave Sun 02-Mar-14 00:05:55

But - rufous, that's interesting about the bone hardening, is there more infomation about that?

Surely something like a third of women in the UK have had an abortion at some time in their lives. The proportion having fertility problems is smaller, but at least a third of women in fertility clinics will therefore have had an abortion, presumably. And in fact, there will be a higher proportion in fertility clinics who have had an abortion, because complications like infection at the time do have an impact on fertility, as discussed above. And also because those in fertility clinics presumably will be as a group older than average, and therefore more likely to have had an abortion just because they've lived more years. So i really don't see that if the team at a fertility clinic are used to encountering women who've had an abortion, that it proves that all the extensive information saying that there is no evidence of a link between straightforward abortion and reduced fertility, is therefore wrong.

ThefutureMrsTatum Sun 02-Mar-14 00:11:14

I am not sure on the statistics, however from my own personal experience, had 2 surgical abortions aged 18 and 20, went on to conceive all 3 DC's within 2 months of "trying". So it didn't affect me. Good luck!

RufousBartleby Sun 02-Mar-14 07:22:45

Joan - The percentage of abortions that take place after 12 weeks is tiny compared to the overall statistic, and the percentage of those carried out surgically is even smaller, and then there isnt guaranteed to be a problem, I think the number experiencing any type of problem, not necesarily fertility, is quoted as 4 in 1000. To be honest when I first went to the hospital I expected the staff to be sceptical that abortion could have caused the problem but they really werent, its a very large and I suppose as gynaec

RufousBartleby Sun 02-Mar-14 07:26:11

sorry posted too soon, that should say that as gynaecologists theyve probably seen it all before. Anyway what Im getting at OP is thats its highly unlikely but not impossible as anyone who has ever been on the wrong side of the statistics will know.

BalloonSlayer Sun 02-Mar-14 07:44:33

I do wonder if the link is more psychological, in that if you have had to have a termination, the pregnancy was most often unplanned, or caused by contraceptive failure. This leads women to think that they must be very fertile to have got pregnant just having that one day of unprotected sex, or despite being on the pill etc. When actually it was probably just chance.

They are left feeling that they will get pregnant immediately they have unprotected sex, or if their contraception is not 100% effective.

Fast forward a couple of years and they start trying for a baby but didn't conceive as quickly as they would have liked. They think "but the time I got pregnant when I had my termination: I wasn't even trying then! What has changed?" and therefore blame the termination when it isn't necessarily the cause.

I grew up with tales of abortions damaging fertility eg Marilyn Monroe, but she lived in a time where abortions were illegal and you had some dreadful people performing them.

I have never had an abortion but I have had 3 miscarriages, 2 of which required an ERPC, which I understand is a similar medical procedure. No one ever tried to tell me having an ERPC could affect future fertility. In fact, having just had a miscarriage, everyone took pains to reassure me that I would be able to have a baby. Funny that, eh?

RufousBartleby Sun 02-Mar-14 07:59:38

Oh honestly balloon slayer. Im going to hide this thread. Perhaps you could pop over to conception next and tell a few people there that they just need to relax and maybe take a holiday...hmm

BalloonSlayer Sun 02-Mar-14 08:16:14

Sorry Rufous, I was actually trying to offer comfort to the OP. I am really sorry for upsetting you and for the problems you are having. flowers

mrsnec Sun 02-Mar-14 08:16:38

Hi, I had one at 12 weeks when I was 22. I didn't start ttc again until I was 31. It took 4 years to get pregnant for me but in the end my infertility was put down to my weight and I conceived after losing weight. That ended in an mc which I chose to go through naturally as my hospital ( not in the UK) were judgemental about my previous history I felt they treated me differently as a result. Having said that I don't over analyse what happened. My mc was one of the most traumatic things that's ever happened to me but it wasn't anyones fault it was just bad luck. A statistic nothing to do with my past. What I know now is that I shouldn't have waited so long and I should have figured out sooner that my weight was the problem. Op, what I'm saying is if you are both in the right frame of mind go for it. Everyone's experience is different.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 02-Mar-14 09:21:47

I had a termination when I was 16 (at 8 weeks pregnant) but went on to conceive on cycle #1 last year. Mine was also a surgical termination.

My sister had a surgical termination when she was younger too and has since gone on to have 2 children.

juule Sun 02-Mar-14 18:13:21

Like balloonslayer I was reassured by health professionals that having an erpc would in no way affect my fertility or ability to carry a baby.

I've never had an abortion but I have the impression that the erpc procedure was similar and was very concerned at the time that it would be a problem for me. I have had several erpcs and several children.

So, I'm confused why an erpc would cause no problems but an abortion would.

EllaJayne123 Sun 02-Mar-14 18:25:02

I've had 2 early abortions previously and was always assured it would not affect my fertility at all later in life. They must be right because 16 weeks ago I missed one pill and now have my lovely surprise baby on the way!

squizita Sun 02-Mar-14 20:02:33

It's the same operation as for missed miscarriages at that stage, and unless you have a complication such as asherman's syndrome, it should not cause problems.

Interesting how the pamphlets they give for a loss go on and on about this fact, but it appears the leaflets for terminations say the opposite. As another poster mentions, it may well be organisational bias.

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