How does having an abortion affect future pregnancies? Does it increase my risk of infertility or pregnancy complications?
There is much evidence that abortion is very safe in regard to its possible impact on future pregnancies. Research has shown that both abortion by medication (medical abortion) and abortion by surgery (surgical abortion) very rarely result in infertility or complications in subsequent pregnancies.
During a medical abortion, a woman takes oral medications — mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486) and misoprostol — during her first trimester to abort the fetus. In a recent 2007 study of more than 11,800 women, researchers concluded that medical abortion does not increase the risk of future miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, preterm delivery or low birth weight babies.
During a surgical abortion, the fetus is removed from the uterus with a vacuum pump or syringe during outpatient surgery. It’s possible — but very uncommon — for a surgical abortion to cause scarring on the inside of the uterus or to weaken the cervix. Such damage, if it occurs, may need surgical treatment.
Like all medical procedures, terminations of pregnancies carry some risk. However, the risk of medical and surgical abortions is quite low.