Abortion – is an artificial or natural termination of pregnancy. A natural or spontaneous abortion is an induced release of the fetus from the uterus in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
An induced abortion is performed by an obstetrician-gynecologist, for various reasons: unwanted pregnancy, the presence of severe defects and fetal pathologies, antenatal fetal death. This is a rather difficult and stressful process for a woman’s body, and often it can have a bad effect on the general condition of her body.
There are three types of induced abortions in gynecology, which differ in terms of time and have different consequences for a woman.
Types of induced abortion
- Mini-abortion or vacuum aspiration of the fetus. It is considered to be one of the safest types of abortion, which has minimal consequences for a woman. It can be carried out no later than 7 weeks of gestation. It is done using a special vacuum catheter that removes the embryo. It is less traumatic, but there is a risk of injury to the uterine mucosa, which can lead to various pathological processes.
- Medication-induced abortion. The method, which is carried out before 6-7 weeks of pregnancy, is considered to be relatively safe. A woman is prescribed special medications that affect the uterus and, as a result, provoke a spontaneous miscarriage. The method is considered completely atraumatic, since there is no intervention in the uterus. The bad side of this method is that it is quite difficult to predict the body’s reaction to pills.
- Classical or surgical abortion. It can be done up to 17 weeks of gestation. It is carried out by scraping the ovum with a curette. It is the most traumatic method, but at the same time it minimizes the risk of leaving fetal particles in the uterus which can lead to suppuration.
What complications are possible after an abortion?
All types of abortion can lead to complications. This applies to both natural and all artificial methods.
The main complications include:
- Infectious and inflammatory processes. Any intervention in a woman’s uterus can lead to infection and subsequent inflammatory processes. Even after the manipulation, you need to adhere to the doctor’s recommendations, because the risk remains until everything heals up normally
- Critical bleeding. During an abortion, the fetus is separated from the wall of the uterus, a wound is formed in this place, and in some cases, it can bleed very much. Very often, this bleeding is difficult to stop and can lead to death
- Incomplete abortion. This is a rather severe complication, which is characterized by the remnant of a fetal particle in the uterine cavity. It can lead to infection, or bleeding. In this case, additional surgical cleaning of the uterine cavity is required
- Damage to the cervix or uterine cavity. A frequent complication of surgical abortion. The doctor can perforate the wall of the uterus, or scratch the lining of the cervix. It also increases the risk of inflammation and infection. It is worth noting that this does not always depend on the professionalism of the doctor, but the risk of injury increases with every week of pregnancy
- Adhesions in the uterine cavity. It is a connective tissue that forms at the site of mucosal injury
Does abortion lead to infertility and what is the probability that?
Yes, there is such a risk, and the chances are high enough. Termination of the pregnancy can end badly for the mother. Indeed, during this period, natural processes are disrupted. And no one can say exactly how the body will react to an abortion. Even a spontaneous miscarriage can cause hormonal disruptions, which will create problems with the next fertilization attempts.
And when a woman undergoes an induced abortion, this is a direct intervention in the body and it causes additional possible complications that can cause infertility.
Abortion is considered a surgical procedure, and any surgical procedure can lead to adhesions, which will lead to the impossibility of fertilization. There is also a chance of developing isthmic-cervical insufficiency, which may lead to regular miscarriages in the future. There is also the probability of developing hormonal infertility, because the body hormonally prepares itself for pregnancy and then everything stops abruptly. This can lead to disruptions in the menstrual cycle, lack of ovulation, and other consequences.
The probability of developing female infertility after an abortion is not great. Only 5-7% of all abortions end in infertility. But here you need to take into account the individual characteristics of each woman, because the risk can increase in the presence of diseases of the reproductive system, oncology, a history of miscarriages or other pathologies. Age and the presence of their own children play a big role.
Also, the risk is especially increased in young women, with the first pregnancy. Their risk sometimes rises to 50% of not having children anymore. Since it is very stressful for a young organism. And in the case of a “handicraft” or “home” abortion, the chance of getting complications and, as a result, infertility, is almost 90%. Since, it is carried out without preparation, analysis and full treatment.
Well, with each repeated termination of pregnancy, the risk of developing infertility increases by 4-5%
Is it possible to avoid the consequences of an abortion?
In order to avoid the consequences of termination of pregnancy, first of all, you need to seek only qualified help from professional clinics, and not use the services of “home midwives”.
It is also worth turning to “soft” methods of abortion, doing it in the early stages of pregnancy, then the risk of infertility will be minimal. In the first days after the artificial termination of pregnancy, you must strictly follow the recommendations of the gynecologist, have a rest and monitor your condition.
During the rehabilitation period, over the next three months, a woman should be observed by a doctor, undergo regular examinations and tests. The gynecologist prescribes treatment that will help the body restore hormonal balance. The doctor monitors the recovery process, carries out prevention of complications and, in cases of development of problems, reacts quickly and provides full treatment.
Such an integrated approach reduces the risk of complications and female infertility.
Fertility treatment after abortion
In most cases, after termination of pregnancy, infertility can be cured. Treatment should be started no earlier than half a year after the abortion, so that the body is fully recjvered. Then the woman undergoes a full course of diagnostics, during which the gynecologist determines the exact cause of infertility.
In case of hormonal infertility, the doctor prescribes medication, vitamins and hormone replacement. Thus, it can induce full ovulation and natural fertilization.
If post-abortion endometriosis, erosion or other chronic diseases develop, then they must first be transferred to the stage of remission, and only after that infertility treatment should be carried out.
If the abortion was performed by surgical curettage, and adhesions were formed, then the woman is referred for an operation to dissect the adhesions.
In case of significant damage and the impossibility of fertilization in the uterus, doctors recommend turning to assisted reproductive technologies, for example, in vitro fertilization, which increases the chances of a full-fledged pregnancy.
Sometimes, there are quite severe complications that require the removal of the uterus (critical bleeding that does not stop with other methods), which leads to absolute infertility. But, the ovaries are left very often, which means that a woman can produce full-fledged eggs. Then, she should turn to surrogacy.