Fertility, in many cases, is taken for granted, and it seems almost natural to believe that any couple that attempts to conceive will be successful so that pregnancy occurs. Since there is never any reason to contemplate otherwise, if this is not the case and months pass without conception occurring, emotions can arise. The dawning realization that something is not right and that the fertility of one of the partners in the union is compromised might ensue. The dreams that the couple has of raising children might seem to have been shattered to never eventuate. Fertility is valued, and any issues affecting it can be devastating. Most of the time, women are blamed in cases where infertility is presumed to be present, and the situation is even worse when the woman has had an abortion before. In the medical world, abortion may imply a planned termination of a pregnancy or one that ends in a miscarriage. However, in other discussions, abortion means an induced miscarriage. Having an abortion will, in many cases, not affect the chances of one becoming pregnant and having normal pregnancies. A small risk occurs when a womb infection that is not treated develops. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can increase the risk of infertility and ectopic pregnancies. Nonetheless, most infections are often treated before they can pose any major challenges, and many people get pregnant after an abortion. When abortion is done safely, it does not affect future fertility despite the misleading information.
The risk of major complications resulting from abortion that could lead to infertility is less than 1%. It has been determined that even in the second trimester, the risk is still less than 1% (Upadhyay 175). In fact, the risks of infertility are usually higher in pregnancies that go to full term. The rate of infection after one undergoes medical termination is negligible, as is the need for blood transfusion. According to Mazza et al., medical abortion up to 63 days has an efficacy rate of 95.16 to 97.7% (324). Siassakos et al. estimate that heavy bleeding that necessitates blood transfusion is rare, with cases ranging from 0-3 in 1000 cases (3). Typically, bleeding after an abortion is conducted takes up to two weeks. The Guttmacher Institute approximates that between 2015-2019 more than one hundred million unintended pregnancies occurred each year worldwide. In these pregnancies, over 60% ended in abortion (Guttmacher Institute). These huge figures support the need for abortion for a majority of the population in many parts of the world. Planned parenthood adds that abortions are two times safer than having your tonsils removed and even safer than giving birth (Planned Parenthood). Future fertility can be affected by other factors such as age and STIs compared to pregnancy. Lui et al. argue that medical and surgical procedures for termination of pregnancy in the first trimester are entirely safe, with a success rate of close to 95% (14). While gastrointestinal complications are common, major complications are very rare.
I believe the above information is important since it presents evidence that abortion is a safe procedure that does not affect fertility. The information relates to my thesis since it affirms the argument that abortion does not lead to infertility. The above information positively influenced me since it presented helpful information on the safety of abortion, making me accept it more as a way to plan for families in uncontrollable situations.
Misinformation and misconceptions are common, especially from crisis pregnancy centers. These are centers that promote counseling against abortion and abstinence-only messages. In the U.S., these may include government websites and mandatory physician scripts. The common deceptive info includes impaired fertility, mental health risks, and high risks of breast cancer. However, there is evidence that abortion is a safe procedure and that it does not increase the risks of breast cancer or mental illnesses and does not affect fertility. The other misconception is that all that seek abortion have not utilized birth control methods. Sometimes condoms leak, and while pills have high rates of effectiveness, there is a small percentage that they may fail to work. Therefore, assuming that all the women that seek abortion are irresponsible is misleading. Misconceptions about abortion are usually damaging and only work to promote stigma and a culture of silence. There exists no proof that having a safe abortion can affect fertility.
I believe that the above information is essential since it covers the existence of misconceptions about abortion. The information connects to my thesis since it provides facts regarding the common misconceptions. From the above information, I have learned that it is important to verify information, especially the one that relates to sexual and reproductive health.
Abortions that cause complications can impact future fertility. Some of the complications that could impact future fecundity include uterine injury from surgical procedures, serious bleeding, and infection. The process of opening the cervix and inserting sharp instruments can allow bacteria and infections to spread to the reproductive organs and pelvis. Such infections can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can affect the ability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy for up to nine months (Mazza et al. 326). Injuries are common where the pregnancy is far into the term. Such problems are common in cases where abortion is done illegally, leading to the scarring of fallopian tubes and the uterus. Incomplete abortion can also affect fertility where a piece of the fetus is left behind, causing infection. An incompetent cervix which is caused by cervical trauma such as the one from surgical abortion, can make it hard for a woman to carry a pregnancy to full term. Usually, an incompetent cervix occurs where there is weak cervical tissue that makes the cervix area soft so as to dilate too quickly after pregnancy. Such an occurrence leads to a loss of a pregnancy or a premature baby.
I believe that the above information is critical since it presents information regarding some of the risks associated with abortion, especially when conducted illegally. The information does not support my thesis but rather opposes my claim that abortion does not lead to infertility. The information has influenced me by providing information on the dangers that can result from abortion. In this regard, it provides depth to my argument by presenting the reverse side of abortion.
When abortion is done safely, it does not affect future fertility despite the misleading information. I believe that abortion does not affect fertility in cases where it is done safely. Abortion is a low-risk procedure that helps couples plan their families in trying situations. Sometimes couples use family planning methods, but these birth controls fail them. Abortion should be promoted to reduce stigma and a culture of silence which can lead to illegal procedures that are harmful. Since there is no proof that abortion can lead to infertility, I believe the procedure presents an opportunity to save the lives of many women that face difficult pregnancies that put their lives in danger.
Guttmacher Institute. “Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion Worldwide.” https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-worldwide
Mazza, Danielle, et al. “Medical abortion.” Australian Journal of General Practice 49.6 (2020): 324-330. www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/2020/june/medical-abortion
Lui, Man-Wa, and Pak-Chung Ho. “First Trimester Termination of Pregnancy.” Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology 63 (2020): 13-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2019.06.004
Planned Parenthood. Does Having an Abortion Affect your Ability to have Children in the Future?
Siassakos, D.M. et al. “Surgical Management of Miscarriage and Removal of Persistent Placental or Fetal Remains.” Consent Advice No. 10, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 2018. www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/consent-advice/consent-advice-10-surgical-management-of-miscarriage.pdf
Upadhyay, Ushma D., et al. “Incidence of emergency department visits and complications after abortion.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 125.1 (2015): 175-183.