Will a past abortion affect my pregnancy?

If you have had an abortion before it is unlikely to affect another pregnancy.

Having an abortion (also known as a termination) won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant and having normal pregnancies in the future. It doesn’t increase your risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or low placenta, either. 

What are the risks of a previous abortion to pregnancy?

You may have a slightly higher risk of premature birth.

If you develop a womb infection after an abortion this can spread to your fallopian tubes and ovaries. This is known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can make it more difficult to get pregnant and increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Most infections are treated before they reach this stage and you should be given antibiotics before an abortion to reduce the risk of infection.

Should I tell the midwife about a previous abortion?

You do not have to tell your midwife that you’ve had an abortion before, but it’s best to mention it so they have your full pregnancy history. Your midwife won’t judge you and they are unlikely to refer to it again. The information about your abortion doesn’t need to go into your pregnancy notes.

If you want to talk to the midwife about your abortion in private, you should have the opportunity at one of your antenatal appointments. If someone goes with you, such as a partner, family member or friend, you can always ask them to wait outside for a moment.

You can always ring your midwife to arrange a private conversation if this is easier.

Anything you say to your midwife or doctor is in confidence. This means that that can’t tell anyone else without your permission, even your partner.

Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (2012) Abortion care https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/pi-abortion-care.pdf

NHS Choices (accessed 18/07/2018) Abortion risks https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/abortion/risks/#effect-on-fertility-and-future-pregnancies (Page last reviewed: 17/08/2016 Next review due: 17/08/2019) 

Review dates
Reviewed: 06 December 2018
Next review: 06 December 2021

This content is currently being reviewed by our team. Updated information will be coming soon.