A Gynaecologist, Dr Adaora Ukoh, says partial evacuation of foetus from the womb during abortion of pregnancy could increase the rate of infertility in women.
Ukoh, who works with a private Hospital in Abuja, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
According to her, abortion is a medical process of terminating a pregnancy by removing the embryo and placenta from the uterus.
She said that abortion could be done in two ways; either through the use of medicines or via a surgical procedure.
Ukoh described medical abortion as a process where the woman takes medication in early pregnancy to abort the foetus.
While surgical abortion was a procedure through which the foetus is removed from the uterus with a vacuum device.
The expert explained that abortion, itself, does not cause infertility in women; rather complications during the procedure put women at high risk of infertility.
According to her, studies have shown that there is a link between abortion and vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy which leads to complications that could result in infertility.
“Preterm birth placenta problem is a factor associated with abortion and it predisposes an individual to infertility.
“Weakened cervix which leads to premature opening of the cervix can occur during abortion thereby leading to infertility.
“Damage or hole in the uterus, which might need surgery to correct for the woman to be able to conceive, also increases the risk of infertility.
“Inability to get pregnant due to infection or complication during an operation is also a factor associated with abortion.
“Incomplete removal of the foetus and the placenta can arise during abortion which also leads to infertility,’’ Ukoh said.
She said that repeated abortions could cause damage to the cervix and increase the chances of late miscarriages.
She advised strict adherence to the use of antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor after an abortion.
Ukoh said that this would help to reduce the risk of infection of the reproductive organs which, ultimately, caused infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
She warned against intercourse for about two weeks after abortion to enable the body to heal properly as well as prevent immediate conception during the healing period.
She also enjoined women to consult a specialist before undergoing any form of abortion in order to minimise complications.