Q. My wife had two abortions before we got married. She has stopped taking her contraceptive pills since our honeymoon last year. We want to start a family soon as we are already in our late 30s. Before our wedding, we went for check-ups and got the all-clear. I am afraid she will have difficulties conceiving due to her past. Should I be worried?

A. A woman goes through risks each time she undergoes an abortion or what’s medically termed as termination of pregnancy. These include infection, damage to the uterus or womb and injury to the cervix which is the neck of the uterus.

Multiple or previous abortions may result in scarring of tissues in the uterus or blockage in the fallopian tubes. This could prevent the eggs from the ovaries, from moving freely in the fallopian tubes.

If you are concerned, both of you can see a fertility specialist for specific investigations to exclude these conditions and determine why your wife is unable to conceive. As she is in her late 30s, an assessment of her ovarian reserve is important to determine both the quality and quantity of eggs in her ovaries.

I would also recommend that you undergo a sperm analysis test. This measures the quality and quantity of sperm a man produces.

As these are specific investigations to determine a couple’s fertility, they are not normally done during routine pre-marital health screening.

Ref: Q15