Doctors discover staggering reason woman couldn’t get pregnant after abortion 20 years ago

DOCTORS have reported a shock discovery in an infertile woman who had an abortion 20 years prior.

The 39-year-old from Wales had been struggling to get pregnant for at least two years, and also had pelvic pain.

Docs discovered something unusual in the woman's womb


Docs discovered something unusual in the woman’s wombCredit: Clinical Case Reports

She was described as “fit and healthy”, so experts at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Bangor, investigated further.

The unnamed woman had previously been thought to have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), based on her sporadic pains, and given medication.

MRIs found abnormalities in the tissue of her uterus, including cysts. But the woman was ovulating, suggesting she was fertile.

She was referred to an infertility clinic where options such as IVF would have been considered, the paper in Clinical Case Reports said.

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However, the patient and her partner were rejected because they were smokers, and they were advised to quit while trying for a baby.

Around a year later, the woman came back to the gynaecology clinic complaining of chronic pain on the left side, and long, agonising periods.

She was booked in for a test that looked to see if she had blocked fallopian tubes (dye test) or a condition such as PCOS.

While waiting for the operation, the patient underwent repeat pelvic ultrasound.

It was then that an foreign object was discovered in the tissue of her womb, adjacent to the cervix (neck of the womb).

But it wasn’t until a medic was physically examining her, during the dye test, that the truth was revealed.

The test was difficult to carry out because the cervix was “pin-hole sized and very difficult to dilate”.

“A foreign body was observed and removed from the endometrial cavity,” the doctors described.

“Histology of the foreign body showed fragments of dead bone.”

Doctors were aware the woman had a surgical abortion two decades ago, and thus concluded that bone from the foetus had remained in the woman’s womb.

The paper said: “Fetal bone retention is a rare but under-diagnosed complication after abortion.

“If left untreated, it can cause menstrual dysfunction and secondary infertility.

“Some research has suggested that the fetal bone may have a direct toxic effect on the developing embryo, thereby causing infertility.”

It was noted that neither the first MRIs or ultrasounds had detected the piece of bone, and therefore the woman’s symptoms had been misdiagnosed for years.

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They also said there appeared to be no guidance on how to deal with symptoms of an “incomplete abortion”.

The report did not reveal if the woman was later able to conceive. 

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