Skip to content
Home » News » Abortion: How Much Do You Know? (Question 3)

Abortion: How Much Do You Know? (Question 3)

Can contraception cause an early abortion?

The pill, Norplant, Depo-Provera, emergency contraception, the IUD – all of these chemical contraceptives have three basic modes of operation:

  • They can act to suppress ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). However, women can and do experience breakthrough ovulation, meaning that an egg is released and available to be fertilized.
  • They can cause the cervical mucus to thicken, making it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. It is possible, though, for the sperm to break through the mucus and to fertilize the egg.
  • They can alter the lining of the uterus making it difficult, if not impossible, for the 7-9 day old developing baby to attach to the uterine lining, where it would receive the nourishment necessary for further development. The baby would then be expelled from the body during menstruation. This process is known as a chemical abortion and is why the pill is referred to as an abortifacient.

1999 Physicians Desk Reference
Planned Parenthood
A Consumer’s Guide to the Pill and other Drugs, by John Wilks, B. Pharm., M.P.S.