Are There Risks With Abortion?

Both medical and surgical abortion procedures have potential side effects and risks you should be aware of. No matter which method you have, abortion is a major medical decision, and you should be fully prepared beforehand.

At The Center for Women, we do not provide or refer for abortion, but we will give you honest, scientific facts about the possible effects of the procedures. If you are contemplating abortion for your unplanned pregnancy, talk with us first.

Medical Abortion

Side Effects of Medical Abortion

The majority of abortions today are medical. The medical abortion method is often called the abortion pill or chemical abortion. It uses a mixture of drugs to terminate and expel a pregnancy from a woman’s body.

According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the possible side effects of medical abortion:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Potential Risks of Medical Abortion

The Mayo Clinic lists the following as potential risks of medical abortion:

  • Incomplete abortion (which may need to be followed by surgical abortion)
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Surgical Abortion

To learn about the various surgical abortion procedures, see our Abortion Info page.

Side Effects of Surgical Abortion

The Mayo Clinic lists the following as possible side effects of surgical abortion:

  • Mild Cramping
  • Spotting or light bleeding

Potential Risks of Surgical Abortion

According to the National Health Service, these are potential risks of surgical abortion:

  • Needing another procedure to remove parts of the pregnancy that stayed in the uterus
  • Very heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to the uterus
  • Injury to the cervix (the entrance to the uterus)

Mental Health Effects

A study reported by the National Library of Medicine indicated a correlation between abortion and mental health issues. The article stated the following:

  • “Abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion.”
  • “The abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems for a least some women.”
  • “There are risk factors, such as pre-existing mental illness, that identify women at greatest risk of mental health problems after an abortion.”

Before An Abortion

Be sure to meet with your healthcare provider to review your physical and mental health before scheduling an abortion. In addition, confirm your pregnancy with a medical-grade pregnancy test and a limited obstetrical ultrasound. Contact our team to find out more about how to get the information you need.