- Risks and Discomforts of a Surgical Abortion
- Risks and Discomforts of a Medical Abortion (RU 486 & MTX)
- Mental and Psychological
- Future Fertility
- Compiled using information from the following sources:
Risks and Discomforts of a Surgical Abortion
Side effects or complications after an abortion will vary from woman to woman and may include:
- Pain and/or cramping
- Reaction to local anesthetic
- Infection – many physicians prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections, serious infection occurs in 3% of women
- Heavy Bleeding – 1-2% of women will have serious bleeding (more than a normal menstrual period)
- Continued Pregnancy – may occur if pregnancy is tubal or ectopic (a fertilized egg has implanted outside the uterus), requires major surgery
- Retained Tissue – requires a repeat of the suction procedure
- Perforation or puncture of the uterus – rare, but requires surgical repair
- Sterility – very rare, may occur due to serious infection, bleeding, or damage to the uterus
- Death – extremely rare
Talk with a physician about possible side effects and/or complications. Consult a physician immediately if any of these symptoms become severe or you if you experience any of the following:
- Abdominal and/or back pain that prohibits you from standing up
- Bleeding that is heavier than a normal menstrual period
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Fever above 100.4 F
A month to six weeks after the abortion, your period should return. You can get pregnant again soon after an abortion.
Risks and Discomforts of a Medical Abortion (RU 486 & MTX)
- Incomplete abortion requiring a later surgical abortion
- Allergic reaction
- Heavy bleeding
- Undetected ectopic (a fertilized egg has implanted outside the uterus pregnancy)
Mental and Psychological
Feelings after an abortion vary from woman to woman. Some women may feel relief, while others may feel guilt or anger. Though post-abortion syndrome is not officially recognized, many women indicate that they have experienced long-lasting emotional problems following an abortion.
If there are no complications with the abortion procedure, an induced abortion should not affect future fertility.
Reviewed and approved by Medical Director, James Moran, M.D.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
American Pregnancy Association (2006). Possible Physical Side Effects. Retrieved September 04, 2006.
** According to a House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources document, the number of patient fatalities in the United States related to Mifepristone abortions is estimated at 1.39 in 100,000, almost fourteen times the rate for suction-aspiration abortions of comparable terms (8 weeks gestation)1. According to the New York Times, the risk is “a bit more than 1 in 100,000,” and “some deaths may have gone unreported, meaning the real risk may be even higher.”2
- FDA Questions for the Record Following the Subcommittee Hearing, “RU-486: Demonstrating a Low Standard for Women’s Health?”. Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources. Retrieved on 2006-08-24
- Gardiner Harris (April 1, 2006). Some Doctors Voice Worry Over Abortion Pills’ Safety. New York Times. Retrieved on 2006-01-09