Abortion, like any medication or medical procedure, comes with risks. Many of the risks of abortion, like heavy bleeding, infection, fever, and incomplete abortion can be very harmful to your health.
Keep reading to learn more about the risks of abortion so you can make an informed decision.
Abortion Pill Risks
The abortion pill (also called medical abortion) is a regimen of two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol.
Mifepristone is taken at the doctor’s office or abortion clinic where it is prescribed, and misoprostol is taken at least 24-48 hours later. These drugs cause fetal demise and uterine cramping to expel the fetal tissue.
The following are risks to be aware of if you’re considering the abortion pill:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
In addition to the risks listed above, another risk to be aware of is septic shock, which can cause death. If you’ve taken the abortion pill and are experiencing fever, severe abdominal pain, very heavy bleeding, an overall feeling of discomfort, or have fainted, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Surgical Abortion Risks
Surgical abortion procedures vary depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, though many of the risks are the same, regardless of the exact procedure.
The following are risks of surgical abortion:
- Needing another procedure to remove parts of the pregnancy that remain in the womb
- Very heavy bleeding
- Septic shock
- Damage to the cervix or womb
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy
If you experience any of those symptoms following a surgical abortion, immediate medical attention is needed.
Before Your Abortion
There are three things you should do before scheduling an abortion appointment.
First, confirm your pregnancy with an ultrasound. This will reveal more information about your pregnancy, including whether or not you’re eligible for the abortion pill based on how far along you are, and will also reveal whether or not your pregnancy is ectopic.
Second, get tested for STIs. You’ll need to seek treatment for any existing STIs prior to your abortion to avoid severe risks like sepsis and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Finally, make sure you fully consider all of your options prior to an abortion. Many women feel rushed to make a decision, but it’s important to take the time you need, especially in light of the risks associated with abortion.