pregnant woman curious about the risks of abortion

When you’re unexpectedly pregnant and considering abortion, it’s important to understand the risks involved. Abortion is a significant medical procedure with its own set of risks for each type. 

To make an informed decision, be sure to gather all the necessary information and discuss the details with healthcare providers. This will help you know what to expect and ensure you’re making the best choice for your situation.

The Two Types of Abortion Procedures

There are two types of abortions: medical and surgical.

Medical abortions are performed early in pregnancy and are FDA-approved through 10 weeks gestation (the age of your pregnancy). A medical abortion is commonly referred to as “the abortion pill” and uses drugs to terminate a pregnancy.

Surgical abortions are used in the later stages of pregnancy. Surgical abortions use a combination of drugs, medical instruments, or suction to remove a pregnancy and its related tissue from the uterus. 

Medical Abortion Risks

After taking the abortion drugs, you will experience abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. Many women report the pain being more severe than they expected. 

The risks of a medical abortion include:

  • Failure to end the pregnancy or retained pregnancy tissue.
  • Heavy bleeding that won’t stop. 
  • Diarrhea and digestive pain.
  • Allergic reaction to the medications.
  • Infection (signs to look out for include an unpleasant vaginal odor and fever that lasts more than 24 to 48 hours).

Surgical Abortion Risks

Unlike medical abortions, where the drugs are taken at home, surgical abortions are performed in a hospital or clinic setting. You will likely wait in a recovery room for a few hours afterward to check for complications and heavy bleeding.

The risks of a surgical abortion are:

  • Infection
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Uterine perforation

In rare cases, these risks can lead to Asherman’s Syndrome, which can cause unusual, absent, or painful menstrual cycles, future miscarriages, and infertility but can be treated.

Get Fully Informed

Knowing the risks of abortion is only one aspect of the procedure. To get the full scope of what’s involved in an abortion, contact us at Women’s Resource Center. 

We provide no-cost pregnancy services and education so you can feel prepared and understand all of your options. 

Make a confidential appointment online today.