What Are the Risks of Abortion?

What Are the Risks of Abortion?

Any medical procedure, prescription, or even over-the-counter drug comes with risks and side effects to consider. Abortion is no different.

If you’re thinking about an abortion procedure, it’s critical to evaluate the side effects and risks, receive an ultrasound, and review your medical history. Visit the Women’s Clinic to receive these essential services.

Continue reading for more details on abortion risks.

What’s the Difference Between Risks and Side Effects?

Before we list the exact risks and side effects of an abortion, it’s essential to differentiate between risks and side effects.

  • A risk is a chance that something will harm or impact your health. Risks are not definite or guaranteed to happen, but you should consider them because they are possible, even if rare.
  • A side effect is an unintended consequence of a procedure or drug. Side effects can be positive, but usually, they are unwanted or unpleasant. Some side effects are more common than others, and not every person will experience all of them.

Medical Abortion: Side Effects and Risks

Medical abortion (the abortion pill) is the termination of a pregnancy with drugs during the first trimester. The FDA has only approved its use through the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

This early abortion procedure works by a woman first taking the drug mifepristone, which blocks the hormone progesterone, to end her pregnancy.

Then, days or hours later, a woman will take the drug misoprostol to cause the uterus to contract to expel the embryo or fetus and tissue from her body.

Every woman who takes the abortion pill will experience the side effects of abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, and headache.

The potential risks of abortion include:

  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • An incomplete abortion, which may require a surgical procedure
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Digestive system discomfort

Surgical Abortion: Side Effects and Risks

Surgical abortion works by dilating a woman’s cervix. Then, a licensed provider uses a mixture of suction, medication, and surgical tools to end and remove a pregnancy from the uterus.

It’s typically performed in a hospital or clinical setting with a local anesthetic or sedation.

The side effects of surgical abortion can last a few days and include mild cramping and light bleeding.

The potential risks of surgical abortion include:

  • Uterine perforation (poking a hole in the uterus)
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall (Asherman’s syndrome)
  • Infection

Gather More Facts About Your Pregnancy

If you’re wondering if an abortion is the direction to take, there’s more to consider than the risks and side effects. You will also want to know specific details about your pregnancy that you can only discover through an ultrasound, such as how far along you are (gestational age).

Schedule an appointment for pregnancy testing, an ultrasound, and an STI screening at our clinic. These services will help you learn key details to inform your next steps.

Call us at 850-656-9177 or text us at 850-583-1536 to schedule your confidential medical appointment. Our services are free or low-cost.

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