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Considering Abortion? : Abortion Questions Answered :
Risks of Abortion

Physical Complications and Medical Risks of Abortion

While abortion is usually considered a “low-risk” procedure, all medical and surgical procedures have risks. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, less than 1% of women experience complications from abortion before 14 weeks. This risk increases to 2% for later abortions. However, abortion providers are not required by law to report complications from medication or surgical abortion procedures. Therefore, only estimates are available. The following medical risks, complications, and side effects should be considered when looking into abortion procedures. Your doctor or an emergency care facility should also be notified of any problems following the procedure.

Medication Abortion Risks

Medication Abortion Risks
  • Spotting or light bleeding
  • Hemorrhaging / excessive and prolonged bleeding
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Incomplete abortion
  • Death (about 1 in 100,000)
  • Long-term medical risks

Learn more about medication abortion.

Surgical Abortion Risks

Surgical Abortion Risks
  • Spotting or light bleeding
  • Hemorrhaging / excessive and prolonged bleeding
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Perforation of reproductive and other organs
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
  • Death (lower than 1 in 100,000 for women who have suction curettage or D&C procedure)
  • Long-term medical risks

Learn more about the different types of surgical abortion procedures.

Long Term Medical Risks

Long Term Medical Risks

When looking into abortion as an option for your pregnancy, it’s important to know the physical risks, both immediate and long-term. Thinking about the lasting consequences of abortion can be difficult when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The nature of a crisis means that we want answers and solutions as soon as possible. Have you thought about how an abortion might affect you years from now? Scientific research has suggested the following long-term medical risks to you and future pregnancies.

  • Increased risk of preterm birth
  • Increased risk of fetal abnormalities
  • Difficulty becoming pregnant

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