When considering options for the outcome of your pregnancy, it is wise to consider the risks of each option. Not every woman will experience the same physical reaction to abortion, but like other medical procedures, it has associated risks that a woman should understand before undergoing the procedure. 

Awareness of these risks can help a woman weigh her options to determine if abortion is the best decision for her and know what signs and symptoms to watch for in case of complications.

Medical Abortion

Using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to terminate a pregnancy is also known as the “abortion pill.” A woman will experience the majority of medical abortion at home. Among the common side effects a woman will likely experience:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Uterine Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Risks are adverse reactions to medication that are less predictable than side effects. Risks of medical abortion include:

  • Incomplete abortion (requires another procedure to address)
  • Heavy bleeding that will not stop
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea and digestive pain
  • Allergic reaction to the medications

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortion is a procedure that takes place in a medical location. A surgeon manually removes the embryo or fetus from the woman’s body using suction and additional surgical tools as indicated. Commonly, a woman will experience local pain, mild cramping, and light bleeding after the procedure.

Risks associated with surgical abortion procedures include:

  • Uterine perforation (a hole poked through the uterus)
  • Uterine infection
  • Uterine bleeding

Monitoring for Complications

After an abortion, it is essential for a woman to monitor herself for signs and symptoms of complications and alert a medical provider if she experiences any of the following:

  • Abdominal (belly) pain that doesn’t improve or worsens
  • Fever
  • Heavy bleeding (bleeding through more than 2 pads per hour)
  • Severe cramps
  • Unusual or foul-smelling vaginal discharge

These symptoms can indicate that a woman needs medical intervention to address a possible complication of the procedure. A medical provider will run tests to determine if action is required.

Need to Know More?

If you have questions about your options, including abortion, Life Choices Center is here to provide answers. Schedule a no-cost appointment.

Life Choices Center is not a medical facility and does not perform or refer for abortions.