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Risks

There are both short and long term risks to the abortion pill and to surgical abortion. Approximately ten percent of women undergoing induced abortion suffer from immediate complications. It is important that any patient make an informed decision before taking any type of medication or undergoing any surgical procedure. We are here to help you in any way you need.

The further along a patient is in the pregnancy, the greater the chance of serious complications. Also, patients have a greater risk of dying from the abortion procedure. Other factors that affect the possibility of complications include the training of the doctor, type of anesthesia used, type of facility chosen, health of the patient and abortion procedure used. Please contact Free Women’s Clinic to be connected with a clinic or center that will discuss risks and options with you. Remember, it is your right and the doctor’s responsibility to inform you fully prior to the procedure. Ask all of your questions and make sure you understand the answers. You have a right to view your medical records, including your ultrasound, at any time.

Below is a description of the risks that have been associated with abortion:

Pelvic Infection: Bacteria (germs) from the vagina or cervix may enter the uterus and cause an infection. Antibiotics may clear up such an infection. In rare cases, a repeat suction, hospitalization or surgery may be needed. If a woman has Gonorrhea, Syphilis, or Chlamydia, a serious tubal infection can occur.

Retained Tissue: The thickened lining of the uterus is never completely removed during a surgical abortion, and therefore, it is normal for the uterus to naturally shed excess blood and tissue while healing. This process can lead to infection, hemorrhage, or both, especially if fetal tissue remains in the uterus. To remove remaining tissue, it may be necessary to repeat the aspiration procedure at the office or in the hospital. In rare instances, surgery is required.

Blood clots in the uterus: Blood clots that cause severe cramping.

Heavy bleeding (Hemorrhage): Some amount of bleeding is common following an abortion. Heavy bleeding (hemorrhaging) can occur in some instances. This is treated by repeat suction, medication or surgery.

Torn cervix: The opening of the uterus may be torn while it is being stretched open to allow medical instruments to pass through and into the uterus.

Perforation of the uterus wall: A medical instrument may go through the wall of the uterus. Depending on the severity, perforation can lead to infection, heavy bleeding or both. Surgery may be required to repair the uterine tissue, and in cases hysterectomy may be required.

Anesthesia-related complications: As with other surgical procedures, anesthesia increases the risk of complications associated with abortion.

Cardiac Arrest: Some patients can experience sudden cardiac arrest (heart attack) during an abortion.

Long-Term Medical Risks

Future childbearing: Early abortions that are not complicated by infection do not cause infertility or make it more difficult to carry a later pregnancy to term. Complications associated with an abortion or having many abortions may make it difficult to have children.

Depression: Because every person is different, one woman’s emotional reaction to an abortion may be different from another’s. After an abortion, a woman may have both positive and negative feelings, even at the same time. One woman may feel relief, both that the procedure is over and that she is no longer pregnant. Another woman may feel sad that she was in a position where all of her choices were hard ones. She may feel sad about ending the pregnancy. For a while after the abortion she also may feel a sense of emptiness or guilt, wondering whether or not her decision was right.
Some women who describe these feelings find they go away with time. Others find them more difficult to overcome. Certain factors can increase the chance that a woman may have a difficult adjustment to an abortion.

These risk factors all should be considered before having an abortion. If you would like to discuss these risks and how they could personally affect you, please contact OptionsforPregnancy.com to be connected with a clinic or center that will guide you through your options at no cost to you.