Like any medical procedure, both medical and surgical abortion are known to have risks. Informing yourself about the procedures and taking precautions can help you  protect your health. 

The risks of abortion vary depending on the type of abortion performed.

Medical Abortion

FDA-approved for pregnancies up to 10 weeks, medical abortion, sometimes called the “abortion pill,” is a multiple-day process that involves taking two different drugs. 

The first drug, called mifepristone, blocks progesterone in the body. Since the body needs progesterone to grow and sustain the pregnancy, blocking it ends the pregnancy. 

The second drug, misoprostol, is then taken to expel the pregnancy through uterine contractions.

Side effects of medical abortion can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

In addition to these common side effects, women can be at risk for the following:

  • Incomplete abortion
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection

A woman having a medical abortion will need to monitor herself for symptoms of these risks and seek medical help immediately if she experiences any of the following:

  • Heavy Bleeding (Soaking through two or more pads in an hour)
  • Severe pain in the abdomen or the back
  • Fever that lasts more than 24 hours
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

Surgical Abortion

A surgical abortion is a procedure that takes place in a medical facility. A practitioner begins by opening the cervix (the opening of the uterus) and then using suction or surgical tools to remove the pregnancy through the vagina.

The side effects of a surgical abortion can last a few days and include: 

  • Mild cramping
  • Spotting or light bleeding

There are also more serious risks that are associated with surgical abortion such as:

  • Uterine perforation (when a surgical tool accidentally pokes through the uterus
  • Uterine infection
  • Uterine Bleeding

After an abortion, a woman is sent home to recover. She will need to monitor herself and contact her provider immediately if she notices any of the following symptoms of serious complications:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Heavy bleeding (bleeding soaking through more than two pads per hour)
  • Severe cramping
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

Want More Information?

If you are looking for more information about your pregnancy options, you can contact HopePlace Monticello. We offer free pregnancy tests and can talk with you about the options you will have available to you