What are the risks of abortion?

Abortion Clinic (File Photo)

During the first trimester, abortion is considered a pathology that can cause the loss of the pregnancy and, in some specific cases, can require a quirurgical procedure. While the gestational age increases, the major risks of abortion are considered. But, generally, abortions are safe, and most of the women that decide on this surgery usually do not experience any problems, but that does not mean they will not appear.

This procedure can be done in a medical office or at home with follow-up to your doctor. Also, you must know that making this decision can bring emotional psychological consequences, therefore you need to know the possible risks and side effects of abortion.

Risks of abortion

Before proceeding with the decision of abortion you must be sure because, in case of taking medications used in medical abortion and decide to keep your pregnancy, this may have risks of major complications. Therefore it is important to be sure.

According to specialists, medical abortion does not affect future pregnancies unless the surgery comes with complications. The potential risks of abortion include:

  • Infection (It can be a complication for your fertility if it is not treated immediately)
  • Fever
  • In some cases, this procedure does not work
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • In case of an incomplete abortion, you may need a surgical abortion
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Perforation of the uterus wall
  • Blood clots in the uterus.

Like any other procedure, there are risks of complications. In the case of abortion, infections, heavy bleedin or having a perforation in the uterus wall can be the highest risk. However, it is not common for this to happen.

How should I prepare for abortion?

First of all, if you are going to have this minor surgery, you must consult your doctor to know if you are capable of it and how you must prepare for it. Some tips that you can consider include:

  • Confirm your pregnancy
  • Do blood and urine tests
  • Know the potential complications and side effects
  • Evaluate your medical history and health
  • Do an ultrasound exam to date the pregnancy and confirm you can do the procedure
  • Make sure that your doctor knows about the medication that you are taking. If you use an inhaler also is important for the doctor to know.

In the case of ectopic pregnancy, medical abortion is not an option for you. You must remember that your doctor must know any medication allergies or complications in the past. Also, it is recommended to be accompanied by a family member or friend.

To end…

Even if abortion is a secure procedure, some women can not consider it due to situations such as; bleeding disorders; blood vessel and certain heart diseases; have an intrauterine device, have allergies to medications used, have at least nine weeks of pregnancy, among others.

Before the medical abortion, you must consider the above to know if you can keep with the decision and not take a heavy risk on it. However, for women that can´t have a medical abortion, there is a procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C) that can be done for them.  This procedure consists of removing tissue from inside the uterus. But remember you must consult a doctor for a better diagnosis.

Thanks to Dr. Elio R. Ponce Juárez, obstetrician gynecologist for his collaboration in this article. With more than 6 years of experience, Dr. Ponce specializes in Laparoscopic Gynecological Surgery, Conventional Gynecological Surgery, and Childbirth.


  1. Mayo Clinic
  2. NHS
  3. Louisiana Department of Health

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