Post-abortion recovery can look differently for each woman depending on the type of procedure she has had (medical or surgical abortion).
Read this article to learn each procedure’s different risks and side effects so you can make an informed decision.
What Are the Common Abortion Side Effects?
Surgical abortion requires an in-person visit to a clinic. The procedure is performed while the patient is under anesthesia. According to the Mayo Clinic, common side effects may last a few days and can include:
- Mild cramping
- Spotting or light bleeding
A medication abortion requires two series of drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. One ends the pregnancy, and the other induces cramping to expel the fetus and pregnancy remnants.
Bleeding and spotting after the procedure can occur up to 30 days after the procedure. Other common side effects include:
What Are the Health Risks of an Abortion?
Risks of Surgical Abortion
The risks of surgical abortion may include the following:
- Internal damage from one of the surgical instruments
- Excessive bleeding that gets worse instead of better
- Reaction to the medicines or anesthesia used
- Not removing all of the tissue, requiring another procedure
Risks of Medical Abortion
Potential risks of medical abortion include:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
- Roughly 1% of patients who take the abortion pill suffer severe hemorrhaging
Your Future Health
Some health complications linked to having an abortion procedure include:
- A 2013 study found that women who have had abortions are more than twice as likely to have a very early preterm delivery in future pregnancies.
- A surgical abortion can sometimes cause uterine scarring, which can make it difficult to get pregnant again or cause complications in future pregnancies, such as a low birth rate or premature birth.
Infants who are born prematurely are more likely to have severe metabolic dysfunction, social or intellectual impairment, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities.
Before making any decisions, it’s important to gather as much information as possible, such as verifying the gestational age and location of the pregnancy to ensure it is non-ectopic.