Abortion is a serious medical procedure that comes with potential risks. Women contemplating an abortion should understand all the risks to make an informed decision. Here is what you need to know about the risks of both medical and surgical abortion.
Risks of Medical Abortion (The Abortion Pill)
The abortion pill, or medical abortion, involves taking two different drugs to terminate an existing pregnancy. There are risks that come with this process.
Taking the abortion pill at home can be dangerous because you are responsible for knowing if a complication is occurring and when to call for emergency services to protect your health and wellness. According to the Mayo Clinic, risks include:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion.
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work.
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding.
- Digestive system discomfort.
Surgical Abortion Risks
A surgical abortion is a lot more invasive than a medical abortion and uses surgicall instruments to remove the pregnancy through the vagina. Vacuum Aspiration or a D&E (Dilation and Evacuation) are the different types of in-clinic abortions.
How far along you are in your pregnancy will determine what type of surgical abortion is done. Common surgical abortion risks include:
- Damage to the womb or cervix
- Uterine perforation
- Excessive bleeding
- Infection of the uterus or fallopian tubes
- Scarring of the inside of the uterus
- Reaction to the medicines or anesthesia, such as problems breathing
- Not removing all of the tissue, requiring another procedure
Before an Abortion
If you’re thinking about abortion, it’s important to know how far along you are through an ultrasound because it determines what type of abortion you can receive. An ultrasound also screens for the pregnancy’s location, which can identify ectopic pregnancy, which can be potentially life-threatening.