Side effects of abortion


There are many side effects of abortion and these can be physical as well as emotional.  They generally tend to differ from one woman to another. Hence, before a woman opts for abortion she should consult a doctor to carefully weigh in all the other options as well as the medical implications of the procedure. A woman will be able to get the menstrual periods once again, four to six weeks after the abortion. In case, the health care provider has suggested the intake of antibiotics, then it is essential that the concerned woman consumes them so as to prevent chances of any infection.

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Side effects of abortion (Types)

A woman can choose between two types of abortion. One is the medical abortion while the second is called surgical abortion. Each type has different physical side effects of abortion on different women. The emotional side effects of abortion, however, tend to be the same for all women.

Surgical abortion side effects

In order to get an abortion via the surgical method,  a woman has to undergo a surgical procedure. This method may produce the following side effects of abortion.

  • Diarrhea
  • Pain or cramps in the abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Possible reaction to anesthesia
  • Bleeding is a common side effect of abortion. But in certain cases, when there is tearing of the cervix or when the uterus gets perforated or punctured, then the risk of hemorrhage or excessive bleeding are greatly increased. The severity levels of such excessive bleeding can so intense in some cases, that surgery or blood transfusion can be the only ways to treat them.
  • In very rare cases, the severity of certain side effects of abortion can increase manifold and increase in various medical complications. Hence, before one goes in for an abortion, she has to consult a doctor to check whether her body will be able to cope with the trauma of an abortion.
  • In a few cases, the medical complications that arise from an abortion can result in a fatality
  • Most of the procedures that involve abortion require the use of general anesthesia. Some women may be allergic to anesthesia while anesthesia itself, has been known to produce a number of life threatening side effects of abortion such as cardiac attacks, seizures, etc. A medical complication that arises due to abortion can further progress the susceptibility to a greater risk to side effects of abortion
  • Sometimes the uterine lining may get injured as a side effect of abortion
  • Abortion procedures require the use and insertion of a number of surgical tools into the uterus. This can result in infection of the pelvis and scarring of the organs in the pelvis, which may result in fever. On vary rare occasions, the infection may spread to the whole body causing sepsis. This can be life threatening and can result in death.
  • There is increased risk of damage and infection to the organs that surround the uterus like the bladder and the bowel, due to an abortion

Side effects of abortion pills

In this a woman can induce abortion by consuming certain pills. This may seem like a simple procedure, but it can result in various side effects of abortion, varying in severity levels. Some such side effects of abortion include:

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  • Diarrhea and cramping
  • Bleeding and spotting
  • Fever accompanied by chills
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Bleeding is normal in medical abortion as well and most cases of bleeding stop after a week or two. However, in rare case the bleeding may continue for a month or more
  • A medical abortion can also result in several complications as a side effect of abortion
  • It can result in infection in certain parts of the body leading to illnesses and even infertility. In rare cases, such infections can result in death of the woman.
  • Sometimes some parts of the fetus may be left behind in the uterus resulting in an incomplete abortion. This can result in some side effects of abortion such as intense bleeding and infection.
  • Some of the side effects of abortion that include the immediate attention of a doctor include abnormal bleeding during a menstrual period, fever of over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, extreme pain in the abdomen or the back that can limit physical movements and a putrid discharge from the vagina.

Side effects of abortion in the long run

Women who have undergone abortion via any of the above two discussed abortion methods may have the following side effects of abortion in the long run:

  • Increased risk to a premature delivery in the future
  • Such premature babies may be at greater risk to be born with cerebral palsy and other abnormalities of the brain as well as bowel and respiratory irregularities
  • Women who have opted for abortion are at nearly fifty percent more risk developing breast cancer as compared to women who have opted out of abortion.

Emotional side effects of abortion

  • A woman may experience symptoms of PTSD known as post abortion syndrome which include increased feelings of guilt, depression, anger, etc. This may induce suicidal tendencies in the woman.
  • They may take up to alcohol or drugs to cope with the emotional distress
  • It can result in sexual dysfunction in the woman as an emotion side effect of abortion.
  • Some women may relive the abortion procedure time and again, leading to further depression and emotional instability
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