Risks and Side Effects of Having an Abortion


Learning you’re pregnant can be a scary time, especially when it’s unplanned. It’s important to fully understand your options before making a decision. If you are considering terminating your pregnancy, here are some things you should know about the potential side effects of having an abortion.

First of all, an abortion is an invasive medical procedure, meaning it includes placing a medical instrument inside your body. With any such procedure, there are always risks.

Many women experience abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, spotting and bleeding following an abortion. Some may also contend with vomiting and/or diarrhea. These symptoms can go on for up to four weeks after the procedure.

More serious complications that require medical attention include:

Pelvic Infection

Bacteria entering the uterus from the vagina or cervix can cause an infection that requires antibiotics. In rare cases, hospitalization or surgery may be necessary.

Incomplete Abortion

Infection and bleeding can occur if fetal parts are not fully removed during the abortion. Additional medical procedures may be required.

Uterine Blood Clots

Severe cramping can be caused by blood clots within the uterus. These are usually removed using a canula (the same instrument used during the surgical abortion).

Heavy Bleeding

Heavy bleeding (known as hemorrhaging) can cause a great deal of concern. Additional suction, medication, or even surgery, may be necessary to control the bleeding.

Cervical or Uterine Damage

Stretching open the cervix to pass instruments into the uterus may cause injury. Once inside, instruments can puncture the uterus. Depending on severity, these injuries could require surgery, or even a hysterectomy.


In a few tragic cases, women die following abortions. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that, “in 2012, the most recent year for which data were available, four women were identified to have died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion.”

Women have also experienced post-abortion complications including severe abdominal and back pain, foul-smelling discharge, high fever, damage to other organs and anesthesia-related complications. These are all causes to seek medical attention.

Perhaps the most overlooked side effects of having an abortion are the emotional, spiritual and psychological impacts. One-on-one post-abortion counseling and group sessions can be critical ways to help women – and men – cope with lingering regrets.

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely because you or someone you love is at a crossroads. Remember that there are other options available to you. Carrying the child to full term may seem more difficult at the moment, but abortion is certainly no easy way out.

At Sira, we provide a supportive place where you can safely explore all your options. We’ve experienced this in our own lives, and we are here to help.

Contact Sira today to schedule your free, private pregnancy options consultation.

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