The following article from the American Pregnancy Association is the first of a two part series discussing the possible side effects of abortion. Keep an eye out for part two of the series which will discuss the possible emotional side effects of abortion. If you are considering abortion and would like to talk to someone in person, make an appointment at our clinic to have your questions answered in a private and confidential environment.
The physical side effects after an abortion will vary from woman to woman. There are potential side effects and risks that you should be aware of. It is important to talk to a health professional as well as the doctor who will perform your abortion about possible side effects. Your period should return about 4 – 6 weeks after the abortion and you can get pregnant again soon after the abortion. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, it is important to take them as directed in order to help prevent infection.
Anticipated Physical Side Effects Following An Abortion:
The following is a list of side effects that are frequently experienced after an abortion. It is possible to experience these side effects for as long as 2 to 4 weeks following the procedure.
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Spotting and Bleeding
Potential, More Serious Complications Following An Abortion.
Although serious complications occur in fewer than 1 out of 100 first trimester abortions and approximately 1 out of every 50 late term abortions, it is important to be aware of the following risks:
- Heavy or persistent bleeding
- Infection or sepsis
- Damage to the cervix
- Scarring of the uterine lining
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to other organs
It is important to understand that these risks are rare and that some of these risks are associated with child birth. What matters is that you are aware that these risks exist as you strive to make an informed decision about your pregnancy.
Abortion Physical Side Effects: Call Your Doctor
If you have had an abortion, call your doctor and seek medical attention if your side effects become severe or if you experience any of the following:
- Severe abdominal and back pain that prohibits you from standing up
- Bleeding that is heavier than a normal menstrual period
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Fever above 100.4 F
- Continuing symptoms of pregnancy