How will abortion affect me physically?

Abortion is a permanent, life-changing procedure with physical side effects and risks. If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, it’s essential to learn all you can about abortion to make the best decision for yourself. 

The internet and media can be full of conflicting information, so we’ve compiled the basics of what you need to know before getting an abortion. Read on to learn more about the physical side effects and risks of abortion. Or, if you want to talk to someone about your options, contact Pathways Pregnancy Resource Center for a free, confidential appointment. 

Physical Side Effects and Risks of Abortion

Abortion is available in two forms: medical (also known as “the abortion pill”) and surgical, and the side effects and risks of each have similarities and differences. 

While every woman’s body is different, “side effects” refer to undesirable results common to many women who have an abortion. “Risks” refers to complications that, although less common, can have more devastating consequences. 

Medical Abortion

A medical abortion involves taking two different drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. These drugs work together to terminate the pregnancy and expel it through the vagina via forced uterine contractions. 

After taking the pills, you may notice the following side effects

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Fever/chills
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

The risks of medical abortion include: 

  • Losing too much blood (known as hemorrhaging)
  • Infection
  • Incomplete abortion (which is when parts of the pregnancy remain in the uterus)

Surgical Abortion

A surgical abortion involves dilating (opening) the cervix so that a medical instrument can enter the uterus to remove the pregnancy. 

The main side effects of surgical abortion are cramping and bleeding. 

The main risks include: 

  • Uterine perforation (which is when the medical instrument pokes a hole in the uterus)
  • Cervical damage 
  • Uterine scarring (which can lead to painful menstrual periods or infertility) 

Next Steps

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel scary, but you’re not alone. At Pathways Pregnancy Resource Center, we understand what you’re going through. And we’re here to help. We offer free pregnancy resources that can help you make an informed decision. Call us today at 423-968-4673 to schedule a free, confidential appointment. 
*Pathways Pregnancy Resource Center does not provide or refer for abortions.

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