Both surgical and medical abortion present a number of health risks to consider before moving forward. A shared risk among all abortion procedures is infection—especially if the abortion is performed with the presence of an untreated STD. 

Keep reading to learn about the full lists of risks for both surgical and medical abortions.

Medical Abortion: What Are the Risks?

Medical abortion, also known as medication abortion or the abortion pill, terminates a pregnancy using two powerful prescription drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. These drugs work to first end the pregnancy, and then push it out of your body by triggering contractions.

Women only qualify for medical abortion when they are under ten weeks pregnant. After this time period, women only qualify for surgical abortion.

The Risks of Medical Abortion, According to Mayo Clinic:

  • Infection
  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Mayo Clinic also states, “After a medical abortion, you’ll likely experience a range of emotions— such as relief, loss, sadness, and guilt.” The emotional impact will differ based on the woman and her specific situation, but it should be considered along with the physical risks.

Surgical Abortion: What Are the Risks?

Surgical abortion is the only abortion option women qualify for after ten weeks of pregnancy. This procedure is performed in the abortion clinic using a mixture of tools and suction.

There are two kinds of surgical abortion: Dilation & Curettage (D&C) and Dilation & Evacuation (D&E). A D&E typically requires more tools and time than a D&C. The type of procedure depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Because of the nature of a surgical abortion procedure, the risks relate more to the use of tools scraping your uterus. Also remember, the emotional impact should still be considered, even if it will be different for every woman.

The Risks of Surgical Abortion (D&C), According to Mayo Clinic:

  • Infection
  • Perforation of the uterus, or when a surgical tool pokes a hole in the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall

Take Steps to Protect Your Health

If you are considering abortion, you should first have an ultrasound scan and STD/STI testing and treatment for your health and safety. 

An ultrasound will tell you how far along you are, and rule out ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. Getting screened for STIs will help reduce the risk of an STI spreading deeper into your reproductive system. We offer these confidential medical services for free. 
You can also talk to our caring and professional team about your pregnancy options and resources. We provide factual information so you can make an informed and empowered choice. We’re here for you! Contact us to schedule a no-cost appointment.