At Alpha Center, we believe women facing unexpected pregnancies deserve to be equipped and empowered through access to resources and information regarding their pregnancy options to understand the risks of abortion.

If you’re considering abortion, we recommend that you take the time you need to educate yourself regarding the options available to you, as well as the risks and side effects you may encounter throughout the process. 

What Are The Side Effects Of Abortion?

Before we discuss the more serious risks related to abortion, let’s take a look at some of the common side effects women face when taking the abortion pill or undergoing a surgical abortion procedure.

Common side effects include: 

  • Heavy Bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Fever & Chills

What Are The Risks Of Abortion? 

While the common side effects related to abortion should resolve in a few days or couple weeks, the process can also be accompanied by more severe, long-term health risks. These conditions could become life-threatening if left untreated.

Some serious risks related to abortion include: 

1. Heavy Bleeding & Hemorrhaging

Whether you’re undergoing a surgical abortion or planning on taking the abortion pill, some bleeding should be expected. However, prolonged or heavy bleeding may be cause for alarm.

According to the International Reproductive Health Journal on Contraception, approximately 1% of abortions lead to hemorrhaging as a result of abortion complications such as “perforation, cervical laceration and retained tissue.” While hemorrhaging is relatively uncommon, occurrences are serious and potentially fatal. 

2. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Those who are infected with chlamydia are 23% more likely to develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) after undergoing an abortion. PID may lead to fertility issues, abscesses and chronic pain.1

Before obtaining an abortion, it’s important to receive STD testing and treatment as the infection may spread during the procedure. 

3. Mental Health Complications 

Not all risks related to abortion are physical. Many women have reported increased mental health issues like anxiety and depression as a result of an abortion.2 These mental health struggles can impact one’s ability to interact with others and participate in everyday activities.

Thankfully, there’s support available for women who have struggled with anxiety and grief following their abortion procedures — Alpha Center in Sioux Falls provides free after abortion care and support services! 

4. Fertility Issues

Abortion procedures have been linked to future fertility issues such as ectopic pregnancies, infertility and more. These issues are related to abortion complications including infections, PID,  hemorrhaging and damage to reproductive organs.3

5. Incomplete Abortions

In some cases, an abortion is not effective in fully removing the pregnancy tissue from the uterus. The retained fetal tissue can lead to infections and internal bleeding, conditions which can be life-threatening when left untreated. 

Steps To Take Before Scheduling An Abortion 

Before scheduling an appointment for an abortion, we recommend taking time to gather information regarding your unique pregnancy conditions through the proper tests and screenings. 

Here are a few steps to take before scheduling an abortion: 

  1. Receive a lab-quality pregnancy test — Even if you’ve taken an at-home pregnancy test, we recommend receiving a lab-quality pregnancy test in a professional medical setting to ensure accurate results. 
  2. Undergo an ultrasound scan — Receiving an ultrasound scan will help determine the viability and gestational age of the pregnancy. This information is critical in determining what pregnancy options are available for you. 
  3. Receive an STD test — An STD test will ensure you are not at risk for the spread of infections in an abortion procedure. 
  4. Talk to a medical professional — If you have specific questions regarding your medical history that you would like to speak with a physician about, Alpha Center can offer a free office visit to a trusted medical provider to get your questions answered. 

Alpha Center in Sioux Falls provides all of the above services at no cost to you! We are here to equip you with information and resources so you can feel confident as you make a choice for your pregnancy.

Schedule your free appointment today!

1. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). “Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). “Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.” Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). “The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.

2. Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
3. Bhattacharya, S. et al. Reproductive outcomes following induced abortion: a national register-based cohort study in Scotland. BMJ Open. 2, (2012).

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