Earlier, we discussed the potential mental health issues that abortion might cause. Now, let’s look at the physical side effects and potential risks of abortion. Bleeding and cramping are a part of every abortion, but how do you know when you’re bleeding too much or feeling more pain than you should? 

Every woman is unique, and so is her abortion experience. The following are some things you should be aware of beforehand.

What are the Physical Effects of the Abortion Pill?

Abortion providers consider the abortion pill method a medical or chemical abortion because you take two drugs to terminate your pregnancy. 

According to the FDA, a woman should only use this method up to 10 weeks of pregnancy (70 days or less from the first day of a patient’s last menstrual period). The Mayo Clinic suggests not using this method after nine weeks.

The further you are in your pregnancy, the less effective the drugs are. The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the progesterone hormone from reaching the uterus. Without progesterone, the pregnancy cannot continue. Misoprostol, the second drug, causes the cervix to relax to expel the pregnancy. 

Expected Side Effects

The FDA lists the following potential side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Fever and chills
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

Potential Risks

Both the Mayo Clinic and the FDA mention the following potential risks:

  • Prolonged heavy bleeding may indicate an incomplete abortion. Heavy bleeding is soaking two or more pads an hour for over two hours.
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • A fever lasting more than 24 hours
  • Feeling very weak to the point of passing out
  • An incomplete abortion

What Are the Physical Effects of a Surgical Abortion?

The length of your pregnancy determines which of the various surgical procedures you have. With an early pregnancy, the abortion provider performs suction or vacuum aspiration. This method involves inserting a tube to suck out the pregnancy.

Later pregnancies use the suction device, a curette, a sharp spoon-shaped scraping tool, and possibly forceps to remove larger parts of the pregnancy. 

Possible Side Effects

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the following are some possible side effects:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe cramps
  • Unusual or bad-smelling discharge

Possible Risks

The Mayo Clinic lists these possible risks:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection

What If I Don’t Know What to Do?

Having an abortion is a big decision with potential physical and mental complications. Get the facts about your pregnancy before you decide.

At BsideU for Life, we provide free and confidential medical services such as pregnancy testing and STI testing and treatment. You may also be eligible for a free ultrasound if your pregnancy test is positive. 

An ultrasound can confirm how far along you are in your pregnancy and if it is developing with a detectable heartbeat. You will also learn the pregnancy’s location to ensure it’s in the correct place. 

Contact us to request your free and confidential appointment. No matter what you decide, we’re beside you for life.