What Are the Risks of Abortion?

Before any procedure or medical intervention, it is crucial to be aware of any potential risks. The risks for abortion vary, depending on whether it is medical or surgical.

Medical vs. Surgical Risks

A medical abortion procedure uses medicine to end a pregnancy. A surgical abortion is a procedure in which the pregnancy is removed from the body through surgical intervention. 

Medical Abortion Risks

According to the Mayo Clinic, possible risks of medical abortions include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Surgical Abortion Risks

Kaiser Permanente notes risks of medical abortions include:

  • Injury to the uterine lining or cervix
  • A hole in the wall of the uterus (uterine perforation)
  • Infection. Bacteria can enter the uterus during the procedure and cause an infection
  • Moderate to severe bleeding (hemorrhage), which can be caused by
    • Injury to the uterine lining or cervix
    • Perforation of the uterus
    • The uterus not contracting (atony)
    • Uterine rupture. In rare cases, a uterine incision scar tears open when a medicine is used to induce contractions
    • Tissue remaining in the uterus (retained products of conception)
    • Other rare complications include:
  • Tissue remaining in the uterus from conception
  • Blood clots

What to Do Before an Abortion

Protecting your overall health and well-being is a top priority. When considering any medical procedure, you should first consult with a trusted medical provider or pregnancy resource center. 

When talking with a professional to understand all risks, complications, and impacts, it is important to

  • Have a complete physical exam
  • Provide a list of currently used medications
  • Communicate any current or past medical conditions/history
  • Confirm pregnancy with quality pregnancy test and ultrasound


We’re here for you. Contact the Women’s Resource Center today for a free appointment today. You deserve to get all of the answers you need to feel confident in your decision. You’re not alone.