As you initially realize that you’re unexpectedly pregnant, you may feel a sense of urgency, anxiety, or perhaps even denial. 

Whatever your response is, your feelings are valid! There is no right or wrong way to feel after this initial shock. As you are reeling from these different emotions, when facing an unplanned pregnancy, researching your choices and their possible impact can be overwhelming. 

As you’re looking into abortion, read this article to better understand the possible risks, symptoms, and recommended screenings to take before scheduling an abortion. 

What Are the Common Abortion Side Effects?


Surgical abortion requires an in-person visit to a clinic. The procedure is performed while the patient is under anesthesia. According to the Mayo Clinic, common side effects may last a few days and can include: 

  • Mild cramping
  • Spotting or light bleeding


A medication abortion requires two series of drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. One ends the pregnancy, and the other induces cramping to expel the fetus and pregnancy remnants. 

Bleeding and spotting can occur up to 30 days after the procedure. Other common side effects include: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

What Are the Health Risks of an Abortion?

Risks of Surgical Abortion

The risks of surgical abortion may include the following:

  • A hole in the wall of the uterus (uterine perforation). This is rare.
  • Infection. Bacteria can enter the uterus during the procedure and cause an infection.
  • Moderate to severe bleeding (hemorrhage), which is sometimes 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).
  • Injury to the uterine lining or cervix.

Risks of Medical Abortion

Potential risks of medical abortion 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

Your Mental Health

Although your physical health is important, your mental health deserves just as much consideration.

While there is some disagreement of the extent that abortion plays into negative mental health, “both sides agree that (a) abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion.”

Next Steps

Before making any decisions, it’s important to gather as much information as possible, such as verifying the gestational age and location of the pregnancy to ensure it is not ectopic and if it is a viable pregnancy.

Up to 26% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. An ultrasound could help inform you of the viability.

Contact us today to schedule a no-cost ultrasound or consultation appointment. We are here to help you!