Possible physical effects of abortion

Heavy Bleeding – Some bleeding after abortion is normal. However, there is a risk of haemorrhage, especially if the uterine artery is torn. When this happens, a blood transfusion may be required.

Infection – There is a risk that bacteria may get into the uterus from an incomplete abortion resulting in infection. A serious infection may lead to persistent fever over several days and extended hospitalization.

Incomplete Abortion – There is a risk that some foetal parts may not be removed by the abortion. Bleeding and infection may occur. Allergic Reaction to Drugs – There is a risk of an allergic reaction to the anaesthesia used during abortion surgery. These risks include convulsions, heart attack and, in extreme cases, death.

Cervical incompetence – The cervix which is normally firm and tight, may be damaged and weakened by the metal rods, suction tubing and instruments passed through its narrow opening. This can make the cervix ‘incompetent’ which may; lead to miscarriage in the second trimester or increase the risk of premature birth in pregnancy.

Scarring of the Uterine Lining – There is a risk that suction tubing, curettes, and other abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining.

Perforation of the Uterus – There is a risk that the uterus may be punctured or torn by abortion instruments. The risk of this complication increases with the length of the pregnancy. If this occurs, major surgery, including a hysterectomy, may be required.

Damage to Internal Organs – When the uterus is punctured or torn, there is also a risk that damage will occur to nearby organs such as the bowel and bladder.

Ectopic pregnancy – Inflammation, scarring or infection following abortion may lead to a later ectopic (outside the uterus) pregnancy. The pregnancy cannot survive and surgery is usually required.

Other related links