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5 Risks Associated with the Abortion Pill that You Should Know

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering the abortion pill, we recommend taking time to understand and assess the risks and side effects you might encounter.

Wondering if the abortion pill is right for you? Here are the top five risks related to taking the abortion pill:

1. Uterine Bleeding and Hemorrhaging

Women who take the abortion pill should expect to experience some bleeding as the uterus contracts and expels the pregnancy tissue from the womb. However, patients should be on the lookout for excessive bleeding, as it might indicate serious complications that could lead to hemorrhaging.

The FDA defines heavy bleeding as “soaking through two thick full-size sanitary pads per hour for two consecutive hours.” 

2. Infection and Sepsis

Taking the abortion pill can result in infection and sepsis, sometimes leading to fatal septic shock. Symptoms of an infection include “sustained (> 4 hours) fever of 100.4°F or higher, severe abdominal pain, or pelvic tenderness in the days after a medical abortion.”

3. Increased Risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Taking the abortion pill while infected with chlamydia increases the chance of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) by 23 percent. PID is associated with chronic pain, ectopic pregnancies, abscesses, and infertility.1

4. Mental Health Conditions

In addition to the above physical risks related to the abortion pill, women may also experience long-term mental health conditions “that are caused, triggered, aggravated, or complicated by [the] abortion experience.” 2

Depression and anxiety can have damaging and long-lasting impacts on your relationships, career, and health as a whole.

5. Certain Pre-Existing Conditions 

The Mayo Clinic states that those with the following pre-existing conditions should avoid taking the abortion pill:  

  • A pregnancy that is further along than nine weeks 
  • Use an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Ectopic pregnancy 
  • Use of blood thinners or certain steroid medications
  • Bleeding disorder, heart or blood vessel disease, seizure disorders, or liver, kidney, or lung disease
  • Allergy to the medication used in a medical abortion

Additionally, they recommend that anyone who does not have immediate access to emergency healthcare in case of abortion complications refrain from taking the abortion pill. 

Are you still not sure if the abortion pill is safe for you? Head to your local pregnancy clinic to receive no-cost pre-abortion screenings, such as lab-quality pregnancy testing and an ultrasound.

The staff at Palm Beach Women’s Clinic is here to help you explore your options and make a choice that’s safe for you. Schedule your 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]
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