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Palm Beach Women's Clinic
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Is Abortion Painful?

The pain felt during an abortion can be different from one woman to another. Several factors will determine the level of pain or discomfort you may feel.

Pain Tolerance

The first factor that determines the pain level you may experience during an abortion is your pain tolerance. This is different for every woman and your level of pain tolerance is typically dictated by things like genetics, expectations surrounding the procedure, and past medical history.

Type of Abortion

Another determining factor for the pain level during an abortion is the type of abortion procedure you have. There are two types of abortion: medical and surgical.

Medical abortion is a series of pills you take that first stop the pregnancy from growing and then pass the pregnancy from your body through your vagina. 

According to the FDA, a medical abortion can only be performed during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and risks can include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Surgical abortion is an invasive medical procedure that may include the use of local anesthetic or general anesthesia, which can also determine the level of pain or discomfort you may experience. 

During a surgical abortion, your cervix is dilated, and surgical instruments and suction devices are used to remove the pregnancy from your uterus.

Risks associated with surgical abortion include:

  • Damage to the womb or cervix
  • Uterine perforation (accidentally putting a hole in the uterus with one of the instruments used)
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection (within the uterus or fallopian tubes)
  • Scarring of the inside of the uterus
  • Reaction to the medicines or anesthesia, such as problems breathing
  • Incomplete abortion (not removing all of the tissue, requiring another procedure)

Pain During Recovery?

Recovery after an abortion is another situation where pain level and discomfort will vary from woman to woman. Keep in mind that some pain or discomfort after an abortion procedure may be an indication of complications that require follow-up medical attention.

You should seek emergency medical care right away if you experience any of the following symptoms after an abortion procedure. 

  • Severe bleeding 
  • Fever that lasts more than 24 hours
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Your period doesn’t return after two months
  • Symptoms of pregnancy

Get the Answers You Need

Abortion is a serious procedure that can impact your health and future, so you owe it to yourself to get all the details about your pregnancy and what options are available to you.

The team at Palm Beach Women’s Clinic is here for you. From helping confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test to an ultrasound scan to determine the age, location, and viability of your pregnancy to providing answers to all your questions and concerns—all our services are no-cost and confidential.

Don’t face an unplanned pregnancy alone, contact us today to start getting the answers and peace of mind you deserve

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