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What are the Long-Term Risks of Abortion?

If you’re searching online, you’ll find that a lot of the available information about abortion and the risks associated with it are about immediate effects. These touch on potential side-effects or complications during the procedure, but the effects of an abortion can continue well after the procedure is through. Below, we will discuss some of the potential long-term risks of abortion.

Physical Effects

Increased risk for Pre-term Birth

A 2018 study found that women who had more than one previous aspiration abortion (i.e. a surgical abortion) were at a much higher risk of pre-term birth (earlier than 28 weeks) in a later pregnancy than women who had no previous abortions. This study also found that women who conceived within six months of their abortion procedure had an increased risk of that pregnancy resulting in pre-term birth.

Increased Risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

An untreated infection after an abortion procedure can spread to the fallopian tubes and ovaries and turn into pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Pelvic inflammatory disease is serious and can increase your risk of infertility and ectopic pregnancy in the future.

Infection and Infertility

Infection is a risk that comes with any type of abortion. These infections, if left untreated, can cause a multitude of health risks, including infertility. Serious infection can damage the uterus beyond the point of being able to carry a child. Abortion can also cause infertility if not performed correctly by a medical professional. When performed incorrectly, a surgical abortion can scar the uterus and damage the tissue, making it impossible to conceive.

Uncontrollable Bleeding or Damage to the Uterus

Some side-effects of abortion are rare (fewer than 1 in 1,000) but can happen. These include hemorrhaging, which is uncontrollable bleeding, that in some cases can require a blood transfusion. Another rare side-effect is damage to the uterus that has to be surgically repaired.

Psychological and Emotional Effects


Post-abortion depression is incredibly common among women and can last for years after the abortion procedure. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy and many women mourn it like any other loss. This is especially common among women who were persuaded or pressured into having an abortion or were unsure about going through with the procedure.
This is often accompanied by feelings of extreme regret, guilt, or shame. Because of this, many women decide to suffer alone and do not seek support. This can lead to alcohol and drug abuse, flashbacks, sexual dysfunction, and suicidal thoughts.


After an abortion, many women experience anxiety about the effects that abortion will have on their bodies and their relationships. The most common worry is that they will not be able to conceive again. These fears can become all-consuming and can result in dysfunctional behaviors and anxiety disorders surrounding sexuality and pregnancy.

Post-Traumatic Flashbacks

Abortions can be extremely traumatic experiences for women, especially when it was not entirely her choice. It is common for women to have nightmares or flashbacks of the procedure or after-effects of the procedure. These may occur regularly, around the anniversary or when something triggers memories of the experience.

These are only some of the long-term effects that abortion can have on a woman. If you are considering abortion, Palm Beach Women’s Clinic is here to provide you with comprehensive information about abortion and its risks. Make an appointment today to speak with one of our staff members

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