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What are the Potential Risks of Having an Abortion?

The trained staff at Palm Beach Women’s Clinic are here for you. Our no-cost and confidential pregnancy services allow you to not only learn the facts you need about your pregnancy but also offer important information to empower you to make the best decision.

Our staff will also take the time to answer all your questions and listen to any fears or concerns you have.

Deciding how to deal with your unplanned pregnancy can feel overwhelming, but you are not alone. Contact us today to start getting the answers and support you need. If you are contemplating an abortion, it is important for the sake of your health that you learn all the information you can about potential risks you might encounter. 

Understanding the risks of the different abortion procedures will help you know what option is best for you.

Understanding the Risks

Like any medical procedure, there are known physical risks to abortion that you should be aware of, but research has also found a link between abortion and mental health issues that you will want to be aware of as well.

The Physical Risks

There are two types of abortion. The first one is called medical abortion and is often referred to as “the abortion pill.” 

This type of abortion uses a series of medications to stop your body from growing the pregnancy and then expel the pregnancy.

Documented risks from a 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

You should also know that according to the FDA, medical abortion is only approved in the first 10 weeks of abortion. Attempting a medical abortion any later than that time significantly increases the chance of an incomplete abortion.

The other type of abortion is called surgical abortion and is an invasive medical procedure. 

During a surgical abortion, your cervix is dilated, and a doctor uses medical instruments to remove the pregnancy from your uterus.

According to the Mayo Clinic, 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)

Mental Health Risks

Multiple studies and research have shown the negative emotional impact that medical and surgical abortion can have on women and the risks to mental health that can develop in post-abortive women.

These mental health risks include:

  • Major depression
  • PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal behaviors
  • Nervous disorders
  • Sleep disturbances (causing emotional distress)
  • Substance abuse

Know Your Options

How you handle your unplanned pregnancy will greatly impact your health and future. That’s why it’s so important to get all the facts you can about your pregnancy and what options are available to you..  

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