Some side effects may occur with induced abortion. These include abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In most abortions, no serious complications occur. However, complications may happen in as many as 1 out of 100 early abortions and in about 1 out of every 50 later abortions. Such complications may include:
Heavy Bleeding: Some bleeding after abortion is normal. There is, however, a risk of hemorrhage, especially if the uterine artery is torn. When this happens, a blood transfusion may be required.
Infection: 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: Some fetal parts may not be removed by the abortion. Bleeding and infection may occur. RU486 may fail in up to 1 out of every 20 cases.
Allergic Reactions to Drugs: An allergic reaction to anesthesia used during abortion surgery may result in convulsions, heart attack and, in extreme cases, death.
Tearing of the Cervix: The cervix may be cut or torn by abortion instruments.
Scarring of the Uterine Lining: Suction tubing, curettes, and other abortions instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining.
Perforation of the Uterus: The uterus may be punctured or torn by the abortion instruments. The risk of this complication increases with the length of pregnancy. If this occurs, major surgery, including 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 or bladder.
Death: In extreme cases, other physical complications from abortion including excessive bleeding infection, organ damage from a perforated uterus, and adverse reactions to anesthesia may lead to death. This complication is very rare and occurs, on average, in less than 20 cases per year.
Emotional Impact: Some women experience strong negative emotions after abortion. Sometimes this occurs within days and sometimes it happens after many years. This psychological response is known as Post-Abortion Stress (PAS). Several factors that impact the likelihood of Post-Abortion Stress include the woman’s age, the abortion circumstances, the stage of pregnancy at which the abortion occurs, and the woman’s religious beliefs. Post Abortion Stress Symptoms include:
• Emotional Pain
• Suicidal Thoughts
• Anniversary Grief
• Flashbacks of Abortion
• Sexual Dysfunction
• Relationship Problems
• Eating Disorders
• Alcohol and Drug Use
• Psychological Reactions
Abortion and Breast Cancer
Medical experts are sill researching and debating the linkage between abortion and breast cancer. However, Dr. Janet Dailing’s 1994 study found “among women who had been pregnant at least once, if done before 18 years, it [breast cancer] increased by 150%
Here are more important facts:
• Carrying a pregnancy to full term gives protection against breast cancer that cannot be gained if abortion is chosen.
• Abortion causes a sudden drop in estrogen levels that may make breast cells more susceptible to cancer.
• Most studies conducted so far show a significant linkage between abortion and breast cancer.
Effect on Future Pregnancy
Scarring or other injury during an abortion may prevent or place at risk future wanted pregnancies. The risk of miscarriage is greater for women abort their first pregnancy.