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Abortion Risks

A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy has many challenging decisions to make. When considering abortion, you need accurate and complete information about types of abortions and eligibility parameters. It’s important for you to be aware of abortion risks as well.

Avenue Women’s Center can help with your questions about abortion and pregnancy, including abortion risks. For over 35 years we have been assisting Chicagoland women as they work through the pregnancy decision-making process. We understand that every woman’s situation is unique. We hope you will call or text us today and allow us to help you navigate through your experience as well.

An abortion, either surgical or medication, is a complex medical procedure. With any medical procedure, problems can sometimes occur. There are some immediate health risks connected with abortion, and the possibility of long-term risks as well. Abortion risks may vary from woman to woman, and generally increase the later the abortion is performed. You should discuss your personal medical history and abortion risks with your doctor. We hope the following information will be helpful as you begin to weigh your options.

Surgical Abortion Risks
A surgical abortion is usually performed in the first trimester, although it may be done later in pregnancy as well. A number of different procedures may be used to surgically remove the contents of the uterus, depending on how far along the pregnancy has advanced. Surgical abortion risks cited by 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 (sepsis) of the uterus or fallopian tubes”
  • “Scarring of the inside of the uterus”
  • “Reaction to the medicines or anesthesia, such as problems breathing”
  • “Not removing all of the tissue, requiring another procedure” (More common with medication abortions than with surgical abortions)

Medication Abortion Risks
A medication abortion may be performed up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Before taking this regimen, it is essential that a woman confirm she does not have an ectopic pregnancy (which would involve life-threatening risks). For uterine pregnancies, reports potential medication abortion risks, including:

  • “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”
  • “Gastrointestinal discomfort”

Longer-term Abortion Risks
Longer-term abortion risks may include:

  • Possible problems with future pregnancies
  • Emotional, psychological or spiritual reactions
  • Other physical concerns

According to the 2016 Mifeprex label posted on, “Serious and sometimes fatal infections and bleeding occur very rarely following spontaneous, surgical, and medical abortions, including following MIFEPREX use.”

We know it can be alarming to see a long list of abortion risks. We believe that you deserve to know the possible abortion risks, and also that it is considered to be a low-risk procedure for most women. ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) claims, “Fewer than 1 in 100 women have complications from an abortion performed before 14 weeks of pregnancy.”

When you are weighing your possible risks, concerns, and benefits of abortion, we hope you will call Avenue Women’s Center. Our caring staff members are available to provide confidential personal consultations that are free, as are many of the services we offer. We have five locations in DuPage County to serve you: Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, and Wood Dale, Illinois. We would be honored to assist you today.

Our articles provide some general information, but are not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are planning abortion, make sure to discuss your personal medical history and abortion risks with your doctor.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.