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Are There Any Physical Side Effects Following an Abortion Procedure?

Physical side effects following an abortion procedure tend to vary from woman to woman. Before you move forward with an abortion decision, it’s recommended that you take steps to receive relevant information about this unexpected pregnancy option. There are varying types of abortion, depending on gestation age and the type of procedure. Learning more information about the potential physical side effects can help you make an informed decision regarding abortion.

If you’re attempting to track down more information related to abortion, Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. A free medical-grade pregnancy test can confirm your pregnancy, followed by a limited medical ultrasound, providing information on gestational age. Our caring pregnancy consultants will also provide you with accurate information about your pregnancy options- abortion, adoption, and parenting- in a caring, confidential environment. Schedule a free consultation with us today at one of our centers in Darien, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, or Wood Dale, Illinois!

First Steps Before an Abortion Decision

Before you can commit to any of your unexpected pregnancy choices, it’s important to confirm your pregnancy. This can be done through your doctor, or a first-step options clinic may provide you with a free, medical-grade pregnancy test.

Once you know you’re pregnant, your next step is to determine if the pregnancy is likely to continue. Since 1 in 5 or 6 early pregnancies end in a miscarriage, it may be helpful to schedule an ultrasound exam before scheduling an abortion appointment. On top of assessing the viability of your unexpected pregnancy, an ultrasound may also determine gestational age, informing you about what types of abortion procedures you qualify for.

Next, it’s helpful to learn more about the option of abortion. Being informed about the procedure you are considering, along with any potential physical risks, can assist you in taking the next step of your pregnancy decision.

Potential Physical Side Effects of Abortion

Although uncommon, some women have reported a few physical complications after their abortion. While this does not happen to every woman, these side effects may last as long as 2-4 weeks after the procedure:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Spotting and bleeding

It’s important to also be aware of some of the more serious side effects, even if they are reported to be rare. This may give you a better idea about what signs you may need to look for if you suspect there may be a medical emergency.

  • Heavy or persistent bleeding
  • Infection or sepsis
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scarring of the uterine lining
  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to other organs

If you notice any of these complications becoming more severe, call a doctor right away. Additionally, there are certain symptoms that would require immediate medical attention and an emergency room visit.

  • Severe abdominal and back pain that prohibits you from standing up
  • Bleeding that is heavier than a normal menstrual period
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Fever above 100.4 F

Your health and safety are a definite priority when it comes to making a decision about any of your unexpected pregnancy options. While some women may feel as if the choice they have to make about their pregnancy is their responsibility alone, it’s okay to reach out for help. With so much easily accessible information out there these days, having your questions answered by a professional consultant may grant you a level of control over what may have seemed like an impossible situation at first.

Are you considering abortion, but feel as if you need more information first? Avenue Women’s Center specializes in providing clients with accurate information about all of their unexpected pregnancy options, including abortion. Our pregnancy consultants can arrange a free, limited ultrasound exam for you to help you gain a better understanding of what options may be available to you. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and take the time to listen to your unique situation, offering assistance throughout each of your unexpected pregnancy decisions. Reach out for free unexpected pregnancy information!


  • American Pregnancy Association (2019). Possible physical side effects after abortion. Retrieved from
  • Wilcox AJ, Weinberg CR, O’Connor JF, et al. Incidence of early loss of pregnancy. N Engl J Med. Jul 28 1988;319(4):189-94. Petrozza, John C. “Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss.” Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss. Medscape Web site. Retrieved from: Accessed September 17, 2018.

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

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.