Is abortion safe? If you’re reading this article, perhaps you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion. It is very important to gather the information you want as you choose a course of action. You have come to the right place. We can sensitively provide information regarding immediate and long term risks of abortion, as well as other aspects to consider. We previously posted an article addressing surgical abortion. In this follow-up article, we’ll focus on the risks and safety of medication abortion.
At Avenue Women’s Center, we have been assisting women facing a pregnancy decision for over 36 years. Our caring client advocates can provide you with accurate information and nonjudgmental support. We understand that every woman’s situation is unique. Call, text, or email us today to schedule a private consultation.
Most sources agree that medical abortion carries minimal physical risk. First, some basic questions:
What is medication abortion? How is it different from surgical abortion?
In a surgical abortion, the opening to the uterus (cervix) is dilated and the doctor removes the pregnancy with the use of surgical instruments (suction and/or curette). A medication abortion (also known as a medical abortion), involves the use of various medications (Mifeprex, Misoprostol, and less commonly, Methotrexate) to end the growth of pregnancy and to expel the contents of the uterus. These medications must be prescribed and administered by a doctor. Typically, at least two visits to an abortion clinic or medical office are required.
What about immediate risks in a medication abortion?
Although this risk is not common, as many as 5-10% of medication abortions are unsuccessful, resulting in an incomplete abortion with some pregnancy tissue left inside the uterus. When this is the case, a surgical procedure may be required to complete the abortion.
In rare cases, there may be allergies to the medications, severe bleeding, or infection that may necessitate hospitalization.
Are there long-term risks?
Studies have determined that women electing a medication abortion are not more likely than those who undergo a surgical procedure to experience fertility issues or complications in a subsequent pregnancy, such as risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, low birth weight, or preterm birth.
What about emotional issues? After either a surgical or medication abortion, some women experience difficult emotional responses following their abortion: regret, grief, anxiety, anger. These after-effects may surface soon after the event or months—even years—later. The personality, attitudes and beliefs of an individual will likely influence her emotional reactions.
Other aspects to consider:
Aside from asking yourself, “is abortion safe?,” there are many other aspects are worth considering when making a pregnancy decision. You might be thinking of your current circumstances, your relationships, your finances. Are there other considerations involved in your decision? What additional information do you need to process your decision?
If you are wondering, “is abortion safe?” Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. We have walked with many women through the decision-making process over the past 36 years. We will provide a nonjudgmental listening ear for a careful analysis of the choices before you. Avenue Women’s Center’s experienced client advocates will meet you with compassion during your free confidential pregnancy consultation. Please contact us by phone or text, email or chat. We’re look forward to hearing from you.
- Guttmacher Institute (2018, January) Evidence You Can Use: Medication Abortion. Retrieved from: https://www.guttmacher.org/evidence-you-can-use/medication-abortion
- MedLine Plus, US National Library of Medicine. Abortion – Surgical. Retrieved from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002912.htm
- American Pregnancy Association. (2017, April). Medical Abortion Procedures. Retrieved from: http://americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/medical-abortions/
- The New England Journal of Medicine. (2007, August). Medical Abortion and the Risk of Subsequent Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes. Retrieved from: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa070445
- World Health Organization (WHO). (2011, May). Comparative effectiveness, safety and acceptability of medical abortion at home and in a clinic: a systematic review. Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/5/10-084046/en/
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.