As you decide if the abortion pill is right for you, it’s vital that you take time to educate and prepare yourself for the potential risks you might face as a result of the medication.
Here are the main risks related to the abortion pill:
After taking the abortion pill, women can expect uterine bleeding as the pregnancy tissue is expelled from the womb. While bleeding is to be expected, it’s important to be aware of excessive bleeding, as it could indicate the dangerous possibility of hemorrhaging.
Excessive bleeding following the abortion pill is defined by the FDA as “soaking through two thick full-size sanitary pads per hour for two consecutive hours.” This kind of bleeding and hemorrhaging can be extremely dangerous and potentially fatal.
Sepsis Caused by Infection
Infections caused by the abortion pill can lead to sepsis and septic shock.
If you’ve taken the abortion pill and have a fever of 100.4°F or higher for longer than 4 hours or are experiencing intense pain in the abdomen or pelvis, you may have an abortion-related infection and should seek emergency care immediately.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
If you suspect or have confirmed that you are infected with chlamydia, taking the abortion pill or undergoing a surgical abortion increases your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) by 23 percent.
Those with PID report experiencing lasting chronic pain, increased risk of ectopic pregnancies and infertility, and abscesses.1
Dangerous Blood Clots
The abortion pill can sometimes be infective in fully expelling the pregnancy tissue from the womb, resulting in retained fetal tissue. This tissue can cause blood clots, which then block the cervix and cause the uterus to fill with blood.
Symptoms of blood clots can include a swollen and tender abdomen, nausea, and intense cramping.
Mental Health Struggles
While abortion can be associated with many physical risks, it’s also important to note that studies have found the abortion pill can cause or trigger mental health complications, like depression and anxiety.2
Mental health struggles can go on to have severe impacts on a number of areas of your life and wellbeing, such as your relationships, self-image, and career.
How can I know if the abortion pill is right for me?
Abortion is a serious medical procedure and it’s okay to take time to explore your options and determine if it’s truly right for you.
Before deciding to take the abortion pill, it is recommended you receive the necessary pre-abortion screenings, which include lab-quality pregnancy testing, an ultrasound, and STD testing. Not only will these screenings ensure that you’re not at an increased risk for abortion complications, but they will also provide you with valuable insight into your unique pregnancy and sexual health conditions.
Schedule an Appointment
Hope Women’s Center provides free and confidential pre-abortion screenings to women and teens who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies — schedule your free appointment today!
- Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). “Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). “Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.” Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). “The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.
- Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]