Abortion Side Effects


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Many abortions are carried out across the UK each week and it is a relatively safe procedure although it can carry some risks in rare cases.  The main risks are of getting an infection, increased fertility resulting in another pregnancy, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Deep Vein Thrombosis and incomplete abortion.  These risks may sound alarming but be reassured that they are rare and the chances of it happening to you are minimal.

While the rare cases may be the ones you hear about the most you will find that you do experience some effects from the abortion.  Immediately after an abortion you may feel sick or be sick, this can be a result of the anaesthetic you may have been given.  You should rest and the symptoms should go away as the anaesthetic wears off.

You will also have some abdominal pain and cramps similar to period pains but a little stronger.  Normal painkillers can be taken to help ease the pain.

Another side effect you will also experience is heavy vaginal bleeding which will last for a few weeks, sometimes up to a month after the abortion.  The length of time you bleed will depend on a number of factors from how many weeks pregnant you were to you as an individual.  Sometimes you may find clots in the bleeding which is perfectly normal but if they appear regularly and you are bleeding excessively you should seek medical help from either the clinic you went to or your GP.   Excessive bleeding is when you are bleeding so heavily that you soak more than two sanitary towels every hour for a couple of hours in a row.

Side effects from an abortion such as abdominal pain and cramps and vaginal bleeding can last for a few weeks.  These side effects are common and temporary and usually subside within a couple of weeks of the abortion.  Nausea and sickness is very temporary and will ease much quicker as the anaesthetic wears off.

Serious Side Effects of an Abortion

While the common side effects ease within a few weeks you should seek further medical help if you feel generally unwell and have the following symptoms:

  • High temperature
  • Sickness
  • Extremely heavy bleeding with regular blood clots
  • Heavy bleeding that soaks more than two sanitary towels an hour for more than two hours in a row
  • Extreme pain that won’t be eased with normal painkillers
  • Smelly vaginal discharge
  • Heavy bleeding that does not get lighter even after a week

If you do have any of these symptoms you should contact your clinic immediately.

Pregnancy After an Abortion

There is no evidence to suggest that having a straightforward abortion has any adverse effects on future fertility or ability to carry a normal healthy pregnancy.  If you suffer from any complications during or after your abortion or have repeated abortions you may have an increased chance of suffering late miscarriages or pre-term deliveries in future pregnancies.


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