Is abortion safe? What are the risks?
Abortion is very safe, regardless of which kind you have. In fact, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures out there.
Complications occur in less than 0.4% of people for medication abortion, and less than 1% for in-clinic procedural abortion.
There are a lot of rumors about abortion and many aren't true. Abortion does not lower your chances of getting or staying pregnant in the future. Abortion does not cause infertility or cause birth defects in a future pregnancy. In fact, you can get pregnant almost immediately after having an abortion.
Having an abortion does not increase your risk for breast cancer and does not cause depression or mental health issues.
Medication abortion is about 4 times safer than aspirin and 14 times safer than continuing a pregnancy.
Complications are rare and most are not serious.
- The most common complication is a continued pregnancy. If the pregnancy continues after taking the abortion pill, you may be able to take more medicine or you will need to have an abortion procedure.
- Serious risks, such as heavy bleeding and infection, are very rare.
One type of pregnancy that cannot be ended using pills is an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus) - ectopic pregnancies are very rare. Medication abortion does not end an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies can be life threatening, so it's important to follow up with a doctor if you still feel pregnant one week after taking the pills. Contact your doctor immediately if: you do not have bleeding within 24 hours after taking the medications, you continue to feel pregnant about 7 days after taking the medications, or you have worsening abdominal pain more than 24 hours after taking the medications.