Induced abortion carries a risk of several side effects. These risks include abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In most abortions, no serious complications occur. However, the risk of complications is about 1 out of every 100 early abortions and in about 1 out of every 50 later abortions. Such complications may include:
* Heavy Bleeding - Some bleeding after abortion is normal. However, there is a risk of hemorrhage, especially if the uterine artery is torn. When this happens, a blood transfusion may be required.
* Infection - There is a risk that bacteria may get into the uterus from an incomplete abortion resulting in infection. A serious infection may lead to persistent fever over several days and extended hospitalization.
* Incomplete Abortion - There is a risk that some fetal parts may not be removed by the abortion. Bleeding and infection may occur. RU486 may fail in up to 1 out of every 20 cases.
* Allergic Reaction to Drugs - There is a risk of an allergic reaction to the anesthesia used during abortion surgery. These risks include convulsions, heart attack and, in extreme cases, death.
* Tearing of the Cervix - There is a risk that the cervix may be cut or torn by abortion instruments.
* Scarring of the Uterine Lining - There is a risk that suction tubing, curettes, and other abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining.
* Perforation of the Uterus - There is a risk that the uterus may be punctured or torn by abortion instruments. The risk of this complication increases with the length of the pregnancy. If this occurs, major surgery, including a hysterectomy, may be required.
* Damage to Internal Organs - When the uterus is punctured or torn, there is also a risk that damage will occur to nearby organs such as the bowel and bladder.
* Death - In extreme cases, there is a risk of other physical complications from abortion including excessive bleeding, infection, organ damage from a perforated uterus, and adverse reactions to anesthesia may lead to death. This complication is very rare and occurs, on average, in less than 20 cases per year.
What Are Some of the Other Risks of Abortion?
Abortion may increase the risk of Breast Cancer
Medical experts are still researching and debating the linkage between abortion and breast cancer. However, a 1994 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found: "Among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of Breast Cancer in those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among other women."
Here are other important facts:
1. Carrying a pregnancy to full term gives protection against Breast Cancer that does not occur if the pregnancy is aborted.
2. Abortion causes a sudden drop in estrogen levels that may make breast cells more susceptible to cancer.
3. Most studies conducted so far show a significant link between abortion and breast cancer.
Abortion May Effect Risk Levels in Future Pregnancies
Scarring or other injury during an abortion may prevent or place at risk future wanted pregnancies. The risk of miscarriage is greater for women who abort their first pregnancy.
Abortion May Increase the Risk of Emotional Problems
Some women experience strong negative emotions after abortion. Sometimes this occurs within days and sometimes it happens after many years. This psychological response is known as Post-Abortion Stress (PAS). Several factors that increase the risk of Post-Abortion Stress include: the woman's age, the abortion circumstances, the stage of pregnancy at which the abortion occurs, and the woman's religious beliefs.
Post-Abortion Stress Symptoms
* Suicidal Thoughts
* Anniversary Grief
* Flashbacks of Abortion
* Sexual Dysfunction
* Relationship Problems
* Eating Disorders
* Alcohol and Drug Abuse
* Psychological Reactions
People have different understandings of God. Whatever your present beliefs may be, there is a spiritual side to abortion that deserves to be considered. Having an abortion may affect more than just your body and your mind -- it may have an impact on your relationship with God. What is God's desire for you in this situation? How does God see your unborn child? These are important questions to consider.
Know Your Options
You have the legal right to choose the outcome of your pregnancy. But real empowerment comes when you find the resources and inner strength necessary to make your best choice. Here are some other options.
Choosing to continue your pregnancy and to parent is very challenging. But with the support of caring people, parenting classes, and other resources, many women find the help they need to make this choice.
You may decide to place your child for adoption. Each year over 50,000 women in America make this choice. This loving decision is often made by women who first thought abortion was their only way out.
Help Is Available
Facing an unexpected pregnancy can seem overwhelming. That is why knowing where to go for help is important. Talk to someone you can trust - your partner, your parents, a pastor, a priest or perhaps a good friend. Also, the caring people at your pregnancy center are available to help you through this difficult time. To find a pregnancy center near you, call 1-800-395-HELP.
Note: Our network of participating pregnancy centers offers peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, these centers do not offer or directly refer for abortion services.