Abortions are fairly common and roughly a million take place every year in the United States. Given that it isn’t mandatory to report abortions in the US, this number may be a fraction of the actual one. Depending upon the stage of pregnancy, the person is given an appropriate form of treatment. A majority of women in their first trimester choose to go with medication abortion. However, some may find surgical abortion to be a feasible option for them – since it saves time. Although both procedures are considered safe, there are still certain risks involved that can later lead to complications.
Well, the number is still small as these complications occur in the rarest of the cases. And as the Alan Guttmacher Institute reports, abortion is approximately 11 times safer than carrying the pregnancy to childbirth. That being said, 1 in 100 women will have a serious type of complication. Medical or medication abortion that involves the use of pills such as RU-486 (Mifepristone) and Cytotec (Misoprostol) is considered a much safer procedure leading to a lower incidence of complications as no anesthesia is used.
Talking about the complication rates –
- 2% for medication abortion
- 1.3% for first-trimester aspiration abortion
- 1.5% for second trimester or later abortions
Let’s take a look at all the physical and psychological complications that abortion can lead to.
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Possible Complications of Medical Abortion
The risks involved in an abortion vary from one person to another. Depending upon how many weeks pregnant you are, they may be different. The following are some of the risks of medical abortion:
- An incomplete abortion that requires another procedure to remove parts of the pregnancy from the uterus. This occurs in around 70 out of 1000 cases.
- Certain serious complications such as heavy bleeding, damage to the womb, or sepsis. This is known to occur in about 1 in 1000 cases.
- Formation of blood clots in the uterus that may lead to severe cramping. Uterine evacuation needs to be carried out to complete the process of abortion.
- Infection that can be caused by germs from the vagina and cervix getting into the uterus. If a woman is suffering from STIs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis, there’s a risk of serious tubal infection.
- The risk of death in early abortion is about 0.6 in 100,000 cases. With the progression of the gestation period, the risk of death from septic abortion increases.
Medical abortion is considered as one of the safest procedures and is chosen by a majority of women since it can be performed at the comfort of their homes. Although deemed safe, there are still chances of experiencing certain risks and complications during the whole process. While the incidence of complications is higher in later stages of pregnancy, it occurs rarely if pregnancy is diagnosed early.
If you’re looking to get a medical abortion, the team of Hisblue can help you out.
Let’s now take a look at some of the risks and complications that can occur during a surgical abortion.
Possible Risks of Surgical Abortion
Like any other medical procedure, there are certain risks involved in the surgical abortion process. As your pregnancy advances and you’re given a sedation or anesthesia, the occurrence of complications increases.
Some of these complications include:
- Cervix getting torn during the procedure. While stitches may be required in some cases to repair the injury, the tear heals quickly on its own in most cases.
- Some of the pregnancy tissue can be left in the uterus. If fetal tissue remains in the uterus, it can lead to infection and hemorrhage. An aspiration procedure may be required to remove the remaining tissue.
- There’s a possibility that abortion doesn’t work and the pregnancy continues. While the likelihood of this event is less than 1 in 1000 cases, there’s still a risk involved. Another abortion procedure may be carried out as the previous procedure can affect the normal development of the pregnancy. If it results in a tubal pregnancy, hospitalization and abdominal surgery may be required.
- Blood clots in the uterus can often lead to cramping.
- Perforation of the uterus wall that can be caused by a medical instrument. A medical instrument can puncture the wall of the uterus in such cases. While the reports suggest that it occurs in 1 in 500 cases, it can lead to infection and heavy bleeding if it’s severe. Abdominal surgery may be required to repair the damage if it is serious. A hysterectomy may be performed in such cases – carried out in 1 in 10,000 cases.
- Anesthesia can lead to complications in some women. Allergies to certain medications such as Novocain derivatives can lead to serious and dangerous complications.
- Rh Immune Globulin Therapy may be given in cases where a woman’s Rh factor is different than that of her fetus. The medication helps to prevent the development of antibodies that may endanger her future pregnancies.
- An idiosyncratic reaction to medication can lead to cardiac arrest. While patients rarely experience such an event, it is still a possible risk that can occur during a surgical abortion.
As compared to medical abortion, the risks in surgical abort are more. This is due to the fact that surgical abortions are often performed during the later stages of pregnancy which can lead to complications in some women.
Are there any Psychological Risks Involved?
Considering that every individual is different from one another, a woman’s emotional reaction to abortion may be different from another woman. A woman is likely to have both positive and negative feelings at the same time. An analysis done over a period of 15 years found that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 percent increased risk of mental health problems. Roughly 10 percent of mental health problems were directly attributable to abortion. After an abortion, feelings of guilt and regret, sleeplessness, nervous system issues, and other psychological issues can occur. In one of the longest-running studies conducted on how women feel after abortion, it was found that relief and positive emotions related to abortion declined and negative emotions increased over time.
It is, therefore, recommended to get counseling before consenting to an abortion. When women don’t get help from family and friends, the situation gets difficult to tackle. Talking about your problems with a professional counselor can help you before you make any decision on your own.
While both medical and surgical abortion procedures are available to women, it becomes essential to discuss the potential risks and complications involved with your doctor. Where a medical abort involves the use of pills that can be taken at home easily, surgical abortions require a medical professional to perform a surgery.
If you’re planning to terminate your pregnancy with the help of medical abortion, you can buy MTP Kit online that comes in the form of a combi pack, containing both the vital medicines required for abortion.
It is also important to note that having an abortion will not affect the chances of becoming pregnant or having normal pregnancies in the future. If you’re a woman who doesn’t want to get pregnant anytime soon, consider using contraception right away. Talk to your doctor about the various contraceptive methods that are available to you.