After learning that you are accidentally pregnant, are you thinking about getting an abortion? You might want to think about the side effects of abortion procedures before getting one.
It can affect your mental and physical well-being.
We recognize the emotional state you might be in, such as fear, rage, confusion, etc. It’s not just you.
You have the right to complete information to decide on your future with assurance. When considering a safe abortion, many women worry about whether it would impact their long-term health.
Most of the information regarding abortion and its associated risks that are readily available online focuses on the short-term effects if you search.
These discuss probable side effects or risks during the process, although an abortion’s consequences might last long after it is over.
A few potential long-term side effects of abortion procedures are covered below:
How Abortion Works
Abortions can be performed either medically or surgically—both attempt to end an unwanted pregnancy using two distinct techniques.
Two medications, Mifepristone, and Misoprostol, are used in medical abortions (commonly referred to as the abortion pill method). These medications are administered 24–48 hours apart.
The cervix is widened during a surgical abortion, and a tiny suction tube is pushed into the uterus.
To remove the pregnancy from the uterus, a suction device is employed.
What happens during an abortion?
Before the procedure, a doctor or nurse to discuss if abortion is your best option.
A lab test or ultrasound is conducted to see how far along you are.
If you need an in-clinic abortion, a doctor or nurse examines your uterus. They can also use a speculum to open the vagina.
After this, you get numbing medication injected in or near the cervix.
The cervix is then stretched using dilation rods. A thin tube is inserted into the uterus then a small device removes the pregnancy tissue from the uterine wall.
The procedure takes up to 10 minutes.
This procedure is often used for pregnancies up to 16 weeks after your period.
After this, you remain in recovery until you can leave the facility.
Furthermore, it can cause slight pain to mild discomfort.
After this, you receive counseling on the best birth control options.
Physical Side Effects of Abortion Procedures
#1. Increased likelihood of preterm birth
According to a 2018 study, women who had multiple prior surgical abortions had a much higher risk of giving birth prematurely than those who had never had an abortion.
Another finding of this study was that there was a higher risk of preterm delivery in subsequent pregnancies for women who got pregnant within six months following an abortion procedure.
#2. Enhanced Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Risk
After an abortion surgery, an infection can spread to the ovaries and fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
If your physician doesn’t correctly sterilize their equipment, this is one of the potential long-term side effects of abortion procedures.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a dangerous condition that raises the possibility of future infertility and ectopic pregnancies.
#3. Fertility issues and infections
With every kind of abortion, there is a danger of infection. If left untreated, these infections carry various health problems, particularly infertility.
Severe infection can cause uterine damage that prevents it from being able to carry a fetus. If not done correctly by a medical practitioner, abortion can result in infertility.
An improper surgical abortion can leave tissue damage and scarring in the uterus, making it hard to conceive.
Safe abortions from licensed facilities reduce the risky side effects of abortion procedures.
#4. Uncontrolled Bleeding and Uterine Injury
Although they are uncommon (less common than 1 in 1,000), some adverse long-term side effects of abortion procedures exist.
These include hemorrhaging and excessive bleeding that occasionally necessitates a blood transfusion.
The uterine injury that must be surgically corrected is another uncommon adverse consequence.
#5. Procedure Risks
Surgical abortions can lead to injury in the cervix.
According to the NHS, few women injure their cervix during abortions.
Furthermore, if the pregnancy tissue isn’t completely removed, you may need a repeat procedure.
At least 3% of women are at risk of needing additional surgery.
#6. Ectopic pregnancies
A study found that women who’ve had abortions can experience an ectopic pregnancy.
However, it’s more likely to occur if you have a history of upper genital tract infections.
It is a common consequence in women who also have a chlamydia infection simultaneously with an abortion.
Ectopic pregnancy, or when an embryo implants outside the uterus, can endanger a woman’s life and lower her fertility in the future.
This is one of the rarest long-term side effects of abortion procedures.
Emotional Side Effects of Abortion Procedures
Women experience post-abortion depression very frequently, which can linger for years after the procedure.
Pregnancy can be terminated through abortion, and many women grieve this loss like any other.
Women who have been pressured into having an abortion, were unsure about having one, or who were persuaded to do so frequently experience this.
Intense guilt, shame, or regret are frequently felt in conjunction with this. Many women choose to struggle alone as a result and do not ask for help.
Often, this happens because the cause of the pregnancy was traumatic. Furthermore, the stigma facing women who require abortions can lead to depression.
After having an abortion, some women worry about how it will affect their physical appearance and relationships.
Some wonder if abortion can affect the chances of a future pregnancy.
However, studies show that you can get pregnant again two weeks after removing the pregnancy tissue.
The ovaries will release an egg after about a week.
Furthermore, abortions don’t increase the risk of infertility.
These anxieties can take over, leading to intermittent problems and anxiety disorders related to pregnancy and sexuality.
However, studies show that anxiety as one of the side effects of abortion procedures can be due to misattributing mental health conditions to women needing healthcare.
#9. Post-Traumatic Memories
For a woman, having an abortion can be a very unpleasant experience, especially if she did not wholly choose to have one.
Women frequently experience nightmares, flashbacks, or aftereffects from the surgery.
These might come up frequently, near the anniversary, or whenever something brings up thoughts of the event.
A fervently contested subject is post-abortion stress disorder (PASS).
Like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which affects many war veterans and crime victims, women who have had pregnancies terminated may develop PASS.
However, it isn’t listed as a medical condition, and science doesn’t cover it as a condition.
Women who have had abortions have varied responses to the experience. Studies show that 99% of women feel relieved that they got abortions.
The study was conducted five years after they had an abortion.
Other women experience grief as a result of terminating the unwanted pregnancy. Often, this is because they had to have an abortion. After all, it wasn’t the right time to attempt to start a family.
Despite the rarity of any long-lasting side effects of abortion procedures, having all the information you need is still important.
You might always be happy and confident that you made the right decision, or you might feel some pain and regret in the future.
It isn’t easy to anticipate how you will feel after the process because everyone handles situations uniquely.
But it’s as impossible to predict how you’ll feel if you carry the pregnancy to term. Your doctor, specialists, and support groups can offer assistance regardless of your choice.