The physical side effects of an abortion can vary from woman to woman and it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional as well as the doctor who will perform your abortion about possible side effects you are likely to experience.
If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, it is essential to take them as directed in order to help prevent infection.
Your period should return about 4-6 weeks after the abortion, and you can get pregnant again soon after the abortion.
For information about abortion, you may call the APA toll-free helpline at 1-800-672-2296.
Anticipated physical side effects following an abortion
The following is a list of side effects that are frequently experienced after an abortion. It is possible to experience these side effects for as long as two to four weeks following the procedure.
Potential and more serious complications following an abortion
- Heavy or persistent bleeding
- Infection or sepsis
- Damage to the cervix
- Scarring of the uterine lining
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to other organs
It is important to understand that these risks are rare and that some of these risks are associated with childbirth. What matters is that you are aware that these risks exist as you strive to make an informed decision about your pregnancy.
Severe abortion physical side effects
If you have had an abortion, call your doctor and seek medical attention if your side effects become severe or if you experience any of the following:
- Severe abdominal and back pain that prohibits you from standing up
- Bleeding that is heavier than a normal menstrual period
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Fever above 100.4 F
- Continuing symptoms of pregnancy
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Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [updated 2006 Feb 24]. Abortion; [updated 2006 Feb
21; reviewed 2006 Feb 21; cited 2006 Feb 24].
2.Current Obstetric & Gynecologic Diagnosis & Treatment-Ninth Ed. DeCherney, Alan H., et al, Ch. 33.