When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, it can be hard to know how to move forward. As you decide which pregnancy choice is right for you — parenting, adoption, or abortion — it’s important to take time to explore your options and educate yourself on the risks and side effects you may face along the way. Chances are you have considered the abortion pill, as it is one of your options.
Before you take the abortion pill, there is important information you need to know before you proceed. The abortion pill is a serious medical procedure and can be accompanied by severe risks and complications.
Here are the top risks related to the abortion pill:
The abortion pill is meant to end a pregnancy and then cause the body to contract and expel the pregnancy tissue from the womb.
However, in some cases, the medication is not effective in fully removing all of the tissue. This is known as an incomplete abortion, which can be accompanied by infection, sepsis, and septic shock when left untreated.
While some bleeding is a sign that the abortion pill has worked and is expelling the tissue from the uterus, it’s also important to be aware of any signs of excessive bleeding or hemorrhaging.
According to the FDA, excessive bleeding is bleeding that fills “two thick full-size sanitary pads per hour for two consecutive hours.” This level of bleeding can be a sign of hemorrhaging, which can be fatal.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Undergoing an abortion, whether surgical or medical, while infected with Chlamydia, leads to a 23% increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. PID is often accompanied by abscesses, chronic pain, and future fertility issues, including ectopic pregnancies.2
Because of this, it’s essential to receive STD (sexually transmitted disease) screening and treatment before taking the abortion pill.
Depression and Anxiety
Medical abortions have been associated with an increased risk of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.4 While this abortion pill complication may go unnoticed by others, it can lead to long-lasting issues related to your social life, career, and general wellbeing.
Is the abortion pill right for me?
It’s important to remember that while the abortion pill may seem like an easy solution to an unplanned pregnancy, it’s not right or safe for everyone.
Before deciding if the abortion pill is right for you, we recommend scheduling a free appointment at Turlock Pregnancy and Health Center for the following screenings and resources:
- Lab-quality pregnancy testing
- An ultrasound scan to determine if you are eligible for the abortion pill
- STD testing and treatment
- Medical consultation to assist you in making a safe and informed decision for your pregnancy
- Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90;
- Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.
- Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.
- Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]