COMPLICATIONS OF TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY
What To Be Aware Of
Complications of medical abortion do occur in a few cases. Important information is discussed here.
Medical abortion usually occurs within 4 hours, mostly by 24 hours and only rarely a few days after the second medication is taken. More than 98% of women will abort within 24 hours and most in the first 4 hours.
If you choose medical abortion should be aware of and will be provided with written information about the following:
- Bleeding may begin after taking the first drug. It may be light or like a heavy period.
- Cramping and bleeding usually begin within a few hours.
- Sometimes minor side effects occur including headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, chills, or fatigue.
- Flu-like symptoms or pain more than 24 hours after require a call to our 24 hour number.
- The expulsion of the pregnancy will occur at home. This could include blood clots and possibly pregnancy tissue. However, at 49 days after the last period, the embryonic size is only 5 mm.
- Once the pregnancy has been expelled, cramps and bleeding lessen. However, bleeding may continue intermittently for 1 or 2 weeks.
- The first menstrual period after medical abortion may be heavier or longer than normal, and may not occur until 6-8 weeks, but by the second period after medical abortion, the cycle should return to normal.
Complications of medical abortion are uncommon occurring in less than 3% of women and may include:
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding that may require suction aspiration and, very rarely, a blood transfusion (1:1000)
- Missed or incomplete abortion, which requires a suction procedure to ensure that no products of conception remain in the uterus (less than 3%)
- Serious infection is extremely rare (8 deaths have been reported over a 7 year period out of more than a million cases of medical abortion). We reduce this risk further by using routine prophylactic antibiotics.