woman thinking of pregnancy

Everyone has different pain tolerance levels and different experiences with healthcare providers. A procedure that is painful for one person may turn out completely pain-free for another.

Some people have negative side effects from abortion that are painful, and different types of abortion come with different risks. Complications can create additional pain.

If you are considering an abortion, here are some things you should know about the physical effects the procedure might have on you. 

How Does a Medical Abortion Affect Your Body?

The first drug in the abortion pill series (mifepristone) terminates your pregnancy by blocking the hormone progesterone. This hormone is what thickens the lining of the uterus for implantation. Without it, the pregnancy can’t survive. 

Once your pregnancy is terminated, the second abortion pill drug, misoprostol, will trigger contraction-like cramps that expel the pregnancy from your body.

According to Mayo Clinic, risks can include incomplete abortion, an ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work, heavy and prolonged bleeding, fever, infection, and digestive system discomfort. Some of these risks can be uncomfortable and/or painful if they happen.

Normal side effects that may cause pain include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea/vomiting 
  • Headaches

How Does Surgical Abortion Affect Your Body?

A surgical abortion usually requires dilation of the cervix. Then a sharp object or suction device is used to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus.

Typically, a woman is either sedated or unconscious during a dilation & curettage (D&C) surgical abortion. This means there typically isn’t pain or discomfort during the procedure. 

One side effect of surgical abortion is mild cramping during recovery. A provider might suggest taking ibuprofen or another medication for pain at this time.

Any potential complications from surgical abortion, such as uterine perforation (when an instrument pokes a hole in the uterus), damage to the cervix, scar tissue on the uterine wall, or infection, could potentially add pain after surgical abortion. 

What Should I Do Before Seeking an Abortion?

The first thing you should do is get an ultrasound to find out how far along you are in your pregnancy. This will determine what options you have available to you. We can offer an ultrasound for free, no insurance necessary.

Next, you should take time to research all of your options, to make sure you can feel confident about your choice. At our center, we can provide more information about abortion, adoption and parenting.

Contact us today to request a free and confidential medical screening.