Possible immediate complications include:
|Ripped or perforated uterus
||Chronic abdominal pain
Some immediate risks are life-threatening.1
Infections are caused by bacteria entering the uterus during surgical procedures. They are more likely if untreated disease, such as an STD (sexually transmitted disease) is present prior to the procedure. Symptoms of fever, pain, and abdominal tenderness will usually start within two to three days.
The risks of second trimester abortions are higher than for those done in the first, particularly if they are done after 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Particular danger of medical abortion: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that women have died from a severe infection after abortions using the mifepristone and vaginal misoprostol method. Signs of serious infection include weakness, nausea, and diarrhea with or without belly pain, but may not cause a fever. Women are advised to call their doctor or go to the hospital if they have any of these signs of a serious infection after medical abortion.2
1. Frank, et.al., “Induced Abortion Operations and Their Early Sequelae,” Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 35(73):175-180, April 1985; Grimes and Cates, “Abortion: Methods and Complications,” in Human Reproduction, 2nd ed., 796-813; MA Freedman, “Comparison of complication rates in first trimester abortions performed by physician assistants and physicians,” Am. J. Public Health 76(5):550-554, 1986).
2. “Before, During, and After an Abortion: When to Call a Doctor,” WebMD: Women’s Health, http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/abortion-before-during-and-after-an-abortion-when-to-call-a-doctor#2, accessed 2/16/2017.