Before deciding if the abortion pill is right for you, we recommend taking time to explore your options, gather information about the side effects and risks of the abortion pill, and take time to learn if this is the right choice for you.
Here are the top risks associated with the abortion pill:
Excessive Bleeding and Hemorrhaging
While some bleeding is common during the abortion, it’s important to be on the lookout for what the FDA classifies as excessive bleeding. Excessive bleeding, as defined by the FDA, is bleeding that fills “two thick full-size sanitary pads per hour for two consecutive hours.”
Excessive bleeding can be a sign of potentially fatal complications, such as hemorrhaging.
Increased Risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Taking the abortion pill while infected with Chlamydia has been associated with a 23% increase in pelvic inflammatory disease, also called PID.
PID can result in long-term chronic pain, risk of infertility and ectopic pregnancies, and abscesses.1
Infection and Sepsis
Infection and sepsis can be accompanied by the abortion pill process and can be extremely dangerous if left untreated.
While a mild fever is a normal side effect of the abortion pill, a temperate of 100.4°F or higher that lasts longer than 4 hours may be a sign of an abortion-related infection.
The abortion pill works to expel the pregnancy tissue from the uterus in the form of large blood clots. In some cases, however, the medication is not able to fully expel the tissue, leaving blood clots at the opening of the cervix, which can cause the uterus to fill with blood.
Symptoms of retained fetal tissue and blood clots include swelling and tenderness in the abdomen, nausea, and acute cramping.
Mental Health Issues
In addition to physical risks, the abortion pill has been known to cause mental health complications, such as anxiety and depression.2 These conditions can impact your ability to work, relate to others, and perform daily tasks.
What steps should I take before deciding if the abortion pill is right for me?
Before taking the abortion pill, we recommend undergoing pre-abortion screenings to ensure your health and safety along the way.
The Hope Clinic offers the following pre-abortion screenings at no cost to you:
- Lab-quality pregnancy testing
- An ultrasound scan to confirm your pregnancy and abortion pill eligibility
- STD testing to avoid PID complications
- Medical consultation to help you make an informed medical decision
1. 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;
2. Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.
Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92;
3. 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.
4. 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]