Womb damage can occur after a surgical abortion, and it happens when abortion instruments poke a hole in the uterus (also known as a uterine perforation). Signs that this has occurred after a surgical abortion might include:

  • Heavy bleeding (soaking a pad every hour)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness that persists
  • Fever
  • Cramps lasting more than 48 hours
  • Increasing pain
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

If you’ve recently had a surgical abortion and are experiencing these signs of womb damage, it’s vital to seek emergency care as soon as possible.

If you’re still pregnant and considering a surgical abortion, it’s essential to know all you can about the risks so that you can make an informed decision. Read on to learn more about how a surgical abortion works and what you should do before seeking one.

What Are the Risks of Abortion?

Surgical abortion involves dilating (opening) the cervix so that medical instruments—usually a sharp tool used for scraping and a vacuum—can enter the uterus to remove the pregnancy. 

After a surgical abortion, you will experience abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. You might also experience the following risks, which are rare but severe:

  • Womb damage, which can occur when the medical instrument pokes a hole in the uterus
  • Cervical damage
  • Uterine scarring
  • Infection 

What to Do Before Seeking an Abortion

If you’re considering an abortion, it’s essential to get an ultrasound. This scan can protect your health in the following ways:

  • You’ll learn the gestational age of your pregnancy. This is necessary information before seeking an abortion, as the further along you are, the greater your risk of complications.
  • You’ll discover the location of your pregnancy. This is important for ruling out ectopic pregnancy, which is a life-threatening situation in which the pregnancy grows outside the uterus. 
  • You’ll find out if you’re still pregnant. Since nearly 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, an ultrasound will determine if your pregnancy is viable. 

Next Steps

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel scary, but you’re not alone. At Pregnancy Center West, we’re here for you. We offer free pregnancy resources, including ultrasounds, community referrals, and information that can help you make an informed decision about how to move forward. Contact us today to be connected to one of our caring team members. All appointments are free and confidential.