Like any other surgical procedure, am abortion by vacuum aspiration carries some risks that you should be aware of.
Significant, unavoidable or frequently occurring risks:
These are usually easy to treat and rarely have any long-term health effects:
- Retained products of conception – where the pregnancy has been successfully ended but some of the pregnancy tissue is left behind in the womb (1 in 600 procedures)
- Infection (1 in 6,500 procedures)
- Unpredictable bleeding after the abortion
- Pain during the procedure
- Injury to the cervix (1 in 11,000 procedures)
These may require transfer to hospital or surgical procedures, and may have serious long-term health effects:
- Continuing pregnancy (1 in 1,500 procedures)
- Perforation of the uterus/womb (1 in 6,500 procedures)
- Haemorrhage – very heavy bleeding (1 in 8,000 procedures)
- Injury to bowel, bladder or serious injury to cervix (very rare)
Extra procedures that may be necessary if complications arise:
- Repeat surgical abortion or uterine aspiration
- Blood transfusion
- Laparoscopy or laparotomy – operation to look inside the abdomen
- Repair of damage to cervix, uterus, bladder, bowel or blood vessels
- Hysterectomy – surgical removal of the womb (1 in 35,000 procedures)
Death is very rarely linked to abortion treatment – less than 1 in 100,000 of all abortions.
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