Abortion Procedures & Risks

Dilation & Curettage (D&C) With Vacuum Aspiration - The doctor first opens (dilates) the cervixand then empties the uterus with suction. After suctioning, the doctor may scrape the walls of the uterus to make sure the unborn child, placenta, and contents of the uterus have been completely removed. Possible side effects and risks include: cramping of the uterus or pelvic pain; a hole in the uterus (uterine perforation) or other damage to the uterus; injury to the bowel or the bladder; a cut or torn cervix (cervical laceration); incomplete removal of the unborn child, placenta, or contents of the uterus requiring an additional operation; infection; complications from anesthesia such as respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting, headaches, or drug reactions; inability to get pregnant due to infection or complication from an operation; possible hysterectomy as a result of complication or injury during the procedure; hemorrhage (heavy bleeding); emergency treatment for any of the above problems, including possible need to treat with an operation, medicines, or a blood transfusion; rarely, death.

Dilation & Evacuation (D&E) - To prepare for the procedure, the doctor will open (dilate) the cervix. Most women experience some pain, so the doctor may give you a painkiller — either locally by shots in the area of the cervix or by a general anesthetic — or a sedative (which will leave you conscious). The uterus will be scraped and the unborn child and placenta are removed. After 16 weeks, the unborn child and placenta are removed, piece-by-piece, using forceps or other instruments. This procedure will take less than an hour. Possible side effects and risks include: hole in the uterus (uterine perforation) or other damage to the uterus; injury to the bowel or bladder; cut or torn cervix (cervical laceration); incomplete removal of the unborn child, placenta, or contents of the uterus requiring an additional operation; infection; complications from anesthesia, such as respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting, headaches, or drug reactions; inability to get pregnant due to infection or complication from an operation; possible hysterectomy as a result of complication or injury during the procedure; hemorrhage (heavy bleeding); emergency treatment for any of the above problems, including the possible need to treat with an operation, medicines, or a blood transfusion; rarely, death.

• Abortion by Labor Induction (Medical Induction) - Medicines will be used to start labor. These medicines can be put in the vagina, injected in the uterus (womb) or given into the vein (intravenously or by IV). The medicines used cause the uterus to contract and labor to begin. Sometimes more than one medicine will be used. This procedure may take from several hours to several days. Your doctor may use instruments to scrape the uterus and make sure that the unborn child, placenta, and other contents of the uterus have been completely removed. Possible side effects and risks include: nausea or vomiting; diarrhea; fever; infection; complications from anesthesia such as respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting, headaches, or drug reactions; inability to get pregnant due to infection or complication from an operation; possible hysterectomy as a result of complication or injury during the procedure; damage or rupture of the uterus (womb); the possibility of a live-born baby; incomplete removal of the unborn child, placenta, or contents of the uterus requiring an operation; hemorrhage (heavy bleeding).; water intoxication; emergency treatment for any of the above problems, including the possible need to treat with an operation, medicines, or a blood transfusion; rarely, death.

• Dilatation and Extraction (D&X) - The doctor will dilate (open) the cervix. The doctor will grasp the unborn child’s foot with an instrument and deliver the child except for the head. While the head is kept in the birth canal, scissors are used to make a hole in the back of the head, a tube is inserted, and suction is applied. The contents of the unborn child’s skull are suctioned out, the bones of the head collapse, and the child is delivered dead. Possible side effects and risks include: a hole in the uterus (uterine perforation) or other damage to the uterus; injury to the bowel or bladder; cut or torn cervix (cervical laceration); incomplete removal of the unborn child, placenta, or contents of the uterus, requiring an additional operation; infection; complications from anesthesia such as respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting, headaches, or drug reactions; inability to get pregnant due to infection or complication from an operation; possible hysterectomy as a result of complication or injury during the procedure; hemorrhage (heavy bleeding); emergency treatment for any of the above problems, including the possible need to treat with an operation, medicines, or a blood transfusion; rarely, death.

A Woman’s Right To Know (2012) Texas Dept. of State Health Services, http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/.

                  ch 1.15

Cervical damage from previously induced
abortions increase the risks of miscarriage,
premature birth, and complications of labor
during later pregnancies by 300 – 500%. A
major study of first pregnancy abortions
found that 48% of women experienced
abortion-related complications in later
pregnancies. Women in this group
experienced 2.3 miscarriages for every one
live birth.
~Abortion As A Public Health Issue
from Elliot Institute, AfterAbortion.org