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Abortion Effects

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Effects of Abortion

Short Term Effects

Abortion methods, like most surgical procedures, carry a small risk of serious complications. These risks include: a perforated uterus, perforated bowel or bladder, septic shock, sterility, and death. The risk of complications can increase depending on how far pregnancy has progressed, but remains less than complications that may occur from carrying pregnancy to term.

Assessing the risks of induced abortion depends on a number of factors. First, there are relative health risks of induced abortion and pregnancy, which are both affected by wide variation in the quality of health services in different societies and among different socio-economic groups, a lack of uniform definitions of terms, and difficulties in patient follow-up and after-care. The degree of risk is also dependent upon the skill and experience of the practitioner; maternal age, health, and parity; gestational age; pre-existing conditions; methods and instruments used; medications used; the skill and experience of those assisting the practitioner; and the quality of recovery and follow-up care.

Long Term Effects

Post-abortion syndrome (PAS) is a term used to describe a set of mental health characteristics which some researchers claim to have observed in women following an abortion. The psychopathological symptoms attributed to PAS are similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder, but have also included, "repeated and persistent dreams and nightmares related with the abortion, intense feelings of guilt and the 'need to repair'". Whether this would warrant classification as an independent syndrome is disputed by other researchers. PAS is listed in neither the DSM-IV-TR nor the ICD-10.

Some studies have shown abortion to have neutral or positive effects on the mental well-being of some patients. A 1989 study of teenagers who sought



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