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If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, you might be wondering if there are physical side effects from the procedure—and the answer is yes. However, the specific physical effects you might experience depend on the type of abortion. 

While abortion is currently illegal in Tennessee, read on to learn about the different types of abortion and the possible physical effects you might experience. 

Medication Abortion 

Medication abortion (also called “chemical abortion,” “medical abortion,” or the “abortion pill”) involves ingesting two different drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, to terminate a viable pregnancy. 

Mifepristone is taken first. It works by blocking progesterone, the hormone that’s necessary for maintaining the early stages of pregnancy. 

Potential side effects of mifepristone include: 

  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours after the first drug. It causes the uterus to contract and eventually expel the pregnancy. 

Potential side effects of misoprostol include: 

  • Painful cramping
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting

Surgical Abortion 

Surgical abortion is a procedure that involves using a medical instrument to remove the pregnancy. There are a few different types, including vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage (D&C), and dilation and evacuation (D&E).

All types of surgical abortion involve dilating the cervix and utilizing various instruments and surgical tools to remove the pregnancy. Typical side effects include mild cramping and spotting or light bleeding. These can last a few days.

The possible risks of surgical abortion include: 

  • Uterine perforation
  • Cervical damage
  • Uterine walls scarring, which can lead to painful menstrual periods and infertility
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection 

While these are just some of the possible physical effects of receiving an abortion, there are potential mental and emotional effects as well. 

You Have Options

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be scary, but you have other options besides abortion. At Pregnancy Care Center, we provide free resources that can give you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about next steps. Book a free, confidential appointment today to talk to one of our caring team members. We believe in empowering women, and we’re here to help!

*NOTE: We offer accurate information about all your pregnancy options; however, we do not offer or refer for abortion services. The information presented on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.