What are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

We spend hours and hours researching our next big purchase comparing brands, looking at photos, and reading reviews. It only makes sense you’re wanting to learn as much as possible when it comes to one of the biggest decisions you face to date. 

When it comes to your pregnancy options, abortion can often seem like the easiest route. For some, getting an abortion is like pushing a problem under a rug and hiding it so that nobody ever finds out. However, it’s important to remember abortion is a serious medical procedure that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

As you explore your pregnancy options, it’s important do the research necessary to understand the pros and cons of each choice, including the many risks and side effects that can accompany the abortion pill.


What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is a form of abortion that ends a pregnancy through chemical means. 

The abortion pill, also known as a medical abortion, uses two drugs to end a pregnancy within the first 11 weeks of development. The first drug, Mifepristone, stops the production of the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which inhibits the growth of the pregnancy. This drug is administered in a doctor’s office while Misoprostol, the second drug, is taken later at home. Misoprostol causes contractions to start, which forces the fetus from the uterus.

Are there side effects of the abortion pill?

With most abortions, whether medical or surgical, you can expect to experience some minor side effects like cramping, bleeding, abdominal pain, and discomforts like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

In addition to these common side effects, you should also be aware of some of the more serious risks associated with abortion.

1. The Abortion Pill Can Cause Issues with Future Childbearing


For women who don’t feel ready to have a child now but are hoping for future pregnancies, it’s important to understand the impact abortion might have on your future pregnancies. The abortion pill has been associated with the risk of spontaneous preterm birth and abortion pill complications, such as infection, have been linked to fertility complications.1

2. Medical Abortions are Linked to Mental Health Issues

Many women report that the abortion pill and their experience of completing the abortion at home have caused mental health issues. These include things like depression and anxiety. At-home abortions via the abortion pill have also triggered pre-existing mental health conditions.2

3. The Abortion Pill Can Increase Risk for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Have you recently been tested for STDs? Having chlamydia at the time of an abortion increases your risk of developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) by 23%.3 PID is an infection in a woman’s reproductive organs that can cause abscesses, fertility issues, and chronic pain. 

4. Medical Abortions Can Cause Relationship Issues Related to Bonding

While some women never experience physical side effects, many women report dealing with relationship issues in the wake of their abortions. From difficulties bonding with future children to a 45-75% increase in breakup and divorce following the procedure, there is strong evidence the impacts of the abortion pill go far beyond the physical body and impact even our closest relationships.4

5. The Abortion Pill May Lead to Life-Threatening Complications


On occasion, medical abortions fail to fully expel the pregnancy from the uterus, leaving the woman at risk for what’s called an “incomplete abortion.” Incomplete abortions, if untreated, can lead to infection, hemorrhaging, and potentially death.

If you think you might be experiencing an incomplete abortion, call your doctor immediately. 

What should I do if I’m pregnant?

Unplanned pregnancies can be accompanied by intense feelings of dread, anxiety, and shame. Know this — there is no shame and you’re not alone in your journey! Millions of women have walked in your shoes and have gone on to live fulfilling and amazing lives!

Your friends at BsideU for Life are here to help you navigate your unplanned pregnancy — from equipping you with all of the knowledge you need regarding each of your options to providing you with no-cost resources and healthcare!

1. Bhattacharya, S. et al. Reproductive outcomes following induced abortion: a national register-based cohort study in Scotland. BMJ Open. 2, (2012).

  1. Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

  2. Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). “Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). “Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.” Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). “The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.

  3. Ring-Cassidey, Elizabeth, and Ian Gentiles. “Women’s Health After Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence”  The DeVeber Institute for Biothics and Social Research, Apr. 2002, www.deveber.org/womens-health-after-abortion/.


How Does COVID-19 Affect Pregnancy?

COVID-19 has struck fear in the hearts of our entire nation. Parents are concerned about their children. Older adults appear to be at the highest risk, and pregnant women wonder if it will infect their unborn babies. So much is unknown. How does COVID-19 affect pregnancy?

Pregnancy and COVID-19

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information available. Studies do show that generally, pregnant women do not fight infections as quickly as others because their immune systems are weaker. As a result, the Mayo Clinic states, “Potentially, pregnant women could be at increased risk of COVID-19 infection.”

What We Know About COVID-19

At this point, the most information regarding pregnancy and contracting COVID-19 comes from China. However, a recent study in Los Angeles included 134 pregnant women who tested positive for the disease. More than 82% of the women had symptoms. Of those who have already given birth, none of their babies were infected.

These results would suggest the virus does not spread through the amniotic fluid or across the placenta. Even reports of a very small number of premature births cannot be directly linked to COVID-19 infections.

Do I have COVID-19?

The only way to positively know if you have COVID-19 is to test for the virus. In some jurisdictions, access to tests is limited, and people with symptoms will be be given priority in testing.  In some cases, the tests are giving false-negative results. Check to see if you are experiencing the following COVID-19 symptoms (the following are straight from the Centers for Disease Control):

“People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

“Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

“This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.”

The CDC goes on, regarding when to seek emergency medical attention:

“Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911  if you are experiencing any of these more severe symptoms.  Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Pregnant or not, the virus can have severe consequences, and you need to be proactive.

What You Should Do If You Are Pregnant

Further research is needed to determine what if any pregnancy complications are due to COVID-19. As always, you should be receiving regular prenatal care from a doctor. It is also essential for you to avoid getting the virus.

Follow these steps to reduce your risk.

  • Avoid close contact with others by following the social distancing rule of 6 feet.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
  • Use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not available.
  • Work with family members and your workplace if you are working on sanitizing practices.
  • Take care of your mental health during this crisis – it is as essential for your baby as it is for you.

Information for this blog came from the CDC website: