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What are the risks of an abortion?

An abortion is a surgical procedure, and, like all surgical procedures, it has risks. The most common risk of abortion is infection. Most doctors prescribe antibiotics before and after the abortion to lower the risk of infection.

There is always a small chance that some of the pregnancy tissue will be left behind after the abortion. If that happens, an infection can develop. If the person who had an abortion gets a fever or belly pain, she should see her health professional right away to be sure that she doesn't have an infection. If she does have one, an ultrasound will be done to check for any tissue that may have been left behind. If a lot of tissue was left behind, she may have to have another procedure.

If she gets an infection, the doctor will give her antibiotics to cure it. If she has a very serious infection, she may need to go to the hospital for a few days to receive antibiotics through an IV.

During an abortion, there is always a chance that the doctor could poke a hole in the wall of the uterus with the instruments. This isn't common, but it can happen. If it does happen, the doctor will want to keep a close watch on the person who had the abortion for signs of internal bleeding. If there is any chance of internal bleeding or that nearby organs (such as the bladder or intestine) were injured, the person may need surgery to repair the injury.

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