Heavy Bleeding - Some bleeding after abortion is normal. However, if the cervix is torn or the uterus is punctured, there is a severe bleeding known as hemorrhaging. When this happens, a blood transfusion may be require. Severe bleeding is also a risk with the use of the abortion pill: one in 100 women require surgery to stop the bleeding.
Infection - Infection can develop from the insertion of medical instruments into the uterus, or from fetal parts that are mistakenly left inside (known as incomplete abortion). This may cause bleeding and a pelvic infection requiring antibiotics and a repeat abortion to fully empty the uterus. Infection may cause scarring of the pelvic organs.
Negative effects from Anesthesia - Complications from general anesthesia used during abortion surgery may result in convulsions, heart complications, and in extreme cases, death.
Damage to the Cervix - The cervix may be cut, torn, or damaged by abortion instruments. This may cause excessive bleeding requiring surgical repair.
Scarring of the Uterus Lining - Curettes and other abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining.
Perforation of the Uterus - The uterus may be punctured or torn by abortion instruments. The risk of this complication increases with the length of the pregnancy. If this occurs, major surgery may be required, including removal of the uterus (known as a hysterectomy).
Damage to Internal Organs - If the uterus is punctured or torn, there is also a risk that damage may occur to nearby organs such as the bowel and bladder.
Death - In extreme cases, complications from abortion (excessive bleeding, infection, organ damage from a perforated uterus, and adverse reactions to anesthesia) may lead to death. This complication is rare.