The risk of complications for the woman increases with advancing gestational age.
Below are descriptions of the risks that have been associated with abortion.
Long-Term Medical Risks of Abortions
Early abortions that are not complicated by infection do not cause infertility, nor do they make it more difficult to carry a later pregnancy to term. Complications associated with an abortion or having multiple abortions may make it difficult to have children.
Women who have had a first full-term pregnancy at an early age have reduced risks of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer. Furthermore, the risks of these cancers decline with each additional full-term pregnancy. Pregnancies that are terminated afford no protection; thus, a woman who chooses abortion over continuing her pregnancy would lose the protective benefit. If you have a family history of breast cancer or clinical findings of breast disease, you should seek medical advice from your physician before deciding whether to remain pregnant or have an abortion. It is always important to tell your doctor about your complete pregnancy history.
You should know that women experience different emotions after an abortion. Some women may feel guilty, sad or empty, while others may feel relief that the procedure is over. Some women have reported serious psychological effects after their abortion, including depression, grief, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, regret, attachment, flashbacks and substance abuse. These emotions may appear immediately after an abortion or gradually over a longer period of time. These feelings may recur or be felt stronger at the time of another abortion, or a normal birth, or on the anniversary of the abortion. Counseling or support before and after your abortion is very important. If family help and support are not available to you, it may be harder for you to deal with the feelings that appear after an abortion. Talking with a professional counselor before having an abortion can help a woman better understand her decision and the feelings she may experience after the procedure. If counseling is not available to the woman, these feelings may be more difficult to handle. Many pregnancy-resource centers offer pre- and post-abortion counseling services; these centers are listed in the resource directory.