Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Does Abortion Hurt?

“Does abortion hurt?” This is one of the most prevailing questions that comes to a woman’s mind when it comes to pregnancy. In this article, we’ll thoroughly discuss this specific topic.

This is the usual thing; women usually overthink everything at its worst.  If you want a quick answer, then it varies from person to person. No one can tell you how it will feel exactly. There are different conditions on which abortion depends. But before explaining those conditions and pains, you should have knowledge about abortion.

Generally, it is unsafe for a mother. Proper guidance and knowledge are in need before making a decision for abortion. Otherwise, it may lead to severe consequences.

In the following sections, you’ll learn about abortion in detail:

What is abortion?

If someone doesn’t wish to have a child she has an option of abortion to end her pregnancy. Abortion is the end of human pregnancy in a natural or artificial way. Basically, it is the surgical or medical termination of pregnancy tissue, or the fetus and the placenta (afterbirth) from the area of the uterus. After eight weeks of pregnancy, the baby is a fetus and placenta instead of an embryo. The tissue development after the fusion of an egg and sperm before eight weeks is as pregnancy tissue. So, your question, that “does abortion hurt?” has now become a matter of curiosity after reading its definition.

Spontaneous abortion

A type of abortion that can happen in a natural way, which we often called it as a miscarriage. Miscarriages or spontaneous abortions can include several causes, including general sickness, trauma, genetic anomaly, incompatibility of fetus and mother due to biochemical reasons. It is a missed abortion or miscarriage when the death of a fetus occurs in the uterus, but the uterus is not fully empty.

Induced abortion

Induced abortions are different from spontaneous or natural abortions. The are several reasons behind their needs to be done and these reasons vary in women, including preserving the mother’s life, mental health, preventing the onset of a pregnancy that is a result of rape or incest, preventing the birth of a child with severe illness or deformity, or genetic anomaly. Abortions to safeguard the female’s health or in circumstances of rape or incest are justifiable abortions when we look into some definitions.

Is abortion legal or not?

It totally depends upon where you are living and in which society you were raised up. In some countries, it is considered an illegal act, and even in some religions, it is regarded as a sin. But some countries have given a free hand in some aspects, as I mentioned above, the reasons for induced abortion.

If we get into the details of this particular question, abortion is a contentious issue, with rights and wrongs dependent on each person’s unique ideas and religious beliefs. It always leads to the question of “Is abortion morally immoral or should it be legal?”  and “Does abortion hurt?”

Both of these questions restrain women from making an abortion decision. Further discussion might be a sensitive issue for some people. In short, you have to look around your society and country. If it is illegal, then don’t do this!

Ways to perform induced abortions

As explained earlier, induced abortion is the abortion that is done by humans itself for different reasons. There are two ways with which it is done. People often ask, “Does abortion hurt?” by considering one of the ways of induced abortions, surgical abortion. The word surgery indicates tearing off your skin apart. There is a way of induced abortion that is medical abortion. It is done by certain medications. So, the question, “Does abortion hurt?” here is now somewhat clearer.

In the following sub-sections, you’ll learn more about the ways to perform induced abortions. You’ll get to know whether it hurts or not.

Medical Abortion

Medication abortion can be done with the help of mifepristone and misoprostol tablets and is 97 percent become successful when performed up to 63 days after conception. The at-home drugs inhibit pregnancy hormones and cause the uterus to evacuate the fetus (similar to what happens during a naturally occurring miscarriage). As the contents of the uterus are emptied, misoprostol promotes cramping and excessive bleeding, as well as nausea and fever. 

These medications suppress pregnancy hormones while simultaneously causing uterine contractions that force the embryo out of the womb. This process results in vaginal bleeding that is slightly heavier than a regular period. Tissue can take up to four or five hours to remove. As a result, you’ll need a lot of pads.

You’ll also travel through some quite huge clots. This will slow down after a few days, although you may continue to bleed or spot for a few weeks.

You may also encounter:

  • Mild to severe cramping
  • Severe to mild headache
  • Breast tenderness and soreness
  • Bad stomach
  • Nausea
  • Low fever
  • Fever chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness

These symptoms usually go away after a day or two.

Oral drugs may have fewer adverse effects than vaginal, buccal, or sublingual treatments.

Yes, medical abortion hurts. Hence, your question that does abortion hurts is clear . Now let’s see the solution for this pain.

What can your doctor do to minimize the pain?

Consult your doctor about using an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever such as ibuprofen before the procedure. This could help you avoid cramps. If you experience sick quickly, you should inquire about anti-nausea medications. It’s up to your doctor whether you should take it now or wait until you start to feel symptoms.

To help ease discomfort, they may prescribe more potent pain relievers or other medications.

After then, What can you do to relieve pain and other symptoms?

When it comes to pain relief after a medical abortion, ibuprofen is more helpful than acetaminophen. Aspirin, on the other hand, should be in avoid category because it can induce excessive bleeding.

You might also find it helpful if you:

  • Schedule the procedure for a day when you will be able to stay at home.
  • For the first several days, dress comfortably.
  • To ease cramps, place a heating pad or a hot water bottle on your abdomen.
  • Pillows can help you get into a more comfortable position.
  • Deep breathing exercises are a good option.
  • Shower for a lengthy time in a warm environment.
  • Someone should rub your back.

These are the few ways to alleviate the pain of medical abortion.

Surgical Abortion

Between 6 and 21 weeks of pregnancy, a surgical abortion (aspiration, dilation, and evacuation) is done (90 percent of all abortions are done before 16 weeks gestation using the aspiration method). Cramps, nausea, sweating, and dizziness are all common adverse effects. Heavy or prolonged bleeding, blood clots, cervix or uterus injury, or infection are more minor typical negative effects. The following adverse effects can be more severe or last longer if an abortion performance is in later in pregnancy. Performing abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy is for significant medical reasons and usually necessitates hospitalization.

Vitamin C Abortion: Is it safe?

Time taken

It usually takes 4 to 5 hours for a medical abortion to completely discharge the contents of the uterus. Surgical abortions typically last between 10 and 30 minutes. Still, depending on the procedure, women may have to stay at the clinic or hospital for one to five hours after that for recovery. An uncomplicated, safe abortion (either pharmaceutical or surgical) should have no effect on future fertility or childbearing.

Surgical abortion begins in the same way as a pelvic exam does. Your doctor will ask you to rest your feet on the table’s stirrups while inspecting your vaginal and cervix using a speculum. They’ll then use numbing drugs to numb your cervix and dilate it. Then a tiny, flexible tube will be inserted into your uterus. The line is in connection to a gentle suction device that is to empty your uterus’ contents. Your doctor may also use a small, loop-shaped tool to gently scrape the inside of your uterus. This is referred to as ‘curettage.’ Your uterus will be absolutely empty due to this.

If the pregnancy is more than 15 weeks old, your doctor will empty the uterus using a mix of suction, curettage, and forceps extraction. You may experience immediate uterine cramping and bleeding. This might go on for several weeks.

The following are some more possible adverse effects

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive bleeding

What can your doctor do to minimize the pain?

Before performing a surgical abortion, most physicians will offer a local anesthetic. You may need to take pain medication first. You have the option of being sedated. To assist block pain and reduce anxiety, your provider may administer a mild dosage of general anesthetic (“twilight sedation”) or an oral sedative. You’ll be awake throughout the surgery, but you won’t remember anything. You’ll be “out of it” until the anesthetic wears off, so someone will need to drive you home.

After then, What can you do to relieve pain and other symptoms?

You can relieve your symptoms with over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen. Aspirin should be avoided since it can cause post-abortion bleeding. To ease cramps, place a heating pad or a hot water bottle on your abdomen. Wearing loose clothing for the first several days might also help relieve abdominal pressure. All these ways can help you minimize your abortion pain.


Abortion is a method of ending a pregnancy and has two types. These two types are spontaneous and induced abortion. Induced abortion has two ways to be performed. These ways do hurt women in different manners. So, if anyone questions you that does abortion hurt?. Just answer them in yes. Yes, it hurts.


Does abortion hurt the embryo?

Humans must be able to send messages from peripheral sensory nerves to the brain to feel pain. To process those messages, we also require particular brain structures.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the connections needed to process pain signals don’t emerge until the 24th week of pregnancy.
Abortions after this period are illegal under current rules since the pregnancy is considered viable.

Is there anything else to think about in terms of physical dangers?

Any medical procedure has some level of risk. The following are some of the hazards associated with abortion:
If medical abortion fails, infection, prolonged or severe bleeding, and an incomplete medical abortion needing further intervention might result in an unintended pregnancy.
A large-scale study published in 2012 indicated that legal induced abortion is safer and has lower morbidity than delivery.
A simple abortion will have no effect on your ability to conceive again. In fact, pregnancy can occur at any time.

Does abortion hurt emotionally?

Everyone’s emotional reactions to having an abortion are diverse. The reasons for having one, the pressures that may have been involved, and whether or not you have a robust support system all play a role. You might be relieved, thankful, and eager to go on.
There might also be an experience of grief, remorse, or a sense of loss. You can possibly experience a combination of all of these emotions. There is no such thing as a correct or incorrect way to feel. If you’re having trouble dealing with unpleasant feelings and they’re interfering with your everyday life, you might want to talk to a doctor. They can assist you in healthily coping with your emotions.

Is it essential to talk to a doctor about abortion?

Abortion and determining which type to have are serious decisions, so acquire all the facts you need upfront. Make sure you talk to your doctor about the following topics:
Any underlying health problems
You can compare medical and surgical abortions, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each.
What you should do to prepare for recovery time
How to deal with probable adverse effects?
Keep in mind that time is of the essence. The laws are different depending on where you live. There may be a waiting period, numerous appointments, or time constraints in your area.

Rashmi Shrestha

Namastey!! I am Rashmi Shrestha. I am an enthusiast writer and reader. I have completed my degree Bsc. Human biology from Kathmandu University. I love to read poetry and write some too. I am looking forward to working with WOMS

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