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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the risks of surgical abortion?

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  • Children by Choice is a Brisbane based not-for-profit organisation providing pro-choice, all-options counselling, information and referrals Queensland-wide, for women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. We provide face-to … View Profile

    In Australia, where abortions are performed by highly qualified health care professionals in very hygenic conditions, a pregnancy termination is one of the safest medical procedures and complications are rare.(Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems World Health Organisation, Geneva 2003 p12)

    There are risked assoicated with all surgical procedures, however the risks assoicated with complications for a sugical abortion are low. They include perforation of the uterus, tearing of the cervix and heavy blood loss. However, any complications are minimised by attending a clinic with well trained doctors and nurses. Identification and treatment of any complications will occur in theatre or recovery. You'll be closely monitored in the recovery area by registered nurses for between approximately forty-five and ninety minutes. During this time you will be given something to eat and drink.

    It is normal to have some bleeding and cramping following an abortion but not all women will experience this. Some women experience spotting while others bleed for a few days. Pain can be managed with regular pain relief (not aspirin) and bleeding is managed with sanitary pads. It is important to discuss any concerns about risks or complications with the clinic and to follow all of the advice given by the clinic.

    If you decide that abortion could be an option for you, it may be helpful to have as much information as possible to assist you in making this decision. For information on the clinic procedure, costs, clinic locations, what happens on the day, and how you might feel afterwards, visit

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