Complications of medical abortion

There are some medical conditions (contraindications) under which complications can be expected during or after a medical abortion. The doctor will clarify this with you during the preliminary examination. Treatment-related complications rarely occur.


Contraindications: Severe disorders of the adrenal gland, uncontrollably severe asthma, intolerance of the drugs used, difficult to adjust high blood pressure, severe cardiovascular diseases and cardiac arrhythmia. For heavy smokers over the age of 35, the medical method is associated with certain risks.

Possible side effects of Mifegyne®: Mifegyne® is generally very well tolerated. Nausea rarely occurs. Premature bleeding is an occasional complication after abortion. Heavy bleeding occurs in 5-10% of all applications, rarely with the amniotic sac leaving.


Contraindications: none are known.

After the application of Cytotec®, contractions of the uterus and intermittent heavy bleeding occur. Bleeding that is clearly supermenstrual is frequent and normal. As a complication after abortion with medication, heavy bleeding does not stop even after hours (1% of all treatments). In this case a curettage is necessary.

Common unpleasant side effects are severe cramp-like pain, chills, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms can last for several hours. Heavy bleeding can only be expected in 1 out of every 10,000 cases of medical abortion.

Treatment is successful in 96-97% of all applications. In 2-3% of all cases, an incomplete termination of the pregnancy, persistent heavy bleeding and further growth of the pregnancy are possible. In these cases a doctor must be consulted. A curettage may be necessary. It is possible that the use of Mifegyne® and Cytotec® damages the fruit. We therefore strongly recommend that you complete an abortion once it has begun.

Heavy bleeding can only be expected in 1 out of every 10,000 cases of medical abortion.

Infections are very rare if the medication is used correctly.

What should I do if I vomited shortly after taking Mifegyne® or Cytotec®?

If you vomited less than 30 minutes after taking Mifegyne® or Cytotec®, we recommend that you take your medicament again. If there is no bleeding, we generally recommend vaginal application for Cytotec®. The local drug level is higher and side effects are less frequent.

What happens if the medical abortion does not work?

Out of 100 women who have an abortion with medication, 3-4 do not succeed. Either the pregnancy is not completely expelled or remains or there is an increased or prolonged heavy bleeding. Life threatening bleeding occurs in 1 in 10,000 women and is a rarity. You can either try another drug cycle (Mifegyne® followed by Cytotec®). I would rather recommend ending the pregnancy with the surgical method.

Can Mifegyne® lead to malformations?

No one can rule this out, but no one has been able to observe this in women. In the case of births following failed abortions with medication, malformations were rarely reported. Damage to fetuses was observed in animal experiments. Mifegyne® plus Cytotec® are usually used at a very early stage of pregnancy. This almost always leads either to the end of the pregnancy or rarely to a normal continuation and to the birth; an in-between and thus damage to the child still to come are therefore rarities. As a precaution, it is generally recommended to complete an abortion once it has begun, as there are no precise data on whether there are any negative effects after carrying out a pregnancy if Mifegyne® or Cytotec® have been used.

How does Cytotec® affect an unborn child when taken as a stomach medicament during early pregnancy?

Cytotec® can actually cause the fruit to be expelled and is used to induce childbirth and terminate pregnancy. If there has not been a bloody discharge, no permanent damage is to be expected as probable in such an early pregnancy. Either it comes to expulsion or not: it is all or nothing. However, there is no guarantee, but I think you don’t have to worry. In the case of medical abortions, pregnancies occasionally persisted and an accumulation of malformations was not observed worldwide.

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