Are Abortions Painful?

Many women want to know: do abortions hurt?

To answer that question, you should know there are two main types of abortion: chemical and surgical. The amount of pain you may experience will depend on the type of abortion and how your body reacts to each procedure.

Is a chemical abortion painful?

After taking the abortion pill, women report that they experience heavy bleeding for around two weeks and cramps akin to severe period pains. Women may also have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.

But if you experience complications such as infection, hemorrhaging, blood clots, or an ectopic pregnancy, you may have far greater pain and need to seek hospitalization.

Is a surgical abortion painful?

Surgical abortions most commonly use the dilation and evacuation (D&E) method. Your cervix will be dilated with a thin rod and a vacuum attachment inserted into the uterus to extract the fetus. As a result, women experience soreness and at the site, cramping in greater severity to a period, and heavy bleeding for up to 4 weeks. Some women also experience vomiting, breast tenderness, or fever.

If you experience far greater pain or bleeding after abortion, contact your healthcare provider immediately, as you could have a perforated uterus or an infection from remaining fetal tissue.

What to do before getting abortion pills.

Other things to consider:

  • Many women also report emotional pain such as regret, grief, or guilt following an abortion. Your mental health is important.
  • Abortion can pose physical risks to your permanent health. Infections can result in uterine, increasing the risk for infertility. Sepsis and hemorrhaging are life-threatening situations.


If you’d like to talk about how to handle your situation, make a free appointment today. We’ve helped hundreds of women navigate an unplanned pregnancy.

Did you know?

Everything we offer is free to you.
Everything we do for you is confidential.

Don’t let a lack of insurance, fear, or anyone around you prevent you from getting the information and pregnancy care you deserve.

Our trained and caring staff is here to help you. If you have questions, are considering an abortion, or are afraid or aren’t sure you can take care of a baby, please call us at (205) 252-0706. We offer no-cost pregnancy support, classes, and other pregnancy resources like diapers and clothing. We’re here to help you.

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To schedule a free appointment:

Call (205) 252-0706

Text (205) 252-0706
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Appointments preferred. Walk-ins welcome.

After Hours: Call 1-800-712-HELP (4357) 24 hours a day.

Her Choice Birmingham Women’s Center serves the surrounding communities of Birmingham, Alabama helping women facing an unplanned pregnancy, to work through their options. We offer free and confidential pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, counseling, support after abortion, and parent resources for women in the Birmingham area.

Her Choice Birmingham Women's Center

A caring women's center, offering free and confidential pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, post-abortion recovery, counseling, and parent resources for women in the Birmingham community.

2120 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233

Pre-Abortion Screening

Guard your health with a free pre-abortion screening before you order the abortion pill or travel for an abortion.

Her Choice Birmingham does not perform or refer abortions or distribute abortion pills.


There are different types of abortions. Learn more about abortion and contact us with questions before you decide on next steps.

Abortion Pill

If you are pregnant and considering taking the abortion pill, get a pre-abortion screening and know what to expect before you order abortion pills.

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