In Nigeria, abortion is illegal except when performed to save a woman’s life. However, abortions are still common, and most are unsafe because they are done secretly in poor conditions by unskilled personnel. Unsafe abortion is a major contributor to the high levels of maternal death, ill health and disability.
Even though many surgical abortions go on without any complication afterwards and a lot of women are able to go on and have healthy pregnancies, there are still some complications that can arise. These include: damage to the womb, perforated bladder or bowel, infections, septic shock, possible ectopic pregnancy, peritonitis, or even death.
Here is a list of 3 major mechanisms by which abortion complications may be classified:
(1) Infection can be due to failure to carry out health precautions before the procedure, such as hand washing, surgical glove use, proper sterilization of the field, use of non-sterile instruments, as well as the presence of a pre-existing infectious process in a patient such as cervicitis or endometritis.
(2) Incomplete evacuation of the products of conception leading to the collection of blood in the womb, causing overdistention and failure of the womb to contract, which results in hemorrhage. It can also lead to infection and possible sepsis.
(3) Injury from the surgical procedure itself depends upon the method used and include vaginal or cervical lacerations, as well as womb injury, bowel injury, or bladder injury. To learn more about other complications associated with abortions, click here