Background: Performing an induced abortion is a rather simple medical procedure which is frequently done and side-effects will have public health implications unless they are very rare. We estimated the incidence of side-effects detected during the stay at the hospital and 2 weeks after the discharge. We only include side-effects reported by clinics or hospitals.
Methods: Altogether 56 117 induced abortions performed by public hospitals in Denmark from 1980 to 1994 were analyzed in this study. The study combined results from the mandatory reporting of side-effects to the National Induced Abortion Registry and all diagnoses reported to the Hospital Discharge Registry.
Results: Side-effects in the form of bleeding, infections or re-evacuation were recorded for about 5%. We found more side-effects in teenage women and for abortions performed late in pregnancy. We found nothing to indicate that the frequency of side-effects following an abortion changed over time.
Conclusions: About 5% have side-effects registered by hospitals following an induced abortion. The long-term consequences of this are not known.