Data on how many complications resulting from medical abortions were reported in England and Wales in 2017 is not yet available. 2017 abortion data will be published on 7 June 2018.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ 2011 clinical guideline on the Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion highlights that abortion using both medical and surgical methods is a safe procedure for which major complications and mortality are rare at all gestations. The guideline notes that medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol is associated with a longer duration of bleeding, more pain and gastrointestinal adverse effects, and a higher likelihood of being incomplete than vacuum aspiration under general anaesthetic up to 14 weeks of gestation. A copy of the guideline can be viewed online at the following link:
Information on the number of women diagnosed with complications following a surgical and medical abortion in each of the last five years for which data is published is set out in the following table.
Legal abortions - complications by procedure, residents of England and Wales, 2012-16
Total all procedures
Data on complications is collected on HSA4 forms which provide a notification of each abortion.
Complications which arise after the form has been completed will not be included in the official statistics.