Any medical procedure has side effects and risks. Before you schedule an abortion, take time to find out about the different procedures, side effects, and potential risks. You owe it to yourself to be completely informed.
Types of Abortion Methods
There are two basic abortion methods: medication and surgical. The number of days you’ve been pregnant determines which method you would have.
The Abortion Pill
The abortion pill is a medication abortion because you take two drugs to terminate your pregnancy. The first drug in the abortion pill method is called mifepristone and is highly regulated by the FDA.
Mifepristone is only approved for use through 70 days gestation which means you shouldn’t be beyond your 10th week of pregnancy. This drug blocks the hormone progesterone, which the embryo needs to implant in your uterus and grow.
The second drug is known as misoprostol. It’s usually taken within 24 to 48 hours after the first drug. Misoprostol causes your uterus to contract in order to push the pregnancy out.
The Mayo Clinic lists the following risks of medical abortion:
- Incomplete abortion possibly requiring a surgical procedure
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
A surgical abortion is performed in a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office. There are different types of surgeries based on the number of weeks you’ve been pregnant.
If you are still in your first trimester (up to 12 weeks) or the very beginning of your second trimester (through week 16), you are eligible for Vacuum Aspiration, which is also known as suction aspiration.
Vacuum Aspiration is exactly as it sounds. Suction is used to pull the fetus out of the uterus. Dilation and curettage (D & C) and dilation and evacuation (D & E) are other surgical abortion methods. These methods are used when the pregnancy is in the second trimester.
Both a D & C and a D & E use suction and a scraping instrument called a curette. If the pregnancy is further than 14 weeks, the abortion provider may use forceps to remove more significant parts of the pregnancy.
According to the National Health Service, these are some of the risks of a surgical abortion:
- Needing another procedure to remove parts of the pregnancy that stayed in the uterus
- Heavy bleeding
- Damage to the uterus or cervix
Before Scheduling An Abortion
To determine which abortion method you qualify for, it’s important to know how long you’ve been pregnant. An ultrasound can give you the gestational age. Plus, ultrasound will show you if your pregnancy is viable or if you’ve had a miscarriage.
At A Choice For Women, we provide free ultrasounds on a limited, case-by-case basis. In addition, take advantage of some of our other free services:
- Free pregnancy tests
- Free limited ultrasounds
- Information on pregnancy and abortion alternatives
- Confidential peer counseling and guidance
- Information on STDs
- Referrals for medical care, housing, social services, and legal aid
Contact us today to make a free and confidential appointment. We’re here to provide you with the information and support you need to make a confident decision for your future.