What Are The Different Abortion Procedures?

There are two basic types of abortion: medication and surgical. How far along you are in your pregnancy usually determines the type of procedure you have.

Medication Abortion (the Abortion Pill Method)

The abortion pill method is a medication abortion because it uses two drugs to terminate a pregnancy. The FDA highly regulates one of the drugs and recommends you not take it after 10 weeks of pregnancy. It can only be distributed by certified prescribers.

Mifepristone, the first drug, blocks the pregnancy hormone progesterone. All pregnancies need progesterone to grow and thrive. Without it, the pregnancy ends. The second drug, misoprostol, causes bleeding and cramping to expel the pregnancy from your body through the vagina.

Experts list the following as possible side effects and risks:

  • Fever and chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Potentially heavy and ongoing bleeding
  • The possibility of an incomplete abortion
  • Infection

Surgical Abortion

The various surgical procedures are also determined by how far you are in your pregnancy. If you have been pregnant for 12 weeks or less, you could have a vacuum or suction aspiration.

As your pregnancy progresses, the abortion provider may add a sharp scraping tool called a curette or forceps to remove larger parts of the pregnancy.

Most surgical methods require dilating (opening) your cervix (which leads to your uterus) and the use of local or general anesthesia.

Experts list the following as possible side effects and risks:

  • Bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Perforation (poking a hole with a surgical instrument) of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Abortion has also been known to affect some women mentally. They’ve struggled with anxiety, depression, guilt, and a sense of loss.

What Should I Do Before An Abortion?

We recommend confirming your pregnancy first with a pregnancy test and ultrasound exam. An ultrasound determines how long you have been pregnant, if the pregnancy is safely located, and if it’s growing.

Schedule an appointment to talk with one of our caring client advocates. Although we do not perform or refer for abortions, we can get you the information you need to protect your health and safety. Talk with us today.