If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, you may be considering an abortion. It is important to know that an abortion is a major medical procedure that comes with its own side effects and risks.

There are two main types of abortion procedures: medication abortion, otherwise known as the “abortion pill,” and surgical abortion. It is important to understand the differences between these two types of procedures.

Medical Abortion

A medical abortion consists of two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone works by blocking progesterone and preventing the embryo from continuing to attach to the uterus. Misoprostol causes uterine contractions and expels the embryo and pregnancy tissue through the vagina.

Medication abortions are only allowed up until the 10th week of pregnancy. If you are further along, you will need to have a surgical abortion.

Some risks of medical abortion include:

  • An ongoing pregnancy (if the procedure doesn’t work)
  • Incomplete abortion (which may need to be followed by surgical abortion)
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Digestive system discomfort

Surgical Abortion

There are two types of surgical abortion procedures:

  • Dilation and curettage (D & C): During this procedure, the provider uses medication or surgical instruments to dilate the cervix. Then, either gentle suctioning or a small instrument called a curette is used to remove the pregnancy from the uterus.
  • Dilation and evacuation (D & E): This procedure typically uses dilation and curettage, vacuum aspiration, and/or surgical instruments to remove the pregnancy.

There are certain risks associated with having a surgical abortion. Those risks include:

  • Injury to the cervix
  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Perforation of the uterus

Where Can I Go?

If you are considering an abortion and would like to learn more about your options, we are here to help! Make an appointment today to explore your options and receive the information you need to make an informed decision. All of our services are free of charge and confidential.

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