Thinking About abortion?
The decision to terminate a pregnancy is both personal and permanent. Because of this, collecting all the information and answers you need is critical before moving forward with either medical or surgical abortion.
types of Abortion
There are two main types of abortion: medical and surgical.
Medical abortion starts with a woman taking the drug mifepristone to block progesterone and terminate the pregnancy. Then, she takes the drug misoprostol, designed to trigger uterine contractions to expel the pregnancy from her body.
Surgical abortion requires a woman to visit an abortion facility or hospital. In this type of abortion, an abortion provider dilates the woman’s cervix, then surgically removes the pregnancy and related tissue from the uterus using a combination of suction, tools, and sometimes forceps.
The type of abortion available to each woman may depend on the existing laws of her area, how far along she is, and if she has any pre-existing conditions that make one option safer than another.
Risks of Abortion
The Mayo Clinic lists the following potential risks for medical abortion and a dilation & curettage (D&C) surgical abortion.
Medical Abortion Risks
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
Dilation & Curettage (D&C) Surgical Abortion Risks
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
We recommend gathering all these details before proceeding with an abortion:
- Status of your pregnancy (gestation, viability, and location)
- Presence of an existing STD
- Pre-existing health conditions that could make a procedure unsafe
- Risks and side effects of each abortion procedure
- Follow-Up and Emergency Plans
- If the abortion provider has hospital admitting privileges
For your health and safety, schedule a no-cost appointment for an ultrasound, STD testing, and a chance to talk with a nurse about your health history, risks, and other critical information about abortion. While we do not refer for or provide abortions, we’re here to support you as you consider your options.