Whether you’re considering abortion after your birth control failed, or you just don’t feel ready to have a child, you need to know the facts about the different types of abortion.
It’s also important to understand the risks and side effects associated with the different types.
In this blog, we explain the two main types of abortion, share the risks and side effects associated with them, and outline recommended next steps before you make a decision.
Medical Abortions (The Abortion Pill)
Medical abortion is another name for the abortion pill. In this method of abortion, the woman takes two different drugs to end her pregnancy. Only women in their first 10 weeks of pregnancy are eligible for the abortion pill.
Mifepristone, the first pill in the regimen, is administered at the abortion clinic. It ends the pregnancy by blocking the womb from absorbing progesterone, the hormone needed for the pregnancy to grow.
Misoprostol is also given at the clinic but is taken at home 24-48 hours later. It causes cramping as the uterus contracts to expel the pregnancy.
Abortion Pill Side Effects
The Mayo Clinic lists the following potential side effects of the abortion pill:
Misoprostol can also cause vaginal bleeding and uncomfortable cramping. If these side effects persist for more than 24 hours, a medical examination from a doctor will be needed.
Abortion Pill Risks
The Mayo Clinic also lists the following potential risks of the abortion pill:
- Incomplete abortion which may need to be followed by a surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the abortion pill doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
According to the FDA, if you experience abdominal pain or “feeling sick” with or without a fever more than 24 hours after taking Misoprostol, you should contact your healthcare provider right away. These symptoms can be a sign of a serious infection or another problem like an ectopic pregnancy.
There are two types of surgical abortions: aspiration abortion and D&C abortions.
In an aspiration abortion, a tube is inserted into the uterus through the cervix and a suction device will pull out the pregnancy tissue.
In a D&C (dilation and curettage) abortion, your cervix is expanded and the abortionist uses a surgical instrument (called a curette) to scrape the inside of the uterus to remove the pregnancy tissue.
Surgical Abortion Side Effects & Risks
According to Mayo Clinic, common side effects of surgical abortions include:
- Bleeding, including blood clots
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling faint
There are additional risks to watch out for:
- Bleeding that’s heavy enough that you need to change pads every hour
- Cramps lasting more than 48 hours
- Pain that gets worse instead of better
- Foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
Before Your Abortion
Before your medical or surgical abortion, it’s essential you verify your pregnancy and learn more about it.
You’ll need an ultrasound to reveal how far along you are, where your pregnancy is located (inside the uterus vs. ectopic), and whether or not your pregnancy is viable.
We offer ultrasounds at no charge so you can learn what you need to know about your pregnancy to make an informed and empowered decision. Schedule your appointment today.