Think you might be unexpectedly pregnant? You may have a lot going through your mind. If you’re considering abortion, take the time to find out the facts and learn about your unique needs before making your next steps. 

You deserve to have all the information first. There are a couple of different types of abortion procedures, and each comes with its own associated risks and things to know. 

What is Medical Abortion? 

The abortion pill is also known as medical or medication abortion, and it is actually a two-pill process. This abortion method is approved by the FDA for the termination of early pregnancies, up to 10 weeks gestation. 

The first dose of medication, mifepristone (sometimes also known by the name brand, Mifeprex) causes the pregnancy to detach from the uterus and stops the pregnancy from progressing. The second dose, taken several hours or sometimes up to a day later, causes the uterus to cramp and contract, expelling the pregnancy (and any remaining tissue) through the vagina. 

What Are the Risks of Medical Abortion? 

While taking medication may seem simple and easy, undergoing any abortion is still a serious medical procedure that comes with potential risks and side effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following may be potential physical risks of the abortion pill: 

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

It is also important for you to know that without confirming key medical information about your unique situation, such as how far along you are, taking the abortion pill may put you at further risk. If the dating of your last menstrual period is off and you take the abortion pill past the approved 10 weeks in pregnancy, you could be at risk for incomplete abortion. It is also important to know if you may be unaware of other complications such as ectopic pregnancy.

What is Surgical Abortion? 

Surgical abortion is an in-clinic procedure typically performed for the termination of later pregnancies, under the supervision of a physician or abortion provider. There are a few different types of procedures used in surgical abortions, but one of the more common methods is known as dilation & curettage (D&C)

In a D&C procedure, the physician or provider uses medical instruments or medication to open or “dilate” the cervix. Then, using a tool known as a curette, the fetus, and uterine tissue are scraped or lightly suctioned from the uterus. 

Typically these procedures involve some form of sedation, and due to this fact as well as the more serious risks, the average cost of these procedures is typically higher than the abortion pill. 

What Are the Risks of Surgical Abortion? 

The following are potential physical risks of surgical abortion procedures, according to the Mayo Clinic: 

  • Perforation (tearing or puncture) of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Dizziness or fever 
  • Severe cramping 

How Do I Know What Choice is Best for Me? 

Navigating a pregnancy decision is not an easy process; we get it. But you are not alone in this. The best first step you can take is to seek out compassionate, in-person care to get your questions answered and learn more about your unique needs. 

An ultrasound can answer key questions about your needs and next steps, such as how far along you are (and what options are available to you), whether complicating factors are a concern for you (and if you might be in need of other medical care), and other details. 

At A Woman’s Concern, our caring professional staff is here for you, to provide the medical services you need at no cost to you. Schedule your free appointment today – we’re here to help.