You’re thinking, “How can I possibly be pregnant?” Now you’re wondering what to do. Has scheduling an abortion come to mind? Before you make that appointment, learn about the procedures, side effects, and potential risks.

Abortion clinics are quick to tell you the procedures are simple and easy, but you rarely hear them talk about possible risks. We promise to give you truthful information because we want to empower you to make the most confident decision possible.

What Are The Abortion Procedures?

There are two main types of abortion: medical and surgical. Which method the abortion clinic uses depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy. If you are 10 weeks and 0 days, you’d qualify for a medical abortion. Anything over 10 weeks would most likely involve a surgical procedure.

Medical Abortion

It’s called medical abortion because this method uses two powerful drugs. When pregnancy begins, a woman’s body starts changing immediately. She’ll produce a hormone called progesterone. This hormone helps the uterus grow by thickening its lining during pregnancy.

The first drug, in a medical abortion, is called mifepristone. This drug blocks progesterone and thins the lining so the pregnancy can no longer stay attached. The second drug, misoprostol, causes the uterus to contract (much like a miscarriage) and expel the pregnancy out of the woman’s body. The abortion pill method, also known as RU-486, is a type of medical abortion.

Possible Side Effects:

  • Bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Nausea and possible vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache

Potential Risks:

  • An incomplete abortion requiring more medication or surgery
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Severe abdominal or back pain

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortions are performed in a clinic or doctor’s office. Once again, the type of surgical abortion done depends on the number of weeks you’ve been pregnant. The methods become more invasive the farther along you are.

The earliest surgical procedure is similar to a dilation and curettage (D & C). The doctor dilates (opens) your cervix which leads to the uterus. Then, a surgical instrument called a curette is inserted to vacuum or scrape out the pregnancy.  This procedure is also called Vacuum Aspiration. If you are farther along in your pregnancy, the doctor might use dilation and evacuation (D & E) or dilation and extraction (D & X) which may include the use of forceps to remove the pregnancy.

Possible Side Effects:

  • Cramping
  • Spotting or light bleeding

Potential Risks:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection

Free and Confidential Ultrasound

If you’re considering abortion, the Pregnancy Care Center provides free and confidential ultrasounds by a licensed OB/GYN or Sonographer.

Why do you need an ultrasound? An ultrasound can easily tell you how far along your pregnancy is and if it’s viable (growing with a detectable heartbeat). The Mayo Clinic says up to 20% of known pregnancies end in a natural miscarriage. You can still get a positive pregnancy test even though you’ve already miscarried because your body needs time to adjust.

Come to the Care Center for a free ultrasound and the information you need to make a confident, empowered decision about your pregnancy.