The two types of abortion are medical and surgical. Factors influencing which procedure is chosen can depend on how far along a pregnancy is (gestational age), personal preference, medical history, and other medical details.

1. Medical Abortion – The Abortion Pill

Also known as “the abortion pill,” medical abortion consists of two different drugs to terminate a pregnancy. Medical abortion is only for women up to 70 days of gestation.

Mifepristone first works to block a hormone called progesterone (a hormone necessary for a pregnancy to grow) and causes the uterine lining to thin. This medication prevents the embryo from staying implanted or developing any further. 

Next, Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the embryo, causing cramping and contractions.

Potential Risks of Medical Abortion

The Mayo Clinic shares 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
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

2. Surgical Abortion 

There are two types of surgical abortions. One may be chosen over another depending on your health history and pregnancy’s gestational age.

  • Dilation and curettage (D&C): use surgical instruments or medication to dilate the cervix and a curette (a sharp tool or suction device) to remove and terminate the pregnancy.
  • Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): use a combination of a D&C, vacuum aspiration, and surgical instruments like forceps to remove and end the pregnancy.

Surgical Abortion Risks:

  • Damage to the womb or cervix
  • Uterine perforation 
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection of the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Scarring of the inside of the uterus
  • Reaction to the medicines or anesthesia, such as problems breathing
  • Not removing all of the tissue requiring another procedure

First, Confirm Your Pregnancy

It’s important to discuss your current health, health history, and currently used medications with your doctor and have a firm understanding of all the risks and your options.

Confirm your pregnancy with a quality pregnancy test and ultrasound will help you understand all your options. One of our client advocates will explain the correct way to take the test and discuss your results with you.Once we’ve confirmed your pregnancy with a urine test, you may qualify for an ultrasound to get additional information. Contact us to schedule a pregnancy confirmation appointment today.