If you recently received a positive pregnancy test, or you believe that you are pregnant, it can be overwhelming to think about the number of decisions you must make. We understand where you are, and we want you to know that you are strong.
At Aim Women’s Center, we provide free and confidential services, resources, and information on all your options. You have three primary pregnancy options: parenting, adoption, and abortion. If you are contemplating abortion, we want you to have accurate information so you can understand the types of procedures and risks associated with each.
What is an Abortion?
Abortion, simply put, is the termination of a pregnancy. The procedure is completed through the consumption of certain drugs, or undergoing a surgical procedure done in an abortion clinic.
There are two types of abortion: medication abortion and surgical abortion.
How Does a Medication Abortion Work?
Medication abortion, or “the abortion pill,” terminates a pregnancy through the combination of two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol.
The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the womb’s ability to absorb progesterone, a necessary hormone for pregnancy progression. This drug causes fetal demise.
The second drug, misoprostol, will force the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy out of the vagina through cramping and bleeding.
The FDA has only approved this drug for use within the first 70 days of pregnancy. Afterward, your only abortion option is a surgical abortion, which you can read about below.
What are the Risks of Medication Abortion?
Medical abortion is a serious medical procedure and does come with risks. According to Mayo Clinic, these include:
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure fails
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
How Does a Surgical Abortion Work?
There are two types of surgical abortion: Dilation & Evacuation (D&E) and Dilation & Curettage (D&C). Both procedures dilate your cervix, then combine vacuum aspiration (suction) and medical tools to surgically remove the pregnancy from the uterus.
A D&C abortion is typically performed earlier in a pregnancy than a D&E abortion and it takes less time. A D&E abortion takes more time and requires more tools, such as forceps, to remove larger pieces of pregnancy tissue.
Surgical abortion is performed at an abortion clinic. Prior to having this type of abortion, it is imperative to understand the comprehensive list of risks.
What are the Risks of Surgical Abortion?
Both types of surgical abortion utilize similar methods to complete the fetal termination, so the risks of both procedures are identical. A few of the risks are as follows:
- Perforation of the uterus, or when a surgical instrument pokes a hole in the uterus
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
You Are Not Alone
It is normal to feel overwhelmed and scared when you are facing an unplanned pregnancy. It is vital to surround yourself with people who can support your decision, and help you through a time of confusion and fear. If you feel that you don’t have anyone in your life to support you during this time, our caring team would love to walk alongside you.