If you are considering abortion, you owe it to yourself to get as much information as possible. Like every other medical procedure, abortion should be thoroughly discussed with a medical professional. You need to understand the different procedures and their potential risks, ask questions, and get the information you need to make the best decision.
Before any abortion, you need to verify your pregnancy is viable. A viable pregnancy means you have received a positive pregnancy test, and your ultrasound reveals a heartbeat and the age of the fetus. At A Hope Center, we can get you the answers you need with free and confidential pregnancy testing that is administered by a medical professional. Plus, you will have the opportunity to have a no-cost ultrasound too.
Abortion is a medical method of terminating a pregnancy. How far along you are in your pregnancy determines what kind of abortion you may have. The decision to abort is never easy. It is life-changing. Women considering abortion often have these questions:
- Do I have to have surgery?
- Will I regret my decision?
- Does it hurt?
- How much does it cost?
- I don’t have another choice, do I?
All of these questions are valid, and we are here to answer them. You deserve to have the facts about abortion and all of your other options.
Types of Abortion
The Abortion Pill
The abortion pill (RU486) is known as a medical abortion. This procedure can only occur before your first nine or ten weeks of pregnancy. It actually uses two very powerful drugs, mifepristone, and misoprostol.
The first pill blocks the hormone progesterone, commonly referred to as the “pregnancy hormone.” The drug causes the lining of the uterus to thin and prevents the fetus from staying implanted. The second drug causes cramping for your body to expel the fetus. There is a higher risk of incomplete abortion with the medication method. This would require you to follow up with a surgical abortion.
It is important to receive an ultrasound before taking an abortion pill medication to ensure your pregnancy is within FDA guidelines for your health and safety or an abortion procedure. You also need to confirm the location of your pregnancy. If the pregnancy is not located in the uterus, it could be a life-threatening tubal pregnancy. A tubal (ectopic) pregnancy would not be terminated by the abortion pill.
There are two types of surgical abortions, depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Up to 13 Weeks by LPM Vacuum Aspiration
In this procedure, the doctor opens the cervix with a dilator (made from hard plastic) or laminaria (thin sticks derived from plants and inserted several hours before the procedure). After the cervix is dilated, a tube is inserted, which is attached to a suction device. After suctioning out the uterus, the doctor will check to make sure it is empty.
One variation of this procedure is called Dilation and Curettage (D&C). In this method, the doctor may use a curette, a loop-shaped instrument, to scrape remaining fetal parts out of the uterus.
Week 13 – 22 Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)
In this procedure, the cervix must be opened wider than in a first-trimester abortion. This is done by inserting laminaria a day or two before the abortion. Using anesthesia, the doctor proceeds with the abortion by removing fetal parts with forceps. The suction of the uterus followed by a uterine scraping with a curette may occur to ensure there are no remaining tissue or blood clots in the uterus.
Abortion Side Effects
Whether you’re considering the abortion pill or a surgical option, it’s important to remember abortion is a serious medical procedure. Like any other procedure, it comes with a variety of side effects, risks, and long-term impacts.
Common side effects include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting
- Possible infection
- Damage to cervix
- Perforated uterus
- Inability to have future children
It is also important to mention that many women experience emotional and psychological side effects after an abortion. Some women have an overwhelming sense of guilt and regret. Be aware of all of the potential side effects as you make your decision.
If you have questions or want to know more about abortion procedures, please call us. We want you to be fully informed. Before you make any decision about your unplanned pregnancy, know you are not in this alone. You matter. We care.