If you’re considering abortion for your unplanned pregnancy, we’re glad you are asking this question. It’s vital to know ahead of time what the procedures involve and if there are any potential risks. 

Although we do not provide or refer for abortion, we do provide fact-based information about medical and surgical procedures, possible side effects, and the risks.

What Is a Medical Abortion?

Many different terms refer to a medical abortion. It is also called the abortion pill, a medication abortion, or a chemical abortion. This method uses drugs to terminate a pregnancy. 

The first drug, mifepristone, is highly regulated by the FDA. Only certified healthcare providers can prescribe it. Mifepristone blocks an essential hormone called progesterone. A pregnancy cannot survive without progesterone.

Misoprostol, the second drug, causes cramping and bleeding to expel the pregnancy from your body. Side effects also include nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea.

The FDA approves using the abortion pill method through ten weeks gestation only (70 days or less since the first day of a patient’s last menstrual period). Gestation refers to how far along you are in your pregnancy. 

The Mayo Clinic recommends not using this method past nine weeks of gestation (56 days from the first day of your last period). The farther along you are in your pregnancy, the less effective the drugs become.

Potential risks include an incomplete abortion, heavy and prolonged bleeding, and infection.

What Are the Surgical Procedures?

The number of weeks you have been pregnant determines the type of surgical procedure. You can have vacuum or suction aspiration if you are still in your first trimester (12 weeks and under).

Depending on how far along you are, you could have dilation and curettage (D & C), which combines suction and a sharp spoon-shaped instrument for scraping the lining of your uterus.

Abortion providers use dilation and evacuation (D & E) to remove larger parts with forceps. Surgical procedures are more invasive because you are farther along. The provider must dilate (open) your cervix first, and you may opt for local or general anesthesia.

Side effects of any abortion include bleeding and cramping. The risks of a surgical procedure include poking a hole in your uterus, damage to your cervix, or an incomplete abortion, which leads to infection.

How Can My Life Clinic Help Me?

You need to get the facts about your pregnancy before you make any decisions. Did you know experts estimate as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage? You can still get a positive pregnancy test result days or weeks after you miscarry. 

There’s no need to seek out an abortion if you have already miscarried. An ultrasound is a reliable way to know if you have had a miscarriage. My Life Clinic offers free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today.