When facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, it’s important to take time to learn about the various abortion procedures.
In this blog, we will be covering chemical abortions and the different forms of surgical abortions, as well as the side effects and risks you may encounter with each type of abortion.
How do chemical abortions work?
A chemical abortion, known as the abortion pill, is a process that uses medication to end a pregnancy.
In this type of abortion, an abortion provider will prescribe 2 medications. The first, Mifepristone, is used to block the womb from absorbing progesterone, the hormone that allows the pregnancy to grow. Without the presence of progesterone, the pregnancy will end.
The second medication, Misoprostol, causes contractions and forces the pregnancy from the uterus through cramping and bleeding.
Chemical abortions should be used within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Before starting this process, you should have an ultrasound. The ultrasound determines how far along you are in your pregnancy, and if your pregnancy is viable. A viable pregnancy means a heartbeat is detected and the embryo or fetus is growing inside the uterus.
Are there side effects and risks related to chemical abortion?
Yes — medical abortion pills may be accompanied by various side effects and more serious health risks.
While some bleeding and cramping are to be expected as the pregnancy is forced from the uterus, women may also experience other side effects like nausea, fever, vomiting, dizziness, chills, weakness, diarrhea, and headaches.
In addition to these side effects, some long-term health risks related to this type of abortion include infection, sepsis, and hemorrhaging.
How does a surgical abortion work?
The process of surgical abortion will depend largely on how far along your pregnancy is at the time of the procedure.
There are two forms of first-trimester abortions: Dilation and Curettage (D&C) and Suction Curettage.
In a D&C procedure, the abortion provider will dilate the cervix and then remove the pregnancy from the uterus using a tool called a curette. This form of abortion takes place within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
In a Suction Curettage abortion, the abortion provider will use a suctioning device to pull apart and remove the pregnancy. The uterus will then be scraped to ensure there is no tissue remaining. This procedure is typically available within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Are there side effects and risks related to this type of abortions?
Yes — Surgical abortions will likely result in similar side effects as the abortion pill, including nausea, vomiting, bleeding, cramping, and dizziness.
In addition to these side effects, severe health risks following surgical abortion procedures include infections, hemorrhaging, sepsis, lacerations to reproductive organs, & cervical incompetence
How to decide if abortion is right for you
In order to make an informed decision for your pregnancy, we recommend gathering as much information as possible regarding your pregnancy and the options and resources available to you.
Visit Soundview Pregnancy Services for lab-quality pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan to confirm your pregnancy, determine how far along you are, and understand your potential health risks. Knowing this information will help you determine if abortion is right for you.