Abortion. The word alone can bring feelings of fear, relief, shame, and sorrow. Sometimes “getting rid of the problem” seems like the easiest and best solution. Before you make your abortion appointment, learn about the different methods, side effects, and possible risks.
Despite what you’ve been told, abortion is a significant medical and psychological decision. Any time you choose to remove something from your body, you should first discuss your situation with a medical professional. You want to be prepared. Here’s what you need to find out beforehand:
- Check to see if you have any or all early pregnancy symptoms
- Get no-cost lab-quality pregnancy testing with us
- If the pregnancy test was positive, get a no-cost ultrasound scan to learn the viability of the pregnancy and how long you’ve been pregnant
- Discuss your situation and learn about all of your options
Types of Abortions
There are two main types of abortion, medication and surgical. Which procedure they’ll perform depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy. The best way to determine how long you’ve been pregnant is with an ultrasound. At Ascentcare, we offer ultrasounds for free.
Known by several names, a medication abortion can also be called the abortion pill, RU-486, or self-managed. You can only use this method if you are under ten weeks pregnant. If you’ve been pregnant longer than ten weeks, the fetus may be too large for a medication abortion to be successful.
Most people are familiar with the abortion pill method, but did you know it isn’t just one simple pill and you’re done? Actually, the abortion pill procedure uses two very powerful drugs.
The first drug you take is called mifepristone. This drug stops your body from producing a hormone called progesterone. This hormone is necessary for an embryo to stay implanted on the lining of your uterus. Mifepristone thins the lining, stopping the embryo from growing.
The second drug is known as misoprostol. This drug causes your body to start contractions to get rid of the embryo and pregnancy tissue.
Risks and side effects:
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a number of side effects and risks to be aware of with a medication abortion.
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal cramping
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Fever lasting more than 24 hours
- Digestive system discomfort
- Severe abdominal or back pain
You will have to schedule a surgical abortion if you have been pregnant for longer than 10 weeks. These outpatient procedures require more recovery time than a medication abortion. Obviously, the farther along you are in your pregnancy, the more invasive and expensive the procedures become.
The vacuum aspiration method can be performed between your 13th and 15th week of pregnancy. It is essentially a dilation and curettage (D & C) to clear the uterine lining. The abortion doctor clears out all the tissue using suction (like a vacuum). Sometimes, a surgical instrument known as a curette is also used to scrape out the remaining tissue.
If you are farther along than 15 weeks, you receive either a dilation and evacuation (D & E) abortion procedure or dilation and extraction (D & X). Both of these require extensive dilation of the cervix in order to remove the contents of the uterus. In addition to the suction or vacuum, these procedures use forceps and other medical tools, including a curette to scrape the inside of your uterus.
Risks and side effects:
According to the Mayo Clinic and Healthline, there are a number of risks and side effects to be aware of with surgical abortion.
- Bleeding, including blood clots
- Cramping, possibly lasting more than 48 hours
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling faint
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
- Fever and potential infection
- Passing blood clots that are larger than a lemon for more than two hours
- Bleeding that is heavy enough that you have to change your pad twice in one hour for two hours straight
- Pain or cramping that gets worse instead of better
How we can help
Before you make your abortion appointment, come to Ascentcare for free pregnancy testing and ultrasound. We’ll let you know how far along your pregnancy is. Then, we can talk about your plans for your current situation and your plans for your future. Schedule your appointment today.