If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, it’s important to know that abortion comes with risks to your physical health—which is why it’s critical to learn all you can to protect your safety.
Read on to learn the essentials you need to know before seeking an abortion. Or, if you want to talk to someone about your pregnancy and options, contact Pregnancy Help Center today to be connected to schedule a free, confidential appointment.
How Abortion Works and What You Might Experience Physically
There are two main types of abortion: medical (also known as the “abortion pill”) and surgical.
Medical abortion involves taking two powerful drugs at home. These drugs work together to terminate and then expel the pregnancy from your uterus.
After taking these drugs, you will experience abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding.
However, you might also experience a risk. Risks are rare but potentially dangerous and can include:
- Incomplete abortion, which is when parts of the terminated pregnancy remain in your uterus
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
Surgical abortion is performed in a clinic. It involves dilating the cervix so that medical instruments—like scraping tools and suction—can terminate the pregnancy and vacuum or remove it from your uterus.
You may experience the following physical risks after a surgical abortion:
- Uterine perforation (which is when one of the surgical instruments pokes a hole in your uterus)
- Uterine scarring (which can lead to painful periods or infertility)
- Cervical damage
How Can I Protect My Physical Health?
Before seeking an abortion, it’s essential to get an ultrasound. This scan is the most reliable way to protect your health because it can give you the vital information you need to know before abortion, including:
- Pregnancy gestational age: This is essential because it will determine what abortion options are available to you. For example, medical abortion drugs are only FDA-approved up to ten weeks gestation. If you take the drugs and your pregnancy is further along, you’re more likely to experience a health risk.
- Pregnancy location: Most pregnancies grow in the uterus. But sometimes, a pregnancy is implanted outside the uterus. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy, and it’s a life-threatening situation that needs immediate medical intervention.
- Pregnancy viability: Roughly 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and it’s possible to experience one without having any immediate signs. An ultrasound can help determine if you’ve had a miscarriage, and if so, you will need medical care to ensure you don’t have complications.
You’re Not Alone
Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel overwhelming—especially as you consider your options. But you’re not alone in this process.
At Pregnancy Help Center, we’re here for you. We offer free information and resources because you deserve to make an informed decision.