What Are the Different Types of Abortion?

Finding out you’re pregnant can be frightening. Learning about your options is the best way to empower yourself to make the decision that’s right for you. 

You may be considering abortion. It’s important to understand both the different types of abortion available to you and the risks associated with each procedure. Your health matters!

What is Medical Abortion?

Women whose pregnancy is less than 10 weeks along may be eligible for a medical abortion, otherwise known as the abortion pill. This procedure uses two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, to end a viable pregnancy. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, which is used to sustain a pregnancy. Misoprostol induces uterine contractions and expels the pregnancy tissue from the body. 

The second of the two medications must be used 24-48 hours after taking the first. 

What Can I Expect When Taking These Medications?

There are some side effects associated with medical abortion, some of which can be severe. If any of these side effects are bothersome, you should contact your doctor immediately as they might be indicative of something more serious. Side effects of medical abortion include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping 
  • Vaginal bleeding

There are also risks to this procedure that you should know in order to protect your health. If you’re experiencing any of these, get medical help right away:

  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • An ongoing pregnancy (if the abortion pill didn’t work)
  • Incomplete abortion (which may need to be followed by a surgical abortion)
  • Digestive system discomfort

What Does Surgical Abortion Entail?

Surgical abortions are more complicated procedures. They involve using surgical instruments or medication to dilate the cervix, and then a curette or gentle suctioning technique is used to remove the pregnancy tissue from the uterus. 

Possible side effects of surgical abortion include:

  • Cramping
  • Bleeding

Just like medical abortion, there are risks that women should know about before agreeing to this procedure. Some of these can be life-threatening:

  • Damage to the cervix
  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection

Warning signs that a woman may need medical intervention following a surgical abortion can include: 

  • Heavy bleeding (soaking through a pad every hour)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness that does not go away
  • Fever 
  • Cramps lasting longer than 2 days
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Pain that worsens instead of improving

I Want to Learn More About My Pregnancy Options.

If you are pregnant and would like to speak to one of our caring staff members about your options, Pregnancy Help Center is here for you! 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’re here for you!