Abortion is a permanent, life-changing decision that comes with physical and mental risks. Before you consider making this choice, it’s essential to be as informed as possible so that you can feel confident about how to move forward in your pregnancy. This is why we talk about abortion at our center.
The internet is full of abortion information, but it can be difficult to sort through it all. This is why we’ve compiled the basics you need to know about abortion. Read on to learn more—or, if you want to talk to someone in person about your pregnancy options, contact PHC of Central Missouri today to speak with one of our caring team members.
What Do I Need to Know About Abortion?
There are two main types of abortion: medical (also known as the “abortion pill”) and surgical.
Medical abortion is the most common method, and it’s only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is under 10 weeks gestation. This method involves taking two different, powerful drugs that work together to terminate your pregnancy and expel it through your vagina. After taking the drugs, you will experience vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping.
These drugs are taken at home, without the supervision of a physician. This means that you will experience potential side effects and risks at home, so you will need to be aware of what to look out for. This is especially important because it can be difficult to distinguish if a side effect is progressing into a risk.
Side effects of medical abortion include:
Risks are rarer but also more severe and include:
- Incomplete abortion, which is when parts of the pregnancy remain in the uterus
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
Surgical abortion is performed in a healthcare setting and involves the dilation of the cervix so that medical instruments can enter the uterus to remove the pregnancy.
The removal of the pregnancy typically involves scraping tools and strong suction. Afterward, you will experience abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding.
The risks of surgical abortion include:
- Perforation of the uterus, which is when the medical instruments poke a hole in your uterus
- Uterine scarring, which can cause painful periods and future infertility
- Cervical damage
What Do I Need Before an Abortion?
Knowing the age of your pregnancy is essential for protecting your health and safety if you’re seeking an abortion. But did you know that period trackers aren’t a reliable way to know the age of your pregnancy?
The only surefire way to estimate the age of your pregnancy is by receiving an ultrasound. This scan takes measurements that help determine how old your pregnancy is, and it can also detect whether you are having an ectopic pregnancy—a life-threatening condition in which your pregnancy grows outside the uterus.
At PHC of Central Missouri, we offer free, limited ultrasounds after you’ve received a positive pregnancy test at our center. Contact us today to schedule your free, confidential appointment.