Abortion Methods

Abortion Methods

The following is a basic presentation of common abortion methods. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, we encourage you to request an appointment to learn more about your options and how we can help. Our services are fast, free, and confidential.


Medical Abortion

Medical abortion terminates an early pregnancy and is FDA-approved for up to ten weeks gestation. It uses two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, to end the pregnancy. 

  • Mifepristone blocks progesterone, a hormone that sustains the growing pregnancy. Without progesterone, the pregnancy cannot continue.
  • Misoprostol causes uterine contractions and expels the pregnancy tissue from the uterus.

If you take these abortion medications, you will experience abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. Other possible side effects include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

You may develop risks of medical abortion, though the chances of them occurring are low. Still, you should know the following to protect your health:

  • Infection
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • Incomplete abortion, which may require surgical treatment
  • An ongoing pregnancy (if the abortion medications don’t work)

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell when you’re experiencing an abortion-related complication. But if you have prolonged symptoms like bleeding that doesn’t stop or a worsening fever, your best bet is to visit the emergency room. Prioritize your health and be proactive; your well-being matters.

Surgical Abortion

Surgical Abortion is a more complicated procedure and uses medication, surgical instruments, and/or a suctioning technique to remove the pregnancy tissue. It is typically performed later in your pregnancy. 

The most common surgical abortion procedure is dilation and curettage (D & C). This procedure will cause abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. 

Multiple factors, including how far along you are, whether the procedure was performed with sanitary equipment, and the cleanliness of the exam room, could affect your likelihood of developing surgical abortion-related risks. These risks include:

  • Infection
  • Uterine perforation
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall

Learn More Today

First Coast Women’s Services is here if you have an unplanned pregnancy and want to know your options. We provide free and confidential evidence-based education. 


Contact us today to request an appointment.