The Different Types of Abortion Procedures
Are you considering an abortion after finding out you’re pregnant? Before you decide what’s best, find out about the different abortion procedures. You want to be fully informed before you make your appointment. There are serious risks and side effects that come with each type of abortion.
Types of Abortion Procedures:
The two types of abortion are medication and surgical abortion. Both types have serious emotional, psychological, and physical consequences. Although abortion is available, consider the significant process it involves and the real side effects first.
A medication abortion (the abortion pill) terminates a pregnancy through two types of medication. You take both drugs within seven weeks of the first day of your last period. The first drug, Mifepristone, is taken at a medical office, and the second drug, Misoprostol, is taken at home. These medications work to thin the uterus, prevent the embryo from staying implanted or growing, and expel the embryo. Follow up visits with a doctor are scheduled 24-48 hours after and later if needed.
Medical Abortion Side effects:
- 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
- Digestive system discomfort
This type of surgical abortion terminates a pregnancy by removing the fetus from the uterus with a vacuum instrument. A medical professional dilates a woman’s cervix (the opening of the uterus) and inserts a suction device to perform the surgery.
Dilation & Evacuation (D & E)
With a D & E, the doctor uses the same vacuum tool to suction out the contents of the uterus and then uses a metal loop-shaped tool called a curette to scrape out any remaining tissue.
It’s essential to have a follow-up visit to make sure the abortion is complete. A woman who has multiple surgical abortions is at risk of scarring the inner lining of the uterus. It could even be difficult for these women to get pregnant again in the future. Now’s the time to talk to a doctor about the risks involved.
Surgical Abortion Side effects:
You should call your clinic or seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:
- Bleeding that is heavy enough that you have to change your pad twice in one hour for two hours straight.
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Pain or cramping that gets worse instead of better (especially after 48 hours)
- Pregnancy symptoms that persist after one week
- Passing blood clots that are larger than a lemon for more than two hours
What’s Your Next Step?
You will want to confirm your pregnancy with a lab-quality pregnancy test and ultrasound before moving forward with whatever pregnancy option you choose. An ultrasound can show you how far along you are and alert you to any health concerns. Without this step, continuing with abortion could be dangerous.
Our team at First Coast Women’s Services offers free ultrasounds and pregnancy testing. We are here to help you make an informed decision for your future.
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