What Are the Different Types of Abortion?

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Depending on the stage of your pregnancy, there are two different abortion options: medical abortion and surgical abortion. Medical abortion is only FDA-approved for use during the first ten weeks of pregnancy. Surgical abortion can be performed later on in the pregnancy.

Abortion, like every other medical procedure, comes with its own set of risks. While navigating all the details that can arise due to an unplanned pregnancy, it can be difficult to know what the right decision is. However, with more knowledge comes power, so read the valuable information below to move forward with clarity.

Surgical vs. Medical Abortion

Medical Abortion

Also known as a the abortion pill, a medical abortion consists of two drugs that work to first terminate the pregnancy and then expel it from your body. First, mifepristone prevents the uterus from absorbing progesterone (a pregnancy hormone needed to keep developing). This ends the pregnancy. Secondly, misoprostol is taken to cause the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy through cramping and bleeding.

Surgical Abortion

The surgical abortion procedure dilates your cervix and combines suction and other surgical tools to remove the fetus and any remaining pregnancy tissue. Surgical abortion is performed at an abortion clinic and carries its own set of risks.

Risks of Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortions happen most often after the first trimester, when medical abortions are no longer an option, so it is important to know how far along you are. An ultrasound at our center can provide this information.

The Mayo Clinic lists the following as potential risks of surgical abortion:

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

Many of these risks can lead to other complications, like difficulty getting pregnant in the future and damage your uterus, such as uterine scarring.

Risks of the Medical Abortion

The Mayo Clinic lists the following risks associated with medical abortion:

  • Incomplete abortion (may need to be followed by surgical abortion)
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy (if the procedure doesn’t work)
  • Heavy/prolonged bleeding
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • Infection

While the abortion pill method is not invasive in the same way a surgical abortion is, you can see there are still side effects to consider before choosing this option.

Schedule an Appointment

At New Hope Center, we offer no-cost pregnancy confirmation with pregnancy testing and a limited medical ultrasound. 

An ultrasound will help verify the viability of your pregnancy, how far along you are, and whether your pregnancy is ectopic (which is life-threatening). 

We’re here to help you move forward with confidence. Schedule your appointment today.