Abortion is a significant decision with physical and emotional consequences. You’ll not want to rush through this decision, but rest assured you can get the information you need to decide whether this is the best option for you.
Ask yourself these questions when thinking about abortion:
- Do I understand what happens during an abortion procedure?
- Do I know the side effects and risks of abortion?
- How do I feel about abortion?
- Am I eligible for an abortion procedure?
Types of Abortion
There are two main types of abortion procedures available. The first, medical abortion, also known as the “abortion pill,” is given during the first 70 days of pregnancy, or 10 weeks’ gestation. The procedure involves two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, to end a pregnancy.
Misoprostol, blocks progesterone, the hormone that sustains a pregnancy. Misoprostol causes uterine contractions and works to expel the pregnancy tissue from the uterus.
Side effects can vary depending on the woman and individual experience, but the most common are abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. Women may also experience nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, diarrhea, and headache. The risks of medical abortion vary and can be severe:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
Surgical abortion occurs later in pregnancy and is more complicated. The most common procedure is dilation and curettage (D & C), which uses a combination of medication, surgical instruments, and a gentle suctioning tecnhnique to remove the pregnancy tissue.
Side effects of surgical abortion are similar in that they can include cramping and bleeding, but the risks can be quite serious, including:
- Damage to the cervix
- Perforation of the uterus
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
Before an Abortion
Even if you think abortion is the best option for you, there are some things you’ll want to do beforehand to protect your health and safety. After receiving a positive pregnancy test, you should have an obstetric ultrasound. This simple exam will give you important details about your pregnancy, including:
- Viability: Up to 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is never your fault. An ultrasound will confirm whether the pregnancy is growing and has a heartbeat.
- Gestational age: Knowing how far along you are will determine whether you are eligible for one of the abortion procedures.
- Location of pregnancy: Sometimes, conditions such as ectopic pregnancy result. You’ll want to ensure you have an in-utero pregnancy and do not need further medical treatment.
After receiving an ultrasound, take the time you need to weigh your options. Care Net Pregnancy Center of Cochise County can be by your side when you need it most. We offer free and private options consultations in a warm, welcoming environment.