The abortion pill, at-home abortion, medical abortion, surgical abortion, D&C,…the list goes on. There are so many names you may have heard abortion called. It’s important to understand the different types of abortion, as each comes with unique risks and is done at different points of pregnancy.

What is Medical Abortion?

Medical abortion happens in the first trimester of pregnancy. Commonly called ‘the abortion pill,’ medical abortion involves two different drugs, Mifepristone and Misoprostol. These drugs work together to terminate a pregnancy. Medical abortion is recommended only up to the first 70 days of pregnancy, according to the FDA. 

First, Mifepristone works to block a hormone called progesterone from being produced which prevents the embryo from implanting or growing any further. The second drug, misoprostol, then causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy through the vagina.

Risks of Medication Abortion

Possible risks of medical abortion to consider include:

  • Incomplete abortion ( 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
  • Infection
  • Fever

What is Surgical Abortion?

Surgical abortion is done in the second trimester, making the process a lot more invasive. Typically, anesthesia is taken and surgical instruments are used to remove all pregnancy tissue.

The first type of surgical abortion is a Dilation and curettage (D&C). This procedure uses surgical instruments or drugs to dilate the cervix. A curette (a sharp tool or suction device) removes the pregnancy tissue.

Second, there is a Dilation and evacuation (D&E). This procedure involves using vacuum aspiration and D&C methods, as well as surgical instruments.

Risks of Surgical Abortion

Possible risks of surgical abortion include:

  • Damage to the womb or cervix
  • Uterine perforation 
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection of the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Scarring of the inside of the uterus
  • Reaction to the medicines or anesthesia, such as problems breathing
  • Not removing all of the tissue, requires another procedure

What’s Next for You?

The gestational age of your pregnancy will determine the type of abortion you qualify for. Confirm your pregnancy through lab-grade pregnancy testing and ultrasound to better understand your options and next step.

Contact us today for a free pregnancy confirmation appointment. Find clarity about the process by talking with our team about your options today.