What is Abortion?

Maybe abortion is something you’re considering after finding out you’re unexpectedly pregnant. Abortion is a serious medical procedure with significant health risks. It’s imperative that you learn about each procedure and its potential risks before making your final decision.

No matter what fears you’re facing right now, know that you are not alone, and you hold the final say when it comes to your pregnancy decision.

Types of Abortion

There are two main types of abortion procedures: medical and surgical abortion. Each one terminates an existing pregnancy, either through medication or surgery.

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion is also known as the abortion pill. This type of abortion involves two different drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. It’s also important to note that the FDA does not advise medical abortion for women who are more than 10 weeks pregnant.

Risks of Medical Abortion

  • 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
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortion involves a more invasive process, including anesthesia and antibiotics to prevent infection and bleeding after the procedure. This type of abortion involves dilating the opening to the uterus (cervix) and using a small suction tube in the uterus. This suction helps remove all contents of the pregnancy from the uterus.

Risks of Surgical Abortion

  • Damage to the womb or cervix
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Uterine perforation (accidentally putting a hole in the uterus with one of the instruments used)
  • 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, requiring another procedure

West Shore Family Support provides information only and does not provide or refer for abortions.