Are you considering abortion for the outcome of your unplanned pregnancy? We’re here to provide you with information on abortion procedures and answer any questions you may have about what exactly abortion is and how it will affect you. If you have additional questions or just want someone to talk to, you can make a free and confidential appointment at Aspire Together today.
There are several different types of abortion procedures, which are all dependent on a variety of factors regarding your pregnancy. Below, we will explain the difference between Plan B, a medical abortion and surgical abortion, as well as the risks associated with each. We are happy to answer any other questions you have, so feel free to reach out to us for more information.
The “Morning After Pill” or Plan B is often confused for the abortion pill, however, they serve two separate purposes entirely. Plan B is essentially a high-dosage birth control pill that can be taken 72 hours after unprotected sex or birth control failure to prevent pregnancy by delaying or stopping the release of an egg from the ovary.
Plan B is not the abortion pill because it will be ineffective if you are already pregnant. It may also be ineffective if you are overweight or wait too long to take it after sex.
A medical abortion refers to the process of ingesting pills to end an early pregnancy. It is often called “the abortion pill” or RU-486 and is actually a series of several pills. The first pill cuts off the flow of progesterone to the pregnancy and the second pill induces severe cramps to expel the contents of the uterus vaginally.
The abortion pill is only available to women who are 10 weeks or less than 10 weeks pregnant, depending on the size of the fetus. Medical abortion has a two to eight percent failure rate. This means, if for some reason the medical abortion is not successful or is incomplete, you will need a surgical abortion to effectively end the pregnancy.
Surgical abortion uses surgical instruments and anesthesia in a medical facility to remove a fetus from a woman’s body. The type of procedure depends on how far along you are and the size of the fetus.
For example, aspiration abortion procedures (usually performed between six and 16 weeks pregnant) utilize suction and local anesthesia to enter into the uterus and suck out the pregnancy. If suction does not remove the entire pregnancy, other tools may be used to scrape out the remnants. For this procedure, the cervix must be opened or dilated via a tenaculum or absorbent rods put in several days before the procedure.
After the 16-week mark, you may require a dilation and evacuation abortion procedure due to the size and development of the fetus. Because it is larger and more developed, your cervix will need to be dilated with a synthetic dilator approximately 24 hours before the procedure. After your cervix is properly dilated, local anesthesia will be used to numb the area and a curette and forceps are used to remove sections of the pregnancy, piece by piece until the uterus is empty.
Depending on the type of procedure you have, it could take anywhere for 10 to 30 minutes to complete. Antibiotics will be given to prevent infection and you will be discharged from the medical facility that day.
Just like any medical procedure, there are risks associated with having an abortion.
When it comes to medical abortion, you should expect to experience severe cramps (much like labor contractions) as well as heavy bleeding. You may also experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or an incomplete abortion as mentioned above.
Common side effects of a surgical abortion include cramping, nausea, sweating and feeling faint. Less frequent risks include prolonged bleeding, blood clots, damage to the uterine lining or cervix, perforation of the uterus, infection, and more.
Before choosing to have an abortion, you must first complete a few steps. The first is to have a pregnancy test and ultrasound done. A pregnancy test will indicate pregnancy and an ultrasound will confirm your pregnancy and determine how far along you are and whether you have a viable pregnancy. The type of abortion procedure available to you will depend on how long you have been pregnant and the size of the fetus.
The next step is to research abortion and talk to someone about all your options. Because this is a life-changing decision, no matter what you choose, it’s important to take the time necessary to learn about your options and talk to someone you trust. At Aspire Together, we provide free information about all of your options in a caring, non-judgmental environment. Contact us today to talk to a trusted staff member and get your questions answered.
*If you are considering an abortion, you owe it to yourself to learn the facts. Remember, only you have the power to make a decision regarding the outcome of your pregnancy. No one should force you or threaten you to have an abortion. If you are in an unsafe or abusive situation, please call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.