What are the Different Types of Abortion?

What Are the Different Types of Abortion?

There are two types of abortion: medical and surgical.

Also known as the abortion pill, medical abortion involves taking drugs to end and expel a pregnancy within the first ten weeks of pregnancy (the FDA’s approved timeline).

Surgical abortion, on the other hand, involves a licensed provider ending and removing a pregnancy through dilation, suction, and surgical tools.

Keep reading for more details about both procedures.

What to Know About a Medical Abortion

The abortion pill consists of two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Taken in succession, mifepristone first blocks progesterone—a necessary hormone—to end the pregnancy. Hours or days later, misoprostol causes the uterus to contract to begin abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding.

Before starting a medical abortion procedure, you should know the following:

  • Whether your pregnancy is in the uterus (not ectopic)
  • Whether your pregnancy is progressing and you haven’t miscarried
  • How far along you are (gestational age)
  • If you have any health issues that would make medical abortion unsafe (allergies, health conditions, disorders, etc.)
  • If your current medications would interact with either drugs
  • If you have any untreated STIs/STDs

An ultrasound is the only way to know whether or not your pregnancy is progressing within the uterus and how far along you are. For your safety, do not skip an ultrasound before taking abortion drugs.

Read more about the risks of medical abortion. [Link to March Blog once Live]

What to Know About a Surgical Abortion

Licensed providers perform surgical abortions in a clinical or hospital setting. Because of this, surgical abortions are generally more expensive than the abortion pill. The cost can also go up depending on if a woman chooses a local anesthetic or sedation for the procedure.

Surgical abortions also do not have the same timing limits as the abortion pill. How late a surgical abortion can take place often depends on state laws.

Similar to medical abortions, it’s also essential to test and treat any STIs/STDs before undergoing the procedure. This screening will reduce the risk of surgical tools spreading an infection deeper into the reproductive system, potentially causing pelvic inflammatory disease.

Read more about the risks of surgical abortion. [Link to March Blog one Live]

Considering Abortion?

Choosing to have an abortion is a serious life decision.

Before deciding, learn about the procedures and confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test and ultrasound. Schedule an appointment at the Women’s Clinic for free or low-cost services and to receive critical information in a confidential setting.

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