Abortion is a permanent, life-changing decision with physical and mental health risks. At Life Options Clinic, we believe that every woman deserves to know all the facts about abortion so she can protect her health.
If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, knowing all you can before making this choice is essential. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more you can make a confident decision about how to move forward with your pregnancy.
Read on to learn the basics you need to know about abortion. Or, if you want to talk to someone in person about your options, contact Life Options Clinic to connect with one of our caring team members. All appointments are free and confidential.
What Are the Physical Risks of Abortion?
There are two main types of abortion: medical (also known as the “abortion pill”) and surgical.
Medical abortion involves taking two powerful drugs that work together to terminate and expel your pregnancy from your uterus through your vagina.
Medical abortion drugs are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is under 10 weeks gestation. If your pregnancy is older and you take these drugs, you have a greater chance of experiencing risks, which include:
- Incomplete abortion, which is when parts of the terminated pregnancy remain in the uterus
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
You take the abortion pill drugs at home without the guidance of a physician, so it’s vital to understand these risks and be able to seek emergency medical care if needed.
Surgical abortion happens in a clinic which involves the dilation (opening) of the cervix so that surgical instruments can enter the uterus to remove the pregnancy. The surgical instruments typically include scraping tools and strong suction.
The risks of a surgical abortion include:
- Perforation of the uterus (which is when the surgical instruments poke a hole in the uterus)
- Uterine scarring
- Cervical damage
How to Protect Your Health
Getting an ultrasound is the most important step you can take to protect your health before an abortion. This simple scan can determine the following details that you need to know about your pregnancy:
- Age: This is essential information if you want a medical abortion since you’re likelier to experience risks if your pregnancy is further than 10 weeks gestation.
- Location: This will rule out a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, which needs immediate medical intervention—not an abortion.
- Viability: This will ensure that you haven’t experienced a miscarriage, which is essential since roughly 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. If you’ve had one, you’ll need medical follow-up and not an abortion.
You’re Not Alone
Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel scary, but you’re not alone. At Life Options Clinic, we’re here for you with free pregnancy resources, including ultrasounds. Contact us today to schedule your free, confidential appointment. While the decision about your pregnancy is yours, we’re here to support you along the way.