Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and deciding if abortion is right for you? If so, you’re in the right place. Miami Valley Women’s Center is here to help you learn more about the process of abortion and the side effects and risks you might face along the way.
What are the main types of abortion?
As you decide if abortion is the right option for you, it’s important to learn about the various types of abortion procedures available.
There are two main types of abortions, chemical and surgical, and they each come with different side effects and risks. Your eligibility for an abortion procedure will depend on your specific pregnancy, including its gestational age and any unique health conditions.
A chemical abortion, also known as the abortion pill, can only be administered in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and uses two medications to chemically terminate the fetus and expel the tissue from the womb.
In comparison, surgical abortions can be performed at any stage of the pregnancy, depending on the laws in the state where you are receiving the procedure. There are various methods used for surgical abortions; however, each type will require some form of dilation of the cervix and extraction of the fetal tissue (using either a suctioning method or forcep removal).
What are the side effects of abortion?
Whether you are receiving a chemical or surgical abortion, you may experience the following side effects:
- Heavy bleeding
- Cramping or pain in the abdomen
- Fever and chills
What are the long-term risks of abortion?
In addition to the above side effects, some women report experiencing long-term health risks related to their abortion procedures.
These risks include:
- Heavy and excessive bleeding/hemorrhaging
- Increased risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) for women who were infected with Chlamydia at the time of their abortion 1
- Mental health complications 2
- Fertility issues related to infections and scarring 3
- Life-threatening infection and sepsis due to incomplete abortion and retained fetal tissue
How can I take steps to avoid long-term risks from abortion?
As you decide if abortion is right for you, it’s important to take steps to ensure your health and safety.
Before scheduling an abortion, it’s essential that you receive an ultrasound to confirm a viable pregnancy and determine how far along you are.
Miami Valley Women’s Center provides free pregnancy services including pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, as well as confidential options counseling with one of our supportive staff members. We are passionate about empowering women like you with resources and information so that you can make a safe and informed choice about your pregnancy.
- Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). “Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). “Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.” Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). “The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.
- Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
- 3. Bhattacharya, S. et al. Reproductive outcomes following induced abortion: a national register-based cohort study in Scotland. BMJ Open. 2, (2012).