The fear that comes when you see that positive sign on your pregnancy test is real. It is hard to face the reality of an unplanned pregnancy, but know you are not alone. No matter what option you choose, what you do next will have an impact on your life, so take your time when exploring your options.
The best thing to do before making a pregnancy decision is to know the facts about each option. Abortion is a serious medical procedure with real health risks involved. We want to share more about the option of abortion and what the risks are in the process.
Different Types of Abortion
First, what are the different types of abortion? The two types of abortion are chemical or surgical abortion. The risks of each are a bit different, and eligibility is based on the gestational age of your pregnancy.
A chemical abortion is only available for women up to 10 weeks gestation. After 10 weeks, a surgical abortion is required. A chemical abortion uses two types of medication to terminate a pregnancy. The first medication, Mifepristone, works to block the Progesterone hormone to prevent the embryo from implanting and growing. The second medication, Misoprostol, causes your uterus to contract and expel the embryo through the vagina.
A surgical abortion is more invasive than a medication abortion and involves surgery to remove the pregnancy from the uterus through the vagina. It’s typically done using suction or an instrument called a curette. Women who have multiple surgical abortions with a curette are at a greater risk for Asherman’s Syndrome (scarring of the inner lining of the uterus) and could face difficulty in becoming pregnant again.
What Are the Risks of Each?
Each abortion procedure is different and each comes with different risks. Here are some of the most common potential risks of each abortion type.
Potential Risks of Chemical Abortion (the abortion pill)
- Incomplete abortion, which would require a surgical D&C
- An undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, which is a medical emergency
- Failed abortion
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
- Perforation of the uterus
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
- Damage to the cervix
- Spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections throughout the body
- Heavy bleeding
Your First Step
While it can be tempting to rush into a pregnancy decision with your emotions running high, get informed about all your pregnancy options to receive the clarity you need. It’s also important to confirm your pregnancy with a lab-quality pregnancy test and ultrasound to determine what options you’re eligible for and if you have any pregnancy complications.