What Are the Different Types of Abortion?

If you’re pregnant and considering an abortion, it’s essential to know the facts so that you can make an informed decision. 

There are two main types of abortion: medical (also known as the “abortion pill”) and surgical. Read on to learn more about how each type of abortion works and the associated side effects and risks. 

Or, if you’d like to talk to someone in person about your options, contact The Open Door Pregnancy Center today for a free, confidential appointment.

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion involves taking two different drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone terminates the pregnancy, while misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy through the vagina. 

Medical abortion isn’t recommended if your pregnancy is past 70 days of gestation or if any of the following situations apply to you:

  • Experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (which is when the pregnancy is growing outside the uterus)
  • On long-term steroid therapy
  • Having an intrauterine device (IUD) in place
  • History of bleeding disorders

This list isn’t complete, so speaking with a healthcare professional about your medical history and situation is essential. 

While every woman’s body is unique and will respond to a medical abortion differently, the most commonly reported side effects include headache, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. 

The associated risks, which are more severe and less common than side effects, include: 

  • Infection (which could become life-threatening)
  • Losing too much blood (hemorrhaging)
  • Incomplete abortion (which is when parts of the pregnancy remain in the uterus)

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortion involves dilating (opening) the cervix so that a medical instrument can enter the uterus and remove the pregnancy through suction or scraping. This type of abortion usually occurs later in pregnancy, although how late it can occur varies by state.

The main side effects of a surgical abortion include cramping and bleeding. 

The main risks associated with surgical abortion include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Cervical damage
  • Uterine perforation (which is when the medical instrument pokes a hole in the uterus)
  • Uterine scarring (which can cause painful menstrual periods and infertility) 

Next Steps

Experiencing an unexpected pregnancy can feel isolating, but you’re not alone. At The Open Door Pregnancy Center, we’re here for you. We offer free pregnancy resources that can help empower you to make an informed decision. Call us today at 732-240-5504 or text 732-743-5283 to schedule a free, confidential appointment. 

*The Open Door Pregnancy Center believes you have a right to accurate information from a resource that will not profit from your pregnancy decision. We are an alternative resource that does not perform or refer for abortion. The information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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