Are you unexpectedly pregnant and unsure of your options? We get it. Pregnancy can be a scary thing to face, especially if you weren’t planning on it.
The most empowering thing you can do for yourself is to explore all the options available. Even if you believe an abortion is the right choice for your situation, it’s important to understand the fine print to protect your future health and well-being.
What Are My Options?
Depending on which state you live in, women experiencing an unwanted pregnancy have two options for termination: surgical or medical abortion.
We’ve broken down the details of both below so you can understand the procedures, your eligibility, and the risks of each option.
A surgical abortion is performed in a hospital or clinic with some type of anesthesia; this can be local anesthesia to the pelvic area or full body anesthesia.
A doctor or healthcare professional will begin the procedure by dilating and opening the cervix. Next, a forcep or vacuum is used to remove the pregnancy tissue from the uterus. If needed, a tool called a curette is used to scrape the uterus wall to ensure no residual tissue is left behind, as this can cause infections.
Risks for Surgical Abortions
As with any surgery, surgical abortions can have complications ranging from mild discomfort to life-threatening. They can include:
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall; a condition known as Asherman’s syndrome
Medical abortions can be less invasive but have a smaller window of time in which they are effective. To qualify for a medical abortion, women must be no more than 9 weeks pregnant. Women are advised to have an ultrasound prior to a medical abortion in order to confirm gestation.
Known collectively as the abortion pill, women will start by taking a prescribed dose of mifepristone. Mifepristone works by affecting the pregnancy hormone progesterone and doesn’t allow the pregnancy to attach and grow.
After about 48 hours, your doctor will prescribe misoprostol. Misoprostol causes heavy bleeding, more than a period, and intense cramping to expel the pregnancy tissue. It is advised that women have a follow-up appointment with their doctor after the pregnancy has passed to protect against any complications.
Risks for Medical Abortions
- Incomplete abortion, which may require additional procedures
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Infection or sepsis
- Digestive system discomfort
Finding the Best Option For You
At Life’s Choices, you are enough. We offer a wide variety of free services to support you on this pregnancy journey. If you just need someone to discuss your options in more detail, we’re here for you. You can reach us by calling our 24/7 hotline 800-712-4357 whenever it’s convenient. When you’re ready, we’re here. Let’s reclaim your future together!