If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, you are probably looking into your options.
Before choosing an abortion procedure for the outcome of your pregnancy, consider the different methods and their risks so you can prioritize your health.
Currently, Texas bans all elective abortions, but we want to provide accurate information so you make an informed decision.
A medical abortion uses drugs to terminate a pregnancy, and you might hear it referred to as “the abortion pill.” After being prescribed the drugs, a woman usually takes the first drug, mifepristone, at the provider’s office. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone used to support the embryo during pregnancy. Without progesterone, the embryo detaches from the uterus wall and dies.
Within 48 hours after taking the first drug, the woman takes the second drug, misoprostol, to induce contractions in the uterus. The contracting squeezes the embryo out of the woman’s body through vaginal bleeding.
Medical abortion is not an option for every pregnancy. The FDA has only approved the abortion pill for use in pregnancies under 10 weeks. Medical abortion is also not a safe option for women with the following issues:
- Blood clotting disorder or anemia
- An intrauterine device (IUD)
- Ectopic pregnancy (the pregnancy is located outside the uterus)
- No access to emergency care
- Unable to return for follow-up visits
Risks of medical abortion can include:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
An abortion provider performs a surgical abortion in their office or clinic. The provider will numb the cervix before inserting rods to dilate (open) it. Suction is then used to remove the embryo or fetus from the uterus. Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, additional tools like a curette (a sharp spoon-shaped instrument) or forceps might be required to ensure the fetus and pregnancy tissue, like the placenta, are entirely removed.
Risks of Surgical Abortion can include:
- Uterine perforation (a hole poked through the wall of the uterus with a surgical tool)
- Uterine infection
- Uterine bleeding
Women complete a medical abortion at home, and the abortion provider sends a patient home after a surgical abortion to recover hours after the procedure. A woman must understand the signs and symptoms of complications, so she can reach out for medical attention if needed. The following are signs of complications from an abortion:
- Heavy bleeding — soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours
- Severe abdominal or back pain
- Fever lasting more than 24 hours
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
Find Out More
Gathering information about your options can be overwhelming, but we are here to help. Schedule a free appointment today. We offer free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds so you can confirm your pregnancy. We also provide information about all your options so you can decide based on facts instead of fear.