Abortion is a permanent choice that terminates a pregnancy, and it’s associated with risks that range from mild to severe.
If you’re considering abortion, it’s essential to fully understand the risks—and how best to protect yourself—before seeking the pills or procedure. Read on to learn more, or if you want to talk to someone in person about your pregnancy options, contact Options for Her. You’ll be connected to one of our caring team members, and all appointments are confidential and provided at no cost to you.
How Might Abortion Affect Me?
There are two main types of abortion: medical (known as the “abortion pill”) and surgical. While both types will cause vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping, they are associated with different physical risks.
Medical Abortion Risks
Medical abortion involves taking two separate drugs that work together to terminate and then expel a pregnancy. These drugs are powerful and are associated with the following risks:
- Incomplete abortion, which is when parts of the terminated pregnancy remain in your uterus
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
The abortion pill drugs are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is under 10 weeks gestation. If you attempt to take these pills and your pregnancy is further along, you are more likely to experience risks.
Surgical Abortion Risks
Surgical abortion involves the dilation of your cervix so that medical instruments can enter your uterus to terminate and remove the pregnancy. Medication or suctioning may also be used.
The risks associated with surgical abortion include:
- Perforation of the uterus, which happens when one of the medical instruments pokes a hole in your uterus
- Uterine scarring
- Cervical damage
How Can I Protect Myself?
Getting an ultrasound is the number one way to protect yourself if you’re considering an abortion. This is because an ultrasound gives you the essential information you need to know to stay safe.
An ultrasound can determine:
- The gestational age of your pregnancy: This is vital, especially if you’re considering a medical abortion. If you take the abortion pill drugs and your pregnancy is over 10 weeks gestation, you’re at greater risk of experiencing complications.
- The location of your pregnancy: This rules out a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, when the embryo attaches and grows outside the uterus.
- The viability of your pregnancy: Roughly 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and an ultrasound can determine if you’re experiencing one. If so, you will need follow-up care, not an abortion.
Options for Her offers no-cost ultrasounds and options counseling to help you determine the best path forward. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.