If you’re considering an abortion, it’s important to take the time to fully understand not only the risks involved but also your other options. If your pregnancy is unplanned, it’s easy to assume abortion is your easiest, best, or only option, but this isn’t the case.
Before you make an abortion decision, you should schedule a free ultrasound at our pregnancy center. This will answer important questions like how far along you are, if your pregnancy is viable, and where it’s located.
The answer to all those questions will determine the type of abortion you can have and give insight into whether an abortion is even an option for you (if your pregnancy isn’t viable, for example, or isn’t located in your uterus, you’ll need a different type of procedure).
We also provide free and confidential options counseling to help you fully understand and process your next steps. We’d love to meet with you and offer support in this stressful time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so you can make a fully-informed decision about your unplanned pregnancy!
Abortion is a serious medical procedure and there are a few different types you can choose from depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. Learn about them below, and by reading our “Before You Decide” Abortion Info brochure.
The Abortion Pill
Sometimes called a medical abortion or medication abortion, the abortion pill is a method for ending an early pregnancy (prior to 10 weeks). Because this abortion method involves taking a medication, many women discount how serious this procedure is. But it also comes with potential risks and side effects like any other medication.
The abortion pill is actually a series of two pills. Mifepristone is the drug in the first pill and is prescribed and taken at a doctor’s office. It causes the lining of your uterine wall to thin, which results in fetal demise.
The second pill, misoprostol, is prescribed and taken at least 24 hours later, usually at home. This causes contractions, resulting in your body passing the pregnancy.
Abortion Pill Side Effects
Most people don’t realize there are side effects or risk factors when it comes to the abortion pill. The name makes it sound simple and painless, but there are serious factors to consider before choosing this option. Some common side effects include:
- Mild to heavy cramping
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mild to heavy bleeding and blood clots
- Fever lasting more than 24 hours
- Digestive system discomfort
- Incomplete abortion, requiring a surgical abortion to complete
In addition to these physical side effects, many women also experience emotional side effects after a medication or surgical abortion including but not limited to the following:
- Suicidal thoughts
It’s important to be aware of these potential side effects because some can be longterm and require counseling and professional help.
If you are ten weeks or farther into your pregnancy, then the abortion pill will not be an option for you. Instead, you’ll need a surgical abortion. There are a few different procedures depending on how far along you are. The farther along you are, the more invasive they will be. In Iowa, abortions are only available during the first 22 weeks of pregnancy. In Illinois, an abortion may be obtained up until 24 weeks.
Surgical abortion procedures involve a lethal injection into your uterus to induce fetal demise. All typically also involve dilating your cervix and inserting a suction device to remove the fetus from your womb. Some procedures also involve the doctor using a device to scrape the inside of your uterus to ensure all fetal parts were removed.
Surgical Abortion Side Effects
In addition to the side effects from the abortion pill, these side effects are common after a surgical abortion:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Perforated uterus
- Damage to cervix
- Complications conceiving in the future
While rare, death is also a potential side effect if the abortion procedure is more complicated than anticipated or other complications arise. It’s important to ask your doctor any questions you have prior to getting an abortion to make sure you fully understand the risks involved before making your decision.