What Are the Different Types of Abortion?

If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant and are contemplating an abortion, it’s important to know that there are two main types: medical and surgical abortions.

Being informed about the potential side effects and risks associated with each type of abortion is essential for making a well-informed decision. Understanding what each procedure entails will help you choose the best option for your circumstances. We will explore these details further below.

Medical Abortion

A medical abortion, commonly referred to as the “abortion pill,” involves two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. This method is FDA-approved for use up to 10 weeks gestation.

The process begins with taking mifepristone, which inhibits the hormone progesterone necessary for pregnancy. Between 24-48 hours later, misoprostol is taken to induce uterine contractions that expel the pregnancy tissue.

Following the administration of these drugs, you can expect abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. Other side effects may also occur, and it’s important to be aware of the associated risks:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may require a surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Surgical Abortion

In contrast to a medical abortion, a surgical abortion is typically carried out in a clinic or hospital. This procedure involves dilating the cervix to allow medical instruments, such as suction and scraping tools, to access the uterus to terminate and remove the pregnancy.

The risks associated with surgical abortion can be more severe and include:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection

While these risks are uncommon, they can result in irregular, absent, or painful menstrual cycles, increase the likelihood of future miscarriages, and potentially lead to infertility. Often, these complications can be addressed surgically.

Get Free Support

Desert Rose Women’s Resource Center offers free pregnancy services you can take advantage of before an abortion.  

Once you receive a positive test result, we may suggest confirming your pregnancy with an ultrasound. We provide free and confidential limited obstetrical ultrasounds. This will give you the key details you’ll want to know about your pregnancy.

Contact us today to get a free and confidential appointment.