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Facing an unexpected pregnancy can make it feel like the world has stopped, and maybe you’re thinking that the only way to move forward is through an abortion. Your feelings and concerns are understandable, but it’s critical to take the time to learn all you can about how abortion works and the risks involved. This will help ensure you make your own pregnancy decision without feeling pressured.

How Does Abortion Work?

There are two main types of abortion: medical (also known as the “abortion pill”) and surgical. Both types of abortion terminate your pregnancy and remove it from your uterus, but this process looks different in medical and surgical abortions.

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion involves taking two powerful drugs at home. 

The first drug, mifepristone, works by blocking progesterone. This hormone is necessary for pregnancy; without it, your uterine lining will loosen, and the pregnancy will detach and ultimately end.

The second drug, misoprostol, causes your uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy from your uterus and through your vagina.

After taking these drugs, you will experience abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. Some women have reported that the pain they experience is unexpectedly severe.

The abortion drugs are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is 10 weeks gestation or under. If you take the drugs and your pregnancy is later, you’re at a greater risk of experiencing complications, like incomplete abortion—which is when parts of the pregnancy remain in your uterus; this can lead to a potentially life-threatening infection, prolonged bleeding, and increased pain.

Surgical Abortion

Abortion providers perform surgical abortions in a clinical setting. The process involves dilating (opening) the cervix so that medical instruments—like scraping tools, strong suction, and potentially forceps—can terminate the pregnancy and remove it from the uterus.

Potential risks associated with surgical abortion include:

  • Uterine perforation (which is when the surgical instruments poke a hole in the uterus)
  • Uterine scarring (which can lead to painful periods or future infertility)
  • Cervical damage
  • Infection 

How to Protect Your Health

Before seeking an abortion or making any pregnancy decision, it’s essential to get an ultrasound. This simple scan can help protect your health by giving you the vital information about your pregnancy you need to know.

At Choices of the Heart, we offer no-cost, limited ultrasounds and the space to explore your pregnancy options and ask questions in a supportive, safe environment. You’re not alone in this. We’re here for you. Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment.

You have options.