What about abortion?

Abortion is a big decision, but it’s only one of your options. If you’re considering abortion, you must first confirm your pregnancy with a free pregnancy test and ultrasound. There is a possibility you have miscarried and won’t need the abortion.

Types of Abortion

There are two main types of abortion: medical and surgical. Which abortion procedure you have is determined by how far along you are in your pregnancy. Like any medical procedure, it’s vital to understand the side effects and potential risks first.

Medical Abortion

The abortion pill is a medical abortion that uses two drugs to terminate the pregnancy. We always recommend you receive an examination with a nurse or doctor beforehand. You’ll want to discuss if you qualify for the abortion pill. The FDA has approved this method up until your tenth week (70 days) of pregnancy.

The Procedure

The first drug you take is mifepristone. This drug stops the pregnancy from growing by blocking a hormone known as progesterone. Many women experience nausea after taking this pill. If you vomit, you may need to get another dose of the drug. You may also take an antibiotic to fight against any infection that may occur after the procedure.

The second drug, misoprostol, is taken 24 to 48 hours after the mifepristone. This drug induces cramping and bleeding to empty your uterus. It’s possible to see large blood clots and pregnancy tissue during this process.


It’s critical to know what to expect before you begin the procedure. The risks include:

  • An incomplete abortion
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Potential mental and psychological complications

Surgical Abortion

A doctor performs surgical abortions in a clinic or hospital. The specific method depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

The Procedures

A suction abortion, also called vacuum aspiration, is the most common type of in-clinic abortion. The doctor inserts a speculum (an instrument to open your cervix) into your vagina. Using suction, they remove the pregnancy tissue from your uterus.

Dilation and evacuation (D&E) is typically used when the pregnancy is 16 weeks after the first day of your last period. First, the doctor dilates (opens) your cervix using small sticks made of seaweed, called laminaria. In some cases, the doctor may use medication to open your cervix instead. For abortion later in pregnancy, you may receive a shot through your abdomen before the doctor begins the procedure.

With D & E, the doctor injects a numbing agent into your cervix and inserts a speculum to examine your uterus. The doctor inserts a small tube into your uterus and uses medical tools and suction to remove the pregnancy tissue. Depending on how far along you are, it may be necessary to use forceps to remove larger pregnancy tissue.


As with any surgery, complications are possible. The risks include:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection
  • Potential mental and psychological complications

Schedule An Appointment

If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy and are considering abortion, make an appointment at LifeNet and equip yourself with all the information you need to make a confident, educated decision.