If you’re considering abortion, know that it’s a big medical decision with short-term and long-term effects.

There are two different types: medical abortion and surgical abortion. The first is administered via drugs, while the second requires surgical intervention.

Keep reading to learn how each option ends a pregnancy.

How does a medication abortion work?

The abortion pill, also called a medical abortion, is FDA-approved through 10 weeks gestation and is a series of two different drugs.

The first drug, mifepristone, blocks progesterone, which is required for continued growth. Without progesterone, the pregnancy stops developing.

Next, the second drug, misoprostol, is taken to induce uterine cramping and expel the pregnancy and related tissues from the body.

How does surgical abortion work?

A surgical abortion also ends a pregnancy, though this procedure typically occurs later on in the pregnancy.

The specific type of surgical abortion depends on the pregnancy’s gestational age, but it will use dilation and gentle suction to remove the pregnancy and related tissue. The person performing the procedure may use a curette to remove tissues from the uterus. Certain drugs may also be used.

If the pregnancy is too advanced for only suction, other surgical tools, like forceps, may be used to dismember the fetus and empty the uterus during dilation and evacuation (D&E).

Can an abortion cause complications?

According to Kaiser Permanente, here are a few complications that can arise from a surgical abortion:

  • Tissue remaining in the uterus (incomplete abortion)
  • Injury to the cervix
  • A hole in the wall of the uterus (uterine perforation)
  • Moderate to severe vaginal bleeding
  • Infection

Some of the potential consequences of the abortion pill include:

  • Incomplete abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Next Steps

If you are unsure about your pregnancy options, schedule a free ultrasound or options consultation at Lakes Life Care Center.

We will help you gather more details about your pregnancy, such as the gestational age, and provide evidence-based education about pregnancy and your available options.

Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment!