Reading that positive test, or hearing the words “Congratulations, you’re pregnant,” may bring a wide range of reactions…anger, fear, anxiety, panic, worry, uncertainty.
While our emotions drive many decisions we make, gathering factual information gives us the bigger picture. An empowered decision is a confident decision.
Your best first step is to confirm your pregnancy by getting an ultrasound. It is important to know if you are actually pregnant, as 80% of miscarriages end naturally in the first three months. An ultrasound will also determine how far along you are – necessary before any abortion procedure. The caring, medical team at First Step can help answer these questions, at no cost to you.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you have several options to sort through. You may be considering abortion, so it’s important to understand what the procedures are and how this could effect you…now and later.
- RU-486 (the abortion pill) is an FDA-approved, non-surgical option for abortion up to 10 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP). The two medications – one taken under doctor supervision, the other usually at home – can take up to 14 days to complete the pregnancy termination. A follow-up exam with your doctor is critical to be sure no remains are left inside your body.
Most commonly, women report experiencing prolonged bleeding and severe cramping, as well as nausea or vomiting, dizziness, pelvic pain, diarrhea, weakness, and back pain. According to a reputable study of actual medical records, women who had a chemical abortion were four times more likely to experience serious medical complications, when compared to surgical abortions.
A medical abortion is ineffective for ectopic pregnancies, which occur when the fertilized egg attaches, usually, in one of the fallopian tubes.
- Suction or Vacuum Aspiration, a surgical procedure performed within 6- 12 weeks after your LMP, uses a syringe or a machine vacuum that applies suction to remove the fetus from the uterus. This procedure uses an anesthetic and must be completed in a clinic or medical office.
- Dilation and curettage (D&C), a surgical procedure performed within 12-21 weeks after your LMP, involves dilation and uses an instrument called a curette to remove the tissue and fetus from inside the uterus by either suction or scraping.
Common side effects of surgical abortions include mouth sores, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, vaginal or irregular bleeding, mild fever, nausea, fatigue, cramping. In some cases, women experience severe emotional reactions, sexual dysfunction, infertility, increased alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, damage to the cervix, uterus and uterine wall, scar tissue, infection and excessive bleeding.
The psychological effects that may follow any type of abortion are also important to consider. Any event that causes trauma can result in negative aftereffects, such as guilt, anxiety, numbness/depression, flashbacks, even suicidal thoughts or actions, in extreme cases.
Relationships with those around you may also be impacted by your choice – boyfriend or husband, mother, father, children, friends.
If you are ready to take the next step, contact First Step Women’s Center for a no-cost, confidential appointment. Our friendly medical staff are ready to greet you with a warm smile, offer important medical services, and answer any questions you may have.
First Step does not profit from your decision, or perform/refer for abortions, nor do abortion facilities require a referral. You will be free to choose the clinic that best suits your situation as you go forward, based on the information you receive from us.