Abortion is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy, a spontaneous termination is called a miscarriage. Like any medical procedure, abortion comes with its own set of risks to consider and evaluate before making a decision. Keep reading to learn about the different types of abortion and the risks involved.

The Types of Abortion 

Depending on how far along you are, you will qualify for different abortion procedures. If you’re ten weeks pregnant or less, medical abortion (known as the abortion pill) will be an option for you.

If you’re over ten weeks pregnant, you will only qualify for surgical abortion: either Dilation & Curettage (D&C) or Dilation & Evacuation (D&E). A D&E is typically performed later in pregnancy in the second trimester and requires more tools and time.

You can only figure out the gestational age of your pregnancy with an ultrasound. We offer these at no cost at our center in the Springfield area.

Risks of Medical Abortion (The Abortion Pill Risks)

Medical abortion (the abortion pill) involves taking a series of drugs to end a pregnancy. These drugs include mifepristone and misoprostol. While the first drug will terminate the pregnancy, and the second will trigger contractions to expel the pregnancy from the uterus through cramping and bleeding.

While the first drug is typically taken in an abortion clinic, the drug regime is then finished at home. This is why it’s sometimes called “self-managed abortion.”

Potential risks from Mayo Clinic include:

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

This method shouldn’t be used if you can’t make follow-up visits to your doctor, or don’t have access to emergency care. Any complications will need to be caught and treated right away.

Risks of Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortion is a much more invasive process. After dilating the uterus, the physician will use a combination of tools and suction to remove the pregnancy from your uterus. The doctor would likely need to use sedation or a general anesthetic for this procedure.

While surgical abortion is performed by a doctor instead of being self-managed, it still has serious potential risks. Using a sharp tool known as a curette can lead to internal damage if the procedure is not performed properly.

Here are the potential risks of a Dilation & Curettage (D&C), according to Mayo Clinic:

  • Perforation of the uterus (When the surgical instrument pokes a hole in the uterus.)
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall (Asherman’s Syndrome)
  • Infection

Be Informed and Make an Empowered Choice

At First Step Women’s Center, we provide no-cost, early pregnancy services, accurate information, and resources so you can make an empowered choice for your future.

Schedule a no-cost appointment today and we’ll confirm your pregnancy and answer any questions you have. We’re here to support you!