Abortion is the only option that ends your pregnancy, and it’s crucial to learn about abortion procedures before making a decision. Like any procedure, it carries certain risks and side effects you should consider. 

Understanding abortion procedures helps you make a decision based on facts. And you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. La Luz Women’s Center provides no-cost, confidential services, including pre-abortion screenings, for women facing unplanned pregnancies.

Understanding Abortion Procedures

Although abortion always ends a pregnancy, there are several types of procedures. Each one uses different methods and is performed under certain conditions, such as specific gestational ages. 

The two main types of abortion procedures are medical abortion and surgical abortion. 

Medical Abortion 

Medical abortion, which is FDA-approved through 10 weeks gestation, uses drugs to end an early pregnancy. 

During a medical abortion, mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone. This action thins the uterine lining and prevents the embryo from remaining implanted. The second drug, misoprostol, causes uterine contractions that expel the embryo and related tissues from the body. 

With both medical and surgical abortions, you’ll always have abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. Their severity depends on multiple factors, and the pain you experience hinges on several things, including your pain tolerance. 

Potential side effects of medical abortion are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Medical abortion-related risks are rare but possible and include:

  • Infection 
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • Fever
  • Incomplete abortion (which may require a surgical procedure)
  • An ongoing pregnancy (if the drugs don’t work)

Surgical Abortion

With a surgical abortion procedure, drugs, surgical instruments, and/or suctioning are used to remove the pregnancy and related tissues from the body. The methods used to end the pregnancy depend on multiple factors, including your gestational age (how far along you are).

Surgical abortion has certain risks you should be aware of. Though these risks are rare, the chances of experiencing one or more increase the further you are into your pregnancy:

  • Infection 
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Perforation of the uterus (when a surgical instrument pokes a hole in the uterus)

What Should I Do Before a Pregnancy Decision?

If you’re considering abortion, receive a no-cost pre-abortion screening from us. This screening includes medical-grade pregnancy testing, a limited ultrasound that determines your gestational age (how far along you are), and pregnancy options education. 

La Luz Women’s Center is here for you. This is your pregnancy, and while we don’t provide or refer for abortions, we will provide factual information on all your options.

Contact us today to make a no-cost, confidential appointment!