Abortion Procedure Facts
We believe an informed decision is the best decision.
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Our nurses and staff are here to listen and then give you truthful and accurate information on all your pregnancy options, including abortion procedure facts and types of abortion procedures.
Every woman who faces an unplanned pregnancy has the same choice: parent, have someone else parent for them or terminate the pregnancy.
Though every woman has the same choices, not every pregnancy is the same. Each pregnancy brings with it unique challenges, emotions and sometimes a real sense of loneliness. Each decision takes courage, education, and support.
Our staff is ready and willing to help you face the uniqueness of your pregnancy.
If you need to talk it through or if you need to know what is next, give us a call.
Types of Abortion Procedures
Abortion Pill (RU-486):
Up to 10 weeks after last period
*On March 30, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration released new labeling information on the Mifeprex (mifepristone/misoprostol) medical abortion protocol. Mifeprex is now approved, in a regimen with misoprostol, to end a pregnancy through 70 days gestation (70 days or less since the first day of a woman's last menstrual period). The approved Mifeprex dosing regimen is:16
- On Day One: 200 mg of Mifeprex taken by mouth. This pill blocks the hormones needed to sustain the embryo.
- 24 to 48 hours after taking Mifeprex: 800 mcg of misoprostol taken buccally (in the cheek pouch), at a location appropriate for the patient
- About seven to fourteen days after taking Mifeprex: follow-up with the healthcare provider
Because of the risk of serious complications, including death, Mifeprex is only available through a restricted program that requires abortion providers to warn patients to SEEK IMMIDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION:
- Sustained fever, severe abdominal pain, prolonged heavy bleeding, or fainting
- Symptoms that last more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol: abdominal pain/discomfort, feeling sick, weakness, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, with or without fever.
Depending how far along you are determines the type of abortion you can have
SURGICAL ABORTION PROCEDURES
First Trimester Abortion:
6 -14 weeks after last period
This surgery starts like a pelvic exam, with a speculum inserted into the vagina. Then, the cervix - the opening to the uterus or womb - is opened with instruments. Next, everything inside the uterus is suctioned out with either a syringe or a suction machine. If needed, a curette (a scoop-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus and scraped along the walls to ensure all fetal tissue is removed.
Second Trimester Abortion:
14-24 weeks after last period
Due to the size of the pregnancy, this surgical procedure is usually a two-day process. Day 1 involves insertion of sponge-like laminaria that force the cervix open by absorbing moisture and expanding. On day 2, the laminaria are removed. If the fetus is too large to pass through an inserted suction tube, forceps may be used to remove the fetus by smaller pieces before suctioning occurs. The curette (a scoop-shaped instrument) may be used to scrape the walls to ensure no fetal parts or tissue are left behind.
24 weeks or more after last period
These procedures may take 2 or 3 days, depending on how long it takes to open the cervix to the desired width. A medication or saline solution is injected into the amniotic sac to stop the heart of the fetus. Medications may then be given to contract the uterus and expel the fetus. If the fetus is not expelled by the contractions, the procedure described in the Second Trimester Abortion is used.
Every medical procedure has recovery time.
Here is what you can expect after an abortion.
ABORTION PROCEDURE FACTS
There are many physical, emotional and psychological symptoms that a woman may experience after an abortion. Some symptoms occur right after but other women may experience long-term effects which may require counseling in later years.
Common physical side-effects:
There are certain symptoms that women have expressed after having an abortion. These include but are not limited to:
Bleeding - Cramping - Tenderness or pain in the abdomen
Nausea - Vomiting Diarrhea
The degree to which these occur and are considered "normal" can depend on the procedure and how far along the woman was in her pregnancy.
Possible physical complications after surgical abortions*:
Incomplete abortion - Damaged cervix - Damaged internal organs
Infections - Anesthesia complications - Scarring - Puncturing of the uterus
*Approximately 1 in 100 women having an early abortion will have complications and 1 in 50 will for late term abortions.
Possible emotional complications with abortion procedures:
Emotional complications may remain hidden for a while. Studies show that emotional and psychological side effects are more common than physical complications. Feelings of regret, anger, and even suicidal thoughts have been reported. These feelings may vary from person to person and not all women report them.
Possibilities include but are not limited to feelings of:
- Emotional "numbing"
- Self-esteem issues
- Unhealthy relationships
- Nightmares or flashbacks about the abortion
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Self-destructive behavior
- Suicidal thoughts
If you're experiencing an unwanted pregnancy, we're here to help. Because we do not perform or refer for abortions or make money from any choice you make, there is no pressure - we inform, YOU decide.