Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and need help understanding all your options? You are not alone. Before you move forward, take your time to consider all your options and discuss them with someone you trust.

If you are considering abortion, you should know about each type of procedure and what each one entails.  There are several methods including medical abortion, vacuum aspiration procedure, and a dilation and evacuation procedure. Each type has potential physical and/or emotional consequences, so it’s important to be fully informed before making your pregnancy decision.

Surgical Abortion Procedures1

There are two types of surgical abortions, a vacuum aspiration procedure and a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure.

Vacuum Aspiration

Women can have a vacuum aspiration procedure up to 14 weeks gestation (healthline, 2016). This procedure uses a suction catheter to empty the contents of the uterus.

Side effects of a vacuum aspiration abortion could include:

  • Bleeding or spotting
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Infection
  • Dizziness

Dilation & Evacuation

A D&E abortion is typically performed after the 14th week of pregnancy (healthline, 2016). In this procedure, the patient’s cervix is dilated and then forceps and an instrument called a curette are used to remove the contents of the uterus. This procedure takes two days to complete and recovery can take up to two weeks.

Side effects of dilation and evacuation abortion could include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Incomplete abortion

Surgical abortions increase the risk of scarring the lining of her uterus which poses potential risk for future pregnancies.

Medical Abortion2

The other type of abortion procedure is called a medical abortion. A medical abortion is performed up to 10 weeks into the pregnancy (mayoclinic, 2020). This procedure involves ending a pregnancy through two types of medication.

Mifepristone, the first medication, is taken at a medical office and the second medication, Misoprostol, is taken at home. The first medication thins the lining of the uterus to prevent the embryo from staying implanted or growing. The second medication causes cramping to expel the embryo. Follow-up visits with a doctor are needed 24-48 hours after.

Side effects of a medical abortion could include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection
  • Abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
  • Incomplete abortion

What’s Next?

The best step to take before making a pregnancy decision is to confirm your pregnancy through testing and an ultrasound. An ultrasound will determine how far along you are and alert you to health concerns such as ectopic pregnancy.

We are here for you. Receive clinical pregnancy testing and an ultrasound from our medical team at Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic. We offer our services at no cost to our clients and all are completely confidential.

Schedule your appointment today.

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

“Surgical Abortion.” Healthline,

“Medical Abortion.” Mayo Clinic,