What do I need to know about abortion?
Abortion is a major, life-changing decision. You should know all the facts before deciding to go through with this procedure! While it may not seem like it, abortion has wide-ranging impacts that can affect your health and well-being.
What is abortion?
Abortion is the termination of a viable pregnancy. There are two types of abortion: medical and surgical. Medical abortions occur during the first ten weeks of pregnancy and use two medications to end a pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, which is the hormone that allows the fertilized egg to continue to be implanted in the uterus. Misoprostol induces uterine contractions and expels the embryo and pregnancy tissue from the body.
Surgical abortion is a more complicated procedure that uses medications or surgical instruments to dilate (open) the cervix first, followed by a curette (a spoon-shaped scraping tool) or a suctioning technique to remove the pregnancy tissue from the uterus.
There are risks associated with abortion procedures that you should know. These include fever, infection, and even an incomplete abortion, which may need to be treated with a surgical abortion procedure.
Am I really pregnant?
You may have missed your period and think you may be pregnant. However, it’s essential to consider whether you’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms and take a medically verified pregnancy test. There are various pregnancy symptoms to look out for, and each woman is different.
Some well-known pregnancy symptoms include:
- Missed period
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Increased urination
Some women may experience these symptoms, while others may have no signs of pregnancy. The best way to check if you’re pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. Spero Medical can provide free and confidential pregnancy testing.
How far along am I?
The best way to determine how far along you are is to receive an obstetric ultrasound. Ultrasounds tell you essential information about your pregnancy and help to protect your health and safety.
Ultrasounds can provide the following pregnancy details:
- Viability: Sometimes, pregnancies end in miscarriage. It is vital to check your pregnancy’s health and determine whether it is viable (growing) and if there is a heartbeat.
- Gestational age: Ultrasounds can tell you how far along you are, otherwise known as the age of your pregnancy. This will inform you of your options and tell you which abortion procedures you are eligible for.
- Location of pregnancy: An ultrasound will inform you of the location of your pregnancy. This is crucial because sometimes, women can experience ectopic pregnancies. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg has implanted outside the uterus, such as in one of the fallopian tubes. This type of pregnancy is not viable and requires medical attention to treat.
Could I have an STD/STI?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD/STIs) are common health problems in the United States. According to the CDC, 20 million new STD/STIs are diagnosed every year. Having an STD/STI when you get an abortion can cause even more significant health concerns.
STD/STIs refer to any infection or disease that is transmitted through sexual contact. They typically pass through bodily fluids or skin-to-skin contact, and they can be caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Common STD/STIs include chlamydia and gonorrhea. The best way to preserve and protect your health is to get tested regularly! Spero provides referrals for medical testing, diagnosis, and treatment for STDs/STIs to those who are sexually active and desire testing.