What are the Different Types of Abortion?

Understanding abortion, the procedures and the risks is important along your pregnancy decision journey. You need the facts to make a confident decision. There are two major types of abortion: medical and surgical abortion.

1. Medical Abortion

Medical abortion uses two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, to terminate a pregnancy. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, a hormone that sustains a pregnancy, and misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy. 

This type of abortion can come with side effects of nausea, vomiting, chills, fever, headache, and diarrhea. Some risks of this procedure include:

  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • An ongoing pregnancy (if the procedure doesn’t work)
  • An incomplete abortion (which may need to be followed by surgical abortion)

2. Surgical Abortion

A surgical abortion includes dilation of the cervix and a mix of tools and suction. Multiple surgical instruments are used to remove the pregnancy.

A woman may have either a D&C (dilation and curettage) or a D&E (dilation and evacuation), depending on how far along she is in pregnancy. A D&E is typically performed later in pregnancy and requires more tools, like forceps.

Surgical procedures are very similar in the way they are done and share possible risks, including:

  • Damage to the uterus or cervix
  • Uterine perforation 
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection of the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Scarring of the inside of the uterus
  • Reaction to the medicines or anesthesia, such as problems breathing
  • Not removing all of the tissue, requiring another procedure
  • How Far Along Are You?

This is the first question you need to answer when considering abortion and your other pregnancy options. The FDA has approved the abortion pill for up to 10 weeks gestation only, so you must know how far along you are. Otherwise, a surgical abortion is your only option later in the pregnancy. 

An obstetrical ultrasound will help to confirm this vital information, as well as if there are any potential complications. Spero Medical is here to offer you both early gestational ultrasounds from 6 weeks and further. We also provide no-cost medically verified pregnancy testing.

Schedule a no-cost appointment to begin pregnancy confirmation and learn more about your options. You are not alone!