What do you really know about abortion?

Abortion is a serious medical procedure terminating a pregnancy. Each procedure comes with side effects and potential risks. We believe the more you know, the more confident you’ll feel about your decision. Before you make an appointment at the abortion clinic, let’s talk.

Understanding abortion procedures

Before you can have an abortion, there are a few things you need to know about your pregnancy. First, you need to verify your pregnancy with a lab-quality pregnancy test. Alpha Center offers free lab-quality pregnancy tests.

After receiving a positive result on your test, your client advocate may suggest a limited obstetrical ultrasound. An ultrasound will tell you how long you’ve been pregnant. How far along you are in your pregnancy determines what kind of abortion you may have. The ultrasound also lets you know if your pregnancy is viable and where your pregnancy is located.

The decision to abort is never easy. It’s life-changing and should never be decided quickly. There are basically two different methods of abortion, chemical and surgical. Let’s take a closer look at both.

Chemical Abortion

We promise to give you only factual information. Here’s what The Mayo Clinic has to say about the chemical abortion method, side effects and risks.

The abortion pill is a chemical abortion. To qualify for this procedure, you must be 10 weeks and 0 days or less into your pregnancy. Although it’s called the abortion pill, it isn’t one pill and you’re done. It actually uses two very powerful drugs.

The first drug blocks a particular hormone known as progesterone. When you’re pregnant, progesterone helps the fertilized egg stay attached to your uterus. The drug causes the lining of the uterus to thin so it no longer keeps the pregnancy implanted. The second drug causes cramping in order for your body to expel the fetus.

Possible Side Effects & Risks of a Chemical Abortion:

  • Excessive bleeding and painful cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Risk of an incomplete abortion
  • Risk of infection
  • Risk of blood clots remaining in the uterus

Surgical Abortion

If you’re further than ten weeks along, the abortion pill isn’t an option for you. You’ll need to have a surgical abortion. A surgical abortion is an invasive procedure that must be performed by medical staff at an abortion clinic or a hospital. 

The type of surgery you have is determined by how far along your pregnancy is. One of those procedures is known as a D & C (dilation and curettage). The Mayo Clinic lists the side effects and potential risks of this procedure.

Possible Side Effects & Risks of a Surgical Abortion:

You should always make sure you know how the abortion clinic will handle any complications that might arise during or after your procedure.

  • Heavy bleeding, including blood clots
  • Fever
  • Severe pain or cramping 
  • Risk of uterine perforation
  • Risk of cervical damage
  • Risk of infection

Each surgical procedure involves some form of anesthesia, dilation of your cervix and a suction device. The side effects are more intense and there’s a greater possibility for long-term complications with a surgical abortion. You should always make sure you know how the abortion clinic will handle any complications that might arise during or after your abortion procedure.

There’s more to know

You should also consider why knowing your blood type is important, what the chances of naturally miscarrying are and how an abortion could affect your relationship with the father.

Our center does not provide or refer for abortions.