Should I Consider Abortion?
An unplanned pregnancy can be quite a shock, and for some women, it causes fear. Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended, which means there are many women in the same place today.
Abortion is a serious medical decision with potential physical and psychological consequences. Get as much information as possible about abortion procedures, side effects, and potential risks.
You’re also advised to meet with your healthcare provider beforehand to review your health history and your current medications. Plus, you should have an ultrasound.
The Two Types of Abortion
The two types of abortion are medical and surgical. An abortion provider determines the type of procedure based on the number of weeks you have been pregnant. Determining the correct gestational age for your health and safety is vital.
The abortion pill method is a medical abortion because it uses two drugs to terminate a pregnancy over a 24 to 48-hour period. The first drug, mifepristone, is highly regulated by the FDA. Some experts suggest using mifepristone through 7 weeks of pregnancy only (49 days from the first day of your last period).
The Mayo Clinic lists the following reasons why a medical abortion wouldn’t be an option for you:
- You are too far along in your pregnancy (they suggest no farther than nine weeks)
- Have an intrauterine device (IUD) for contraception in place
- Have an ectopic pregnancy (the pregnancy is growing outside the uterus)
- Have certain medical conditions
- Take a blood thinner
- Can’t make follow-up visits to your provider
- Have an allergy to the medicines used
They also note the following as side effects and potential risks:
- Nausea and possibly vomiting
- Fever and possibly chills
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
The abortion experience has also been directly linked to mental health issues for some women. If you struggle with anxiety or depression beforehand, it may worsen after the abortion.
What If You Change Your Mind?
Some women panic and choose abortion without thinking it through. You may regret taking the first drug in the abortion pill method. There is a possibility of saving your pregnancy if you act quickly. The Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) process floods your body with the hormone progesterone blocked by the first drug, mifepristone. It’s safe and effective over 60% of the time.
If you regret beginning the abortion pill process, call the 24/7 Helpline at 1-877-558-0333 immediately. It may not be too late to save your pregnancy!
The type of surgical abortion procedure you could have is determined by the number of weeks you have been pregnant. The following are the most common surgical procedures:
Vacuum or Suction Aspiration
This surgical procedure is usually performed during the first trimester of pregnancy (through 13 weeks gestation). Suction Aspiration involves dilating the cervix (the entrance to the uterus), inserting a tube attached to a suction device, and pulling out the pregnancy.
Dilation and curretage (D & C)
Because an abortion provider performs a D & C later in a pregnancy, some form of anesthesia is necessary. The cervix is dilated (opened), and the provider uses a combination of aspiration and a scraping tool to remove the pregnancy.
Dilation and Evacuation (D & E)
Generally, an abortion provider does a D & E after a pregnancy has reached 21 weeks. Dilating the cervix takes longer to get the size of the opening necessary. The provider uses scraping tools and forceps to remove larger parts of the pregnancy.
Surgical abortions are more invasive than medical abortions. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following side effects and risks are possible:
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
- Heavy bleeding
Before Your Abortion
Alaska understands the psychological risks of abortion and requires a patient to receive state-directed counseling before a procedure. In addition to the counseling, we suggest you have the following:
- A pregnancy test to confirm your first test’s results
- An ultrasound to learn the gestational age (how many weeks you have been pregnant), if your pregnancy is located correctly, and if it is viable (growing with a detectable heartbeat), or if you have miscarried.
- A consultation to review all of your options
Schedule an appointment before scheduling an abortion.