We live in a world of information, and sometimes it can feel near impossible to settle on a decision. From reading hundreds of reviews to choose a hotel to scrolling on Pinterest for tonight’s dinner recipe, the options can feel paralyzing. When it comes to a choice as serious as abortion, it can be hard to sift through the noise and confidently make a decision.
If you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy, you may be wondering which option is best for you. If you’re considering abortion, it’s important to take time to research the procedures and understand the risks and side effects you may encounter with each.
What Are My Abortion Options?
There are two main types of abortion and your eligibility for each will depend on the gestational age of your pregnancy.
The abortion pill, also known as a medication abortion, is a two-step process that uses chemical means to end a pregnancy. This process can be administered to women who are less than 11 weeks pregnant.
The first step of the abortion pill uses a drug called Mifepristone, which blocks the pregnancy hormone needed to support the pregnancy called progesterone. Without progesterone, the pregnancy cannot continue and fetal demise occurs. The second drug is taken hours or days later, Misoprostol, will expel the pregnancy from the uterus through contractions.
Surgical abortions, on the other hand, can be performed at any point in the pregnancy — depending on the laws and regulations of the state. There are several forms of surgical abortion and the method used depends on the developmental stage of the pregnancy. In each form of surgical abortion, the procedure will require some form of dilation of the cervix and extraction, using either forceps or a suction device.
Which Type of Abortion is Safest?
As you decide which pregnancy option is right for you, it’s important to take into consideration the various risks and side effects associated with each form of abortion.
Women who choose to take the abortion pill can expect to experience common side effects and discomfort, including intense abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and heavy bleeding. The abortion pill can also be accompanied by other serious medical conditions such as infections, hemorrhaging, and incomplete abortions.
The side effects of surgical abortions are similar to those of the abortion pill, including abdominal cramping, pain, nausea, vomiting, heaving bleeding, and diarrhea. In addition to these side effects, surgical abortions can result in serious risks, such as damage to the cervix, uterine lining, and other internal organs, and life-threatening infections.
In addition to these physical side effects and risks, women might also experience mental health complications as a result of either form of abortion.¹
What Are My Other Pregnancy Options?
Your friends at Women’s Resource Medical Centers of Southern Nevada are here to help you decide which pregnancy option is right for you! We provide free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and options counseling, and are here to point you to any additional resources you need to feel supported and loved each step of the way!
1. Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]