What Are the Different Types of Abortion?

If you are asking this question, perhaps you are facing an unplanned pregnancy. If this is so, there are answers you need before making a choice.  First of all, do […]

If you are asking this question, perhaps you are facing an unplanned pregnancy. If this is so, there are answers you need before making a choice. 

First of all, do you know for sure if you are pregnant? Pregnancy symptoms can be similar to those of the flu or an impending period. 

Start with a pregnancy test. Our team at Pregnancy Choices can provide you with lab-quality testing at no cost.

If your test result is positive, we can also perform an ultrasound to determine your pregnancy status and other vital facts. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

There are two main types of abortion: medical and surgical. They each work differently and have their own sets of risks and side effects. 

Medical Abortion: How Does it Work?

What is known as the abortion pill is a medical abortion. And, it is not one drug, but two. 

The first drug, mifepristone, begins the process by blocking progesterone, a hormone necessary for the pregnancy to continue. This will cause the pregnancy to end.

Hours or days later, a woman takes misoprostol to cause the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy and related tissue. There will be abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding.

The woman must watch for signs of a complication, such as bleeding too heavily or a foul-smelling vaginal odor. These could indicate infection or an incomplete abortion. 

Safety Considerations

Medical abortion may not be safe for some women. 

The FDA has only approved the procedure through the first ten weeks of pregnancy. After this timeframe, another procedure may be considered safer. 

There are also certain health conditions that would rule out medical abortion as an option, such as having a suspected ectopic pregnancy, having an IUD in place (it would need to be removed), or taking certain medications.

An ultrasound can protect your health and safety by measuring gestational age (how far along you are). It can also determine if your pregnancy is progressing with a heartbeat and is located inside the uterus (not ectopic). 

In addition to an ultrasound, receiving STD testing and talking with a medical professional about your health history can safeguard your health before moving forward with a medical abortion.

Surgical Abortion

The second type of abortion is a surgical abortion. 

A dilation and curettage abortion (D&C) involves a physician dilating (opening) your cervix with medical instruments or drugs, then removing the pregnancy and related tissue with a sharp tool called a curette. The physician may also use suction.

Later in pregnancy, in the second trimester, there is also a dilation and evacuation abortion (D&E). A D&E is similar to a D&C abortion. However, it can involve more tools, such as forceps, to remove the pregnancy. 

Both procedures come with risks, such as uterine perforation (poking a hole in the uterus), damage to the cervix, scar tissue on the uterine wall, and infection.

What Should You Do Next?

Your next best step is to contact Pregnancy Choices. We can provide the medical information and ultrasound scan you need, as well as facts on abortion and other options. 

We exist to help women and men navigate unexpected pregnancies in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment. We look forward to hearing from you!


Medical Abortion: Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/medical-abortion/about/pac-20394687 

Dilation & Curretage: Mayo Clinic

Dilation & Evacuation: Kaiser Permanente

Mifeprex (Mifepristone) Information: FDA

Ectopic Pregnancy: Mayo Clinic

Ultrasound Information: Cleveland Clinic

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