Are you facing an unplanned pregnancy and wondering if abortion is right for you? In this blog, we’ll be exploring the various types of abortion procedures and the risks and side effects you may face.
Women seeking abortion in the first trimester (within the first 70 days) may be able to access a medical abortion procedure. This process is also referred to as the abortion pill and utilizes two pills, Mifepristone and Misoprostol.
Mifepristone ends a pregnancy by ceasing the body’s production of the hormone called progesterone. Because the fetus relies on progesterone to develop and grow, without it, the pregnancy will end.
Misoprostol is then taken around 24-48 hours later and is used to cause contractions and force the fetus from the womb.
First-Trimester Surgical Abortions
Surgical abortions can be accessed throughout the pregnancy, however, the form of the abortion will depend on the stage of the pregnancy.
In the first trimester, women may have access to either a Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) procedure or a Suction Curettage procedure.
In a D&C procedure, the provider will dilate the cervix and then scrape the fetal tissue from the womb. Women may be eligible for this procedure in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
In a Suction Curettage procedure, the abortion provider will dilate the cervix, pull apart and remove the fetus using a suctioning device, and then scrape the uterus to ensure all of the pregnancy tissue was properly removed. This process can be accessed in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Women seeking abortion within the 13th and 24th weeks of pregnancy will be eligible for an abortion procedure called Dilation and Evacuation (D&E). In this abortion procedure, the cervix is dilated and a tool is used to break the fetus apart so it can be easily scraped from the uterus.
Are there side effects and risks related to abortion procedures?
Yes — all abortion procedures can be accompanied by serious side effects and risks.
The abortion pill is accompanied by cramping and bleeding as the body undergoes contractions to expel the fetus, as well as other side effects including nausea, fever, chills, dizziness, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, and headaches. In addition to these side effects, some women experience long-term health risks, including infection, sepsis, and hemorrhaging.
Surgical abortions can also be accompanied by side effects and risks similar to thoses associated with the abortion pill, as well as the risk of potential lacerations to the uterus and other reproductive organs.
Emotional Side Effects of Abortion
There are also major emotional side effects of abortion. A study done on the emotional consequences of abortion shares that abortion was linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicidal behaviours.
Here are some statistics to show the emotional impact of abortion on women:
- 65% of U.S. women experienced multiple symptoms of PTSD, which they attributed to their abortions.
- 25% said they didn’t receive adequate counseling
- 64% said they felt pressured by others to abort
- 60% reported that they felt “part of me died” after
Steps to take before you schedule an abortion
If you are considering an abortion or are being pressured into having one, we urge you to come talk with us and receive all of the information you need to make an informed decision. We will share with you the pre-abortion screenings, including lab-quality pregnancy testing and an obstetrical ultrasound scan.
Schedule your free appointment today at WRC of the Rockies!
(Women’s Resource Center does not perform or refer for abortions)