If you are considering an abortion to terminate your pregnancy, it is wise to learn as much as you can before deciding. This page will provide you with information about the different types of abortion procedures.
There are two forms of abortion: medical and surgical.
Also called the abortion pill, medical abortion uses drugs to end a pregnancy. The two drugs used in a medical abortion are mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks the body’s progesterone which the body needs to support a pregnancy. This ends the pregnancy by causing it to detach from the wall of the uterus. Misoprostol signals the uterus to begin contractions which force the pregnancy out of the body.
A woman usually takes mifepristone at a provider’s office and then takes misoprostol within 48 hours at home. Side effects of the medication may include:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal cramping
A surgical abortion is a procedure performed in a clinic. A local anesthetic is used to numb the cervix before the abortion. Additionally, some clinics offer general anesthesia for an upcharge, so women can be asleep during the procedure.
The provider uses dilating rods to open the cervix enough to insert surgical tools into the uterus. Suction is then used to remove the embryo or fetus from the uterus. In some cases, when a pregnancy is further along, additional surgical instruments are required to remove the fetus in smaller pieces.
After a surgical abortion, it is common for women to experience mild cramping and spotting for a few days.
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