What Are the Different Types of Abortion?

If you are considering an abortion, it is important that you understand the different types of abortion procedures that are available to you, as well as the risks and side effects of each one.

It is crucial to speak with a trusted professional before having an abortion. Your health matters, and you deserve to have all the facts before making a decision!

Today, two methods are commonly used: medication (or chemical) abortion and surgical abortion. Deciding which type of abortion will be performed may depend on how far along the pregnancy is, and how the procedure might impact your health.

Read on for a brief explanation of medical and surgical abortion methods, along with their potential side effects and risks.

Remember that it is important to consult with a doctor who is aware of all aspects of your health before undergoing any medical procedure, including abortion.

Woman asks about types of abortion


Medical Abortion

The first type of abortion is called a medical abortion, otherwise known as the “abortion pill.” Two different drugs are used during this process: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks progesterone and prevents the embryo from implanting in the uterus. Misoprostol causes uterine contractions and expels both the embryo and pregnancy tissue through the vagina.

Misoprostol can be taken at home, but it is used about 24-48 hours after taking mifepristone.

Side Effects of Medical Abortion

The Mayo Clinic states that there are a number of side effects relating to a medical abortion. These side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Vaginal bleeding

Risks of Medical Abortion

There are also some risks associated with this type of procedure. If you are experiencing any of these, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention. These risks include:

  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • An ongoing pregnancy (if the abortion pill didn’t work)
  • Incomplete abortion (which may need to be followed by a surgical abortion)
  • Digestive system discomfort

Surgical Abortion

A surgical abortion is a more complicated procedure and is used when a woman is farther along in her pregnancy. During this procedure, the medical provider uses medication or medical instruments to dilate the cervix. Then, they use a small instrument called a curette or a gentle suctioning technique to remove the pregnancy tissue from the uterus.

There are a number of side effects of having a surgical abortion, as well as some risks that you’ll want to look out for.

According to the Mayo Clinic, side effects include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cramping
  • Bleedings
  • Feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Sweating

Some of the possible risks of having a surgical abortion include:

  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Fever
  • Foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Infection
  • Pain that worsens instead of improving
  • Bleeding that’s heavy enough that you need to change pads every hour

Who Can I Talk To?

If you have more questions about your pregnancy options or would like to speak with a trusted professional, Choices Pregnancy Center is here for you! We can provide a free options consultation and give you accurate information so that you can make an informed decision.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We are here for you.