There are two main types of abortion: medical and surgical. 

Medical abortion (the abortion pill) involves taking two drugs to end and expel a pregnancy. In contrast, surgical abortion requires a licensed doctor or physician to surgically end and remove the pregnancy using dilation, surgical tools, and suction.

Are you considering an abortion? Schedule an appointment with Carolina Pregnancy Center for early pregnancy services and to talk with a knowledgeable staff member.

Medical Abortion: What to Know

If you’re considering medical abortion, you should know the following facts:

1. It’s FDA-approved for use within the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

After the FDA-approved timeframe, medical abortion may no longer be the safest option. It’s critical to get an ultrasound before a medical abortion to know how far along you are to prevent complications.

2. It’s not an option for some women based on their health history.

Reviewing your medical health history and having necessary screenings (ultrasound and STD/STI testing) can prevent complications. An ultrasound can identify an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, which both require different interventions than medical abortion.

If a woman has an allergy to the drugs, takes specific prescriptions, or has certain diseases or disorders, the abortion pill might not be an option. Also, if a woman has an IUD in place, it will need to be removed first.

3. There are risks to consider.

If you’re considering medical abortion, you should understand the risks. While taking the appropriate safety steps can lessen the risks, you should still be aware of them to make an informed choice.

These risks include incomplete abortion, an ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work, heavy and prolonged bleeding, infection, and digestive system discomfort.

Surgical Abortion: What to Know

Typically performed in a clinic or hospital setting, a surgical abortion involves a form of local anesthesia or sedation and dilation (opening your cervix). 

A licensed doctor or physician will then use surgical tools such as a curette (a sharp instrument or suction device) to remove the pregnancy and related tissue.

Even though a qualified medical provider performs this, it still comes with risks, which include uterine perforation (poking a hole in the uterus), damage to the cervix, scar tissue on the uterine wall, and infection.

What Are Your Pregnancy Options?

Every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy has three options: abortion, parenting, and adoption. Within the abortion category, there are two main types, and the type available depends on how far along you are and your health history.

Schedule an appointment with Carolina Pregnancy Center for no-cost pregnancy testing, an ultrasound if you qualify, and to receive information about every option. 

We’re here to be your resource as you evaluate your choices.