What are the Different Types of Abortion?

Abortion is a permanent, life-altering choice that terminates a viable pregnancy, and you deserve to know all the facts before making a decision. 

We understand that it can be difficult to wade through the sea of information online, which is why we’ve compiled the basics.

Read on to learn more about the different types of abortion, the risks and side effects, and things to know before moving forward.

Medication Abortion 

Medication abortion (also called “chemical abortion,” “medical abortion,” or the “abortion pill”) is the process of taking two prescription drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, to end a viable pregnancy. 

Mifepristone is taken first. It functions by blocking progesterone, the hormone that’s necessary for supporting and maintaining the early stages of pregnancy. 

Possible side effects of mifepristone include: 

  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours after the first drug. It works by causing the uterus to contract and eventually expel the pregnancy. 

Potential side effects of misoprostol include: 

  • Painful cramping
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting

Surgical Abortion 

Surgical abortion is a procedure that uses a medical instrument to terminate and remove the pregnancy. There are different types, including vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage (D&C), and dilation and evacuation (D&E).

Each type of surgical abortion involves dilating the cervix and utilizing different instruments and surgical tools to remove the pregnancy. Side effects include pain and cramping, which can be mild or severe. 

The potential risks of surgical abortion include: 

  • Uterine perforation
  • Cervical damage
  • Uterine walls scarring, which can lead to painful menstrual periods and infertility
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Infection 

These are just a few of the possible physical effects of receiving an abortion, and there are potential mental and emotional effects as well. 

Next Steps

Before deciding to schedule an abortion, there are important steps to take to protect your health. 

These steps include confirming your pregnancy with a clinical pregnancy test, receiving an ultrasound to determine if you have a viable pregnancy, getting STI testing to avoid spreading infection to other parts of your body, and reviewing your medical history. We offer pregnancy-related services at no cost to you. We’re also here to help answer any questions you might have. Schedule a confidential appointment today.