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What Are the Risks of Abortion?

Topic: Abortion

Abortion. The topic divides families, friends, political parties, and our nation. It sparks a lot of arguments. But, what do you really know about the procedures? No one seems to talk about abortion methods, the side effects, and potential risks. 

At Women’s Care Medical Center, we want you to be informed. You need to have the facts, especially when you choose abortion for your unexpected pregnancy. We think you deserve to have the whole story.

Types of Abortions

There are two basic types of abortion, medication and surgical. Which method you have is determined by how far along your pregnancy is. 

Medication abortion

According to the world-famous Mayo Clinic, “Having a medical abortion is a major decision with emotional and psychological consequences. If you’re considering this procedure, make sure you understand what it entails, side effects, possible risks, complications, and alternatives.” 

The most common type of medication abortion is the abortion pill method. It’s a series of two powerful drugs taken over 24-48 hours. You can only have this procedure if you are under ten weeks pregnant. 

The first drug is called mifepristone (Mifeprex®). In order for an implanted embryo to grow once it’s been fertilized, your body needs a hormone called progesterone. Mifepristone blocks the production of progesterone causing the lining of your uterus to thin which means the embryo won’t stay attached.

The second drug, Misoprostol, is taken hours or even days after the first drug. You need to take this drug at home to be near a bathroom. Misoprostol causes your body to cramp and contract to expel your pregnancy. 

The risks of a medication abortion

According to the Mayo Clinic, the potential risks of medical abortion include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever, especially serious if longer than 24 hours
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • Potential for severe abdominal or back pain

Surgical abortion

Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy determines which type of surgical abortion procedure you can have. 

Up until approximately week 13 or 14, you can have a dilation and curettage (D & C) which is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus using vacuum aspiration. 

“…your doctor uses small instruments or a medication to open (dilate) your cervix – the lower, narrow part of your uterus. Your doctor then uses a surgical instrument called a curette to remove uterine tissue. Curettes used in a D & C can be sharp or use suction.” The Mayo Clinic

They list the following as risks:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection

If you’re between 13 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, a dilation and evacuation (D & E) is performed. It usually combines vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage (D & C), and the use of surgical instruments such as forceps.

According to MyHealth.Alberta.ca, the risks of dilation and evacuation (D & E) include:

  • Injury to the uterine lining or cervix
  • Uterine perforation
  • Infection
  • Hemorrhage (heavy bleeding)

Pre-abortion screeing

As you can see, abortion isn’t an easy choice. It’s a significant medical and psychological decision. Any time you choose to remove something from your body, you should first discuss your situation with a medical professional. At the Women’s Care Medical Center, we want you to be prepared. Here are the free services we offer:

  • No-cost, lab-quality pregnancy testing
  • If the pregnancy test is positive, get a free ultrasound scan to learn the viability of the pregnancy and how long you’ve been pregnant
  • Discuss your situation and learn about all your options

Contact us today

Contact Women’s Care Medical Center to set up a free appointment. All of our services are completely confidential. We’ll talk with you about your current life situation, your future plans, and the best option for your unplanned pregnancy. We care about you!