There are a few things you need to know about your pregnancy before you can have an abortion. First, you will need to verify your pregnancy with a medical-grade pregnancy test. After receiving a positive result on your test, your next step is to have an ultrasound. An ultrasound will tell you how long you have been pregnant (the gestational age), if your pregnancy is viable (a heartbeat is detected), and where it is located. We offer free viability ultrasounds to help you with that decision. It’s necessary to know these before any decision can be made.

Understanding Abortion Procedures

An abortion is a medical procedure terminating a pregnancy. How far along you are in your pregnancy determines what kind of abortion you may have. The decision to abort is never easy. It is life-changing. We share from The Mayo Clinic the factual information, side effects, and risks about each abortion procedure.

Medication Abortion

The abortion pill (RU486) is known as a medication abortion. This procedure is only medically approved if you are 10 weeks or less. It isn’t just one pill and you’re done. It actually uses two very powerful drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol.

The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone commonly referred to as the “pregnancy hormone.” Progesterone helps the fertilized egg stay implanted in your uterus. Mifepristone makes the lining of the uterus thin so it can no longer keep the pregnancy implanted. The second drug causes cramping in order for your body to expel the fetus. There is a higher risk of an incomplete abortion with the medication method. This would require you to follow up with a surgical abortion.

Side Effects and Risks of a Medication Abortion

  • May experience excessive bleeding and painful cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Risk of an incomplete abortion
  • Risk of infection
  • Risk of blood clots remaining in the uterus

Surgical Abortion

If you’re further than ten weeks along, the abortion pill won’t be an option for you. You will need to have a surgical abortion. A surgical abortion is an invasive procedure that must be performed in a medical clinic with medical staff. 

Depending on how far along your pregnancy is will determine if you have vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage, or dilation and evacuation. Each procedure involves injections, dilation and a suction device. The side effects are more intense and there is a greater possibility for long-term complications with a surgical abortion. You should always make sure Women’s Clinics Maryland knows how to handle any complications that might arise during your abortion procedure.

Side Effects and Risks of a Surgical Abortion

  • Heavy bleeding, including blood clots
  • Fever
  • Severe pain or cramping 
  • Risk of uterine perforation
  • Risk of cervical damage
  • Risk of infection

Making The Choice

Like all of your options, choosing abortion must be carefully considered. In order to have complete confidence abortion is the right decision for you, learn as much information as possible.  We want you to be fully informed about all of your choices. This is an important decision that has long-term effects. We’re here to talk with you about your hopes and dreams, and your life situation. We want to walk this path with you. You are not alone in your decision.

Women’s Clinics Maryland neither performs nor refers for abortion.