Think you might be unexpectedly pregnant and not sure what to do? First, take a moment to slow down and take a deep breath.
If you feel like you’re not confident in a choice to parent right now, you may be considering abortion and adoption as other options. Let’s walk through a few of the details you should know.
What is Abortion and How Does It Work?
Abortion is a serious medical procedure with associated risks and side effects. Taking a pill may seem easy and straightforward, but you should be sure you know everything that abortion entails before making a plan.
There are two methods of abortion available, and which one may be medically necessary depends on a number of factors, the most important being how long you have been pregnant (how far along you are).
How Does the Abortion Pill Work?
Though commonly known as the abortion pill, medical or medication abortion involves taking two separate doses of medication: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone is taken first, and this drug blocks the body from producing progesterone, a pregnancy hormone, which keeps the fetus from growing and causes it to detach from the uterus. Then, several hours or sometimes up to a day or two later, the second dose – misoprostol – is taken, causing the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy and tissue through the vagina.
The Mayo Clinic lists the following potential physical risks of the abortion pill:
- Incomplete abortion
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
- An ongoing pregnancy, if the procedure doesn’t work
What Is A Surgical Abortion?
Surgical abortion is an in-clinic procedure typically used for terminating later pregnancies (past 10 weeks gestational age). This is typically done by a doctor, and often involves some form of sedation, such as medication or general anesthesia.