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If you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy and considering abortion, understanding the risks is important to safeguard your health and safety. 

Abortion is a permanent decision that terminates a pregnancy, and the associated risks depend on the type of abortion. 

Read on to learn more about the different types of abortion and the related risks of each.

Chemical Abortion

A chemical abortion, also known as “medical abortion” or the “abortion pill,” involves taking two different drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol

Mifepristone is taken first, and it blocks progesterone in your body. Since progesterone is needed to sustain a pregnancy, the drug causes the pregnancy to end. 

Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours after the first drug. It causes your uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy. 

Both drugs come with risks, which include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Infection
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Incomplete abortion, which may require surgery to treat

A chemical abortion isn’t recommended if you are further than 10 weeks pregnant, are taking certain medications, or if you have specific medical conditions. This is why it’s important to review your history with a medical provider before considering this option.

Surgical Abortion

While there are different types of surgical abortions, each involves dilation (or forced opening) of the cervix so that surgical tools can enter the uterus and remove the pregnancy. 

The main risks of a surgical abortion include: 

  • Cervical damage
  • Infection
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Uterine scarring, which can cause painful periods and infertility

Next Steps

If you’ve received a positive result on a pregnancy test, it’s important to get an ultrasound before deciding on the next steps. An ultrasound will confirm certain key pregnancy details that can help ensure your safety and health. At Informed Choices Women’s Center, we offer no-cost limited ultrasounds and other pregnancy resources that can help empower you with information and support. Contact us today for a confidential appointment. We’re here for you.

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