If you recently found out about an unexpected pregnancy, you might be looking into pregnancy options. If you are considering abortion, you are probably wondering about the different types of abortion. Here is everything you need to know about abortion procedures and what to expect from each. 

Abortion pill vs. Surgical abortion and what to expect 

There are two types of abortions, chemical abortion and surgical abortion. The difference between them is one is an oral medication taken at home, and the other is a surgical procedure done in an abortion clinic. 

Before having an abortion, it is important to verify gestational age (how far along you are in your pregnancy), viability (potential ability to live outside of the uterus), and where your pregnancy is growing. This information helps determine what type of abortion you may be eligible for and helps protect your health. 

Chemical abortion (abortion pill):  

A chemical abortion, also referred to as the abortion pill, or a medical abortion, is generally a combination of two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. It is prescribed to end an early pregnancy, up to 10 weeks gestation. Mifepristone blocks your body’s natural production of progesterone in order to end the pregnancy’s growth.  

The second medication, misoprostol, softens the cervix and prepares the body to expel the pregnancy. This medication causes heavy bleeding and cramping to expel the pregnancy from your uterus.  

Abortion pill

The abortion pill becomes less effective the farther along you are in your pregnancy. The farther along you are, the more you risk serious complications and the need for emergency surgery to complete the procedure. 

What to expect when taking the abortion pill:  

After taking both abortion medication pills, you will experience strong cramps and heavy bleeding followed by the passing of large blood clots and the passing of the fetus or embryo. It’s important to prepare physically and emotionally for this process, especially if you are more than eight weeks pregnant.  

A chemical abortion may be a more private option since it is taken in the comfort of your own home, but it’s important to consider the possibility of feeling a deep emotional response during or after the abortion process. A chemical abortion is considered a self-managed abortion, which means the majority of the abortion process is done without any medical assistance. It’s a good idea to make sure you have support, so you don’t go through this alone.  

Other abortion pill side effects:  

  • Cramping and vaginal bleeding 
  • Nausea 
  • Weakness 
  • Fever/chills 
  • Vomiting 
  • Headache 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Dizziness 

It is possible to have an incomplete abortion. It is important to make a follow-up appointment with a healthcare provider to confirm the termination of pregnancy and make sure there is no infection present. 

Read more about what symptoms are normal and when to call a doctor here. 

Ordering the abortion pill online. 

Ordering abortion pills online

You should never take an abortion pill purchased online.

Despite recent changes to online abortion pill availability, the FDA still recommends extreme caution when buying the abortion pill online. These pills could be counterfeit, expired, or tampered with. 

What if I change my mind after taking the abortion pill?  

If you take the abortion pill and decide you don’t want to go through with it, the abortion may be able to be reversed. Call 912-999-7993 or go to AbortionPillReversal.com as soon as possible to get connected to a medical provider in your area to start reversal treatment.  

Surgical abortion (in-clinic abortion):  

A surgical abortion is a procedure performed in an abortion clinic by a medical professional. Surgical abortions generally works by dilating the cervix and using suction and surgical tools to remove the pregnancy from the uterus.

This type of abortion is most commonly used after 10 weeks, but can be used early within the 1st trimester. 

Surgical abortion

Types of surgical abortion based on weeks pregnant:  

Suction Abortion/Vacuum Aspiration (up to 13 weeks) 

  • A numbing medicine will be applied around the cervix. Using dilation medication and/or instruments, your cervix will be opened up to allow the suction device to enter the uterus to remove the pregnancy. Most women feel strong cramping during the procedure. 

Dilation and Curettage (D&C) (before 13 weeks) 

  • D&C is similar to a suction abortion in that it uses a suction device to remove the pregnancy but also includes a surgical instrument to scrape the remains of your pregnancy out of your uterus. Most women feel strong cramping during this procedure. 

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) (after 13 weeks) 

  • D&E is generally done later in the 2nd trimester and is typically performed over two days to ensure proper dilation. It is similar to a D&C but requires more surgical instruments to remove the pregnancy and may take longer. Most women feel strong cramping during the procedure. 

What to expect when having a surgical abortion:  

A surgical abortion will be performed in a hospital or surgical clinic. Most women are given a general anesthetic or sedation. If you are awake during the procedure, you will experience mild cramping. 

After the procedure, you may feel cramping and have light to mild bleeding. You will spend a few hours in the recovery room to be monitored for heavy bleeding and health complications. 

Just like any medical procedure, each has its own side effects you should be aware of and consider. 

Surgical abortion side effects:  

  • Infection 
  • Heavy bleeding 
  • A hole or tear in the wall of the uterus 
  • Injury to the cervix 
  • Retained fetal or placental tissue 
  • Anesthesia complications 

Serious complications may require additional surgery or hospitalization. 

Where can I find more information? 

Where can I learn more?

At Thrive Savannah all of our services are free. To learn more about your pregnancy options and abortion information, schedule an appointment today to speak to one of our client advocates.  

We believe in empowering women like you with the information they need to be fully informed to make the decision that is right for them.  

While we do not provide or refer for abortion, we do have medical professionals on site to confirm your pregnancy and give you resources to help you move forward.  

Schedule an appointment at no cost today.