One pregnancy option you may have heard about is abortion. Of all your options—abortion, adoption, and parenting—abortion is the only one that terminates a pregnancy. It is crucial to ensure you have the necessary information to make a good decision about this option. Sav-A-Life provides confidential options education for those looking to learn more about their options.

Abortion is the termination of a viable pregnancy. There are two main procedures: medical abortion and surgical abortion. We’ll outline these for you below and explain the risks and side effects you need to know.

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion is performed during the first 70 days of pregnancy. Two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, are used. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, the hormone that sustains a pregnancy. Misoprostol causes uterine contractions and expels the pregnancy tissue through the vagina.

Side effects of medical abortion include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

These side effects can range from mild to severe. There are also risks associated with a medical abortion procedure, which may require treatment at a doctor’s office or hospital:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortion is a more complex procedure and is typically performed later in pregnancy. The most common surgical abortion method is dilation and curettage, which is when the medical provider uses medication, surgical tools, and/or a suctioning technique to remove the pregnancy tissue from the uterus.

You may also experience abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. There are risks, especially if the procedure isn’t performed correctly. Risks of surgical abortion include:

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

If you experience anything unusual, such as lightheadedness, a fever, or heavy bleeding, seek emergency help immediately.

What Will it be like after my abortion?

Every woman responds to an abortion differently. Some feel relief, while others struggle with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and grief. It is important to remember that every emotion you are feeling is valid, and you are deserving of peace.

Various post-abortion recovery programs and resources exist to help you start that path toward healing. Sav-A-Life offers an abortion recovery Bible study to help you heal from your past abortion. You are not alone!