How Will Abortion Affect Me Physically?

If you think you may be pregnant and are considering abortion, you deserve to have all the information before making your next steps. There’s probably a lot going through your mind – but your health and safety are worth prioritizing. 

Take a deep breath – you’re not alone as you navigate your decision. There is help and hope available to you. First, take a moment to learn about how an abortion might affect you physically. 

What Are the Types of Abortion?

There are two common types of abortion – medication abortion, more commonly referred to as the abortion pill, and surgical abortion. 

Medication abortion is actually a two-dose process. The first dose, mifepristone (which causes the pregnancy to stop progressing), is typically taken under the supervision of a physician or provider, while the second dose, misoprostol (which causes cramping and bleeding to expel the pregnancy through the vagina), is taken hours or sometimes days later. 

The FDA approves the use of medication abortion for the termination of early pregnancies up to 10 weeks gestation. Taking the abortion pill past this point in pregnancy could put the patient at risk for incomplete abortion or further complications. 

Surgical abortion, an in-clinic procedure, is typically used for the termination of later pregnancies. Though there are a number of procedure types used, one of the most common is known as dilation & curettage, or D&C. In this procedure, a physician uses medical instruments to open the cervix and lightly scrape or suction the fetus and tissue from the uterus. 

Both methods of abortion have associated potential physical side effects and risks. 

What Are the Physical Risks of the Abortion Pill?

The Mayo Clinic quotes these risks of medication abortion as potentially including:

  • Incomplete abortion
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding 
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work

What Are the Physical Risks of Surgical Abortion?

The Mayo Clinic lists the following as associated risks of surgical abortion procedures:

  • Perforation (tearing or puncture) of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Dizziness or fever 
  • Severe cramping 

What Other Physical Risks Might Be A Concern for Me? 

While the abortion pill may be more readily available online now than it used to be, it is worth noting that undergoing such a serious medical procedure without in-person supervision from a medical professional can put you at further physical risk. It is possible that your dating of how far along you think you are in pregnancy based on your last period may be inaccurate, and you may be at risk for incomplete abortion. 

It is also possible that medical complications may be present that you would be unaware of without diagnosis following an ultrasound, such as ectopic pregnancy which would require immediate emergency medical attention. 

The best way to protect your health is to see a medical professional to learn about your unique medical needs first. An ultrasound exam can answer a lot of questions and help direct your next steps. 

At First Care Clinic, our professional medical staff can offer you an ultrasound exam at no cost to you. Get your questions answered today, and put your health and safety first. Schedule your free appointment today – we’re here to help.

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