Abortion is not a simple medical procedure. It is a life-changing event for many women with significant physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences.

Many women who struggle with past abortions wish they had known all the facts first. The following information will help you understand more about abortion procedures, side effects, and risks.

Make Sure You’re Pregnant First

Before making a pregnancy decision, you need to verify if you are pregnant. Contact us to schedule your free appointment for an accurate pregnancy test. We’ll go over all of your pregnancy options, including abortion, if your test result is positive.

Types of Abortion

There are two main methods of abortion: medical and surgical. Which method you have is determined by the length of your pregnancy.

Medical/Abortion Pill

The Abortion Pill is a medical abortion. It’s the most common early abortion method in the United States. The abortion pill was approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in women up to 10 weeks after the first day of their last menstrual period.

This medical abortion involves taking two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol. The first medication, mifepristone, blocks progesterone, a hormone necessary for the pregnancy to survive. Without progesterone, the embryo dies. The second medication, misoprostol, causes cramping, expelling the embryo and uterine contents.

Expect to cramp and bleed, according to the FDA. Sometimes, bleeding can last 9 to 16 days and possibly up to 30 days. According to the Mayo Clinic, other possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and chills.

Possible complications include heavy bleeding requiring surgery, a serious infection, and incomplete abortion. Before taking any medication, discuss the risks with your doctor and know what to do if complications arise. It’s also important to follow up with your doctor to assess any difficulties.

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortions are done by opening the cervix and passing instruments into the uterus to suction, grasp, pull, and scrape the pregnancy out. The baby’s level of growth determines the exact procedure.


The FDA approves this method up to 10 weeks only. However, some abortion providers have performed this surgical procedure up to 14 weeks. The abortion involves opening the cervix, passing a tube into the uterus, and attaching it to a suction device that pulls the embryo out.

Dilation and curettage (D & C)

A D & C usually requires some pain medication. This procedure uses the same suction device but includes a sharp spoon-shaped instrument to scrape the uterus lining.

Potentially dangerous side effects include bleeding that’s heavy enough you need to change pads every hour, passing blood clots, cramps lasting more than 48 hours, a foul-smelling vaginal discharge, dizziness, and fever.

Dilation and Evacuation (D & E)

D & E, under general anesthesia, is performed up to the 20th week and beyond. The abortion doctor injects a drug into the fetus to stop the heart from beating in some cases. After the cervix is dilated, forceps pull parts of the fetus out. The doctor relies on suction and a scraping instrument to remove the rest of the tissue.

The Mayo Clinic lists the risks of surgical abortion:

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

Get The Information You Deserve

Schedule a free and confidential appointment to learn more about abortion procedures and your pregnancy options. Our desire is for you to leave our office feeling empowered to make the best choice regarding your pregnancy.

We never financially benefit from your decision and can discuss your options with absolutely no pressure.