Considering abortion?

If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, there are several options available to you – one of them being abortion. There are several legal abortion procedures, and it is important to understand the procedures themselves, and the potential short-term and long-term side effects of each.

RU-486

RU-486, also known as the abortion pill, is actually a two-pill process. RU-486 is available for women within their first 10 weeks of pregnancy. The first pill, Mifepristone, is taken while at the doctor’s office. Mifepristone blocks the flow of progesterone, which is a hormone naturally created by the female body, one that is necessary to continue pregnancy. The second pill, Misoprostol, will be taken at home between 24-48 after the first pill. This dose causes contractions to begin so that the tissue within the uterus is expelled. Common side effects include intense cramping, bleeding, nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness.

Aspiration

Aspiration is a surgical abortion procedure, typically performed between weeks 6 and 16 of pregnancy. It must be conducted at a licensed doctor’s office, and includes numbing the cervix, artificially dilating it with cone-shaped rods, and suctioning the uterine contents with a long tube and vacuum-like device. Common side effects of the Aspiration procedure are:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness or feeling faint

More serious, long-term side effects include cervix damage, increased risk of breast and other forms of cancer, and perforation to the uterus.

D&E

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is a more complex procedure, typically performed from week 16 and beyond of pregnancy. It is common to come into the doctor’s office 24 hours prior to a D&E procedure to begin the dilation process, usually with a synthetic dilator inserted into the cervix. During the procedure, the cervix will be numbed, much like it is during Aspiration. Cone-shaped rods will be used to continue dilation, and the doctor may provide a shot to ensure fetal death. A tube will suction the uterine contents, and another surgical instrument might be used to ensure all pieces have been removed. Common side effects of D&E can last up to two weeks and include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

More serious, long-term side effects of D&E include uterine lining or cervix damage, infection, blood clots, increased risk of breast and other forms of cancer, and perforation of the uterus.   It is important to understand the abortion procedures you are eligible for and what to expect before scheduling one. The staff at the Center for Women is prepared to answer all of your questions and provide you with more in-depth information about the procedures and each of your options, should you want to discuss them. Schedule an appointment with us today.