Abortion: Get the Facts

How much do you know about the various types of abortion procedures? Each method is complex and includes different side effects and potential risks. Get the facts before making a decision.

You May Not Be Pregnant

A positive result on a pregnancy test should always be verified. TryLife Center recommends making an ultrasound appointment, and has referrals to help find free or affordable ultrasounds. Any symptoms you may be experiencing could also be caused by other health issues such as an STD/STI.

TryLife Center’s in-house clinic, TLC Clinic, provides free STD/STI Testing, HIV/Hep C Screenings, Ultrasounds, but is temporarily closed. See below for some other places that may be able to help, or give us a call for other referrals!

MyChoice Medical Clinic | Free Ultrasounds, STD/STI Testing, & more 

Women’s Choice Network | Free STD/STI Testing, Pregnancy Evaluations, & more

Types of Abortion Procedures

The type of abortion procedure you get is determined by how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Medical Abortion (Abortion Pill)

Typically, if you are less than 9 weeks, you would most likely have an abortion via an oral pill called RU-486 or mifepristone. Mifepristone is used in a regimen together with misoprostol to end a pregnancy that is less than 9 weeks in duration.

Medical abortion stops the supply of hormones that maintains the interior of the uterus. Without these hormones, the fetus cannot survive, and all contents of the uterus are expelled.

Risks of a medical abortion can include:

  • Incomplete abortion (could lead to infection and may need to be followed by surgical abortion)
  • Failed abortion (ongoing pregnancy)
  • Heavy, prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive issues

You may experience infertility or issues with future pregnancies if any of these complications arise.

Surgical Abortion

If your pregnancy is over 9 weeks, you’ll have a surgical abortion. Depending on the number of weeks, you could receive a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) or a Dilation and Evacuation (D&E).

Dilation and Curettage dilates the cervix then uses a vacuum and scraping device to first vacuum out the contents of the uterus (including the fetus) and then scrape the remaining contents. This procedure requires anesthesia, and typically women are prescribed antibiotics or OTC pain relievers after the procedure.

Dilation and Evacuation is for pregnancies that are too far along for a D&C due to the size of the fetus. D&E dilates the cervix and uses forceps to remove the fetus piece by piece. This procedure requires anesthesia, and typically women are prescribed antibiotics or OTC pain relievers after the procedure.

Risks of a surgical abortion can include:

  • Infection
  • Cervical tears or lacerations
  • Uterine perforation
  • Retained fetal tissue (incomplete abortion – this could lead to severe infection and may require additional surgical procedures)
  • Scarring of the inner lining of the uterus (Asherman syndrome)
  • Bleeding
  • Allergic or adverse reactions to medications

You may experience infertility or issues with future pregnancies if any of these complications arise.

All information from Mayo Clinic & Healthline

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Disclaimer: TryLife Center & TLC Clinic do not perform or refer for abortion procedures.