Abortion is a permanent choice that ends a pregnancy and can affect you physically. While every woman is unique, certain side effects are common after abortion, and there are risks that, although less common, can have lasting health implications. 

If you’re considering an abortion, knowing all you can to protect your health and truly make an informed decision is essential. Want to talk to someone in person about your options? Contact Vie Medical Clinic to schedule a free, confidential appointment with one of our caring team members.

How Does Abortion Work?

There are two main types of abortion. While they both terminate a pregnancy, they work very differently. 

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion is FDA-approved for pregnancy under 10 weeks old and involves taking a combination of drugs. Mifepristone, the first drug used in abortion, blocks progesterone in your body. This hormone is needed to sustain a pregnancy; without it, the pregnancy will end. 

The second drug, misoprostol, causes the uterus to contract. This expels the pregnancy from the uterus and out through the vagina. 

Side Effects and Risks of Medical Abortion

Medical abortion is done at home, so knowing the side effects and risks to watch out for is essential. The main side effects include cramping and bleeding. Other effects you might experience include:

  • Fever/chills
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Potential risks, which are more severe but less common, include:

  • Incomplete abortion (which is when parts of the pregnancy remain in the uterus, which can lead to an infection)
  • Hemorrhaging (losing too much blood)

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortion is performed in a clinic. It involves opening the cervix so that a medical instrument can enter the uterus to remove the pregnancy—this is usually done through suction with a vacuum or scraping with a surgical tool. 

Side Effects and Risks of Surgical Abortion

The main side effects are cramping and bleeding, but the risks are more serious and include:

  • Cervical damage
  • Uterine perforation (which is when the medical instrument pokes a hole in the wall of the uterus)
  • Infection
  • Cervical scarring (which can cause painful menstrual periods)

How Will an Ultrasound Protect My Health?

If you’re considering an abortion, an ultrasound will reveal the key information that you need to know to stay safe, including:

  • Pregnancy age is especially important if you’re considering a medical abortion since receiving one after 10 weeks increases your chance of serious risks.
  • The location of your pregnancy is essential for ruling out a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.
  • Viability of your pregnancy—since roughly 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, it’s vital to know whether you’re still pregnant before seeking an abortion.

You’re Not Alone

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel scary, but you’re not alone. At Vie Medical Clinic, we understand what you’re going through. And we offer free pregnancy resources to help you feel empowered to make an informed decision. Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential appointment with one of our caring team members. We’re here for you, whether you’re seeking an ultrasound or someone to talk to.