When surprised by an unexpected pregnancy, women tend to panic first and think second. It’s understandable. You’re busy with life, either working, going to school, or both. And boom! You’re faced with a pregnancy you weren’t planning on.

Maybe your first thought is abortion. Many women decide to abort out of panic, manipulation, or fear. Then, they come back and think about it later. They wish their partner had spoken up or their parents weren’t so angry.

Are you considering abortion for your unexpected pregnancy? How much do you really know about procedures, side effects, and possible complications? We want you to have the facts before you make a decision so begin with free pregnancy testing at our Center.

Types of Abortion

There are basically two types of abortion methods, medical and surgical. How far along you are in your pregnancy determines which you qualify for. 

If you are no more than 11 weeks and 0 days into your pregnancy, you would qualify for medical abortion in Minnesota. Many states recommend a woman not go past her 10th week for a safer medical abortion. Any longer and you would have a surgical abortion.

Medical Abortion

A medical or medication abortion uses drugs to terminate a pregnancy. An abortion pill is a form of medical abortion. It isn’t just one pill and your done. It’s two powerful drugs taken within a  24 to 48 hour period. 

The first drug in a medication abortion thins the lining of the uterus preventing the pregnancy from staying attached and growing. The second drug causes the uterus to contract to expel the pregnancy. 

The Mayo Clinic lists these as potential risks of medical abortion:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Surgical Abortion

If you’re farther into your pregnancy than 11 weeks, you would have a surgical abortion. Surgical abortions are performed in-clinic and require anesthesia, dilation of the cervix, and various medical instruments. 

Obviously, the longer you’ve been pregnant, the more invasive the surgery will be. After you’ve received anesthesia, the doctor will dilate your cervix. If you’ve been pregnant between 11 and 13 weeks, you’ll have a D & C (dilation and curettage) using a vacuum to remove the pregnancy. 

Between 13 and 15 weeks, the doctor would perform a D & E (dilation and evacuation). In addition to the vacuum, instruments are used to scrape the lining of the uterus to make sure all pregnancy tissue is removed. After 16 weeks, the doctor will perform a D & X (dilation and extraction) usually involving forceps to remove the pregnancy.

The Mayo Clinic lists these as potential risks of surgical abortion:

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

Your Next Step

We encourage you to come to Robbinsdale Women’s Center for free pregnancy testing. Our lab-quality tests are administered by a medical professional so you can be assured you’re getting accurate results.

If the pregnancy test is positive, we’ll provide a free ultrasound so you can get valuable information. An ultrasound will tell you how far along you are which will determine the abortion method you’ll qualify for. 

After the ultrasound, we can chat about all of your options. Our caring staff is here to give you the information, encouragement, and support you need during this time.

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