Abortion is a decision you want to thoughtfully and carefully consider. It can have significant emotional and physical impacts on your health, so researching and receiving trustworthy information is essential.

The two main types of abortion procedures are medical abortion and surgical abortion. Each of these has side effects and possible risks you should be aware of before proceeding.

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion is FDA-approved for pregnancies up to 10 weeks gestation (70 days). The procedure uses two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, to end the pregnancy. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, a hormone that helps sustain the developing pregnancy. Misoprostol causes uterine contractions, which expel the pregnancy from the uterus.

You will experience vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping if you choose this option. You may also have side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever Chills

Though experiencing a complication from a medical abortion isn’t guaranteed, it is possible. These risks include:

  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • An ongoing pregnancy (if the abortion was unsuccessful)
  • Incomplete abortion (which may need to be treated with a surgical procedure)

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortions are usually performed later in pregnancy and use medications, surgical instruments, and suction. The most common surgical abortion procedure is dilation and curettage (D & C). This procedure has typical side effects of light spotting or vaginal bleeding and mild cramping.

Surgical abortion risks can be quite severe and cause significant complications. These risks include the following:

  • Uterine perforation
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall

Before an Abortion

Regardless of your pregnancy decision, you’ll want to confirm key pregnancy details with a limited ultrasound. Undergoing a complete physical examination and reviewing your medical history with a healthcare provider is also essential. You may be ineligible for abortion if you have certain conditions, allergies, or can’t attend follow-up appointments.

Pregnancy Options Center of Warren County’s advocates can provide information on abortion, adoption, and parenting. We’ll inform you about each abortion procedure, and our part-time registered nurses can answer your questions.

Our center is here to educate and inform you so you can make a confident decision. Contact us today to make an appointment.


Pregnancy Options Center of Warren County does not provide or refer for abortions.