Abortion Information

Before an Abortion

If you think you might be pregnant and are trying to make a pregnancy decision, there are many choices facing you. It can be overwhelming. You might be considering options such as abortion that you have not previously thought about. At our center, we are here to help you weigh those options and offer you the support you might need. There are some important things to think about if you are considering abortion and we are here to help you regardless of your situation.

Before having an abortion, it is important to have your pregnancy confirmed. There are many reasons that you could have missed your period or that you are experiencing other symptoms of pregnancy. Taking a pregnancy test is a good first step. Visit us or contact us and you will be able to schedule an appointment. During your appointment, we will perform or refer you for a pregnancy test, help you with any questions you might have, and support you as you move forward.

If you have had a positive pregnancy test, it is important to have an ultrasound  to confirm your pregnancy and give you important information you need before you make a pregnancy decision. An ultrasound will provide information such as, if your pregnancy is viable (a living baby with heartbeat), the gestational age of your pregnancy, and if the  pregnancy is growing inside your uterus. All of this information affects the choices available to you.

Contact us today. We would be glad to talk with you about your options and schedule or refer you for your ultrasound. Everything at our center is confidential so your privacy will never be compromised.

The Abortion Pill, Medication Abortion, RU-486, Medical Abortion, Chemical Abortion[1]

The abortion pill – Approved by the FDA through 10 weeks of pregnancy but availability is often extended beyond that limit.

The abortion pill goes by many names, including medication abortion, early medical abortion, RU-486, Mifeprex (mifepristone) and misoprostol, and chemical abortion. When used beyond the first trimester, laminaria (small rods) may be used to dilate the cervix and sometimes digoxin is injected into the baby during the abortion process.

Note: Mifepristone is approved by the FDA for use up to 10 weeks after your last menstrual period, but abortion providers may choose to offer the procedure later than that. Misoprostol has not been approved for use in pregnancy.

The abortion pill regimen  typically requires taking two drugs; the most common drugs used are mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone lowers  progesterone to unsafe levels in pregnancy. Progesterone is a hormone that plays an important role in sustaining a pregnancy and in a baby's development. In a chemical abortion, mifepristone is followed by misoprostol, which is meant to cause uterine contractions with symptoms of severe cramping and bleeding. When and how these medications are administered may vary based on the laws in your area, and the procedures of the clinic you choose. Women who choose the abortion pill are often responsible for self-managing some (or all) of the procedure, so it’s important to gather as much information as possible as you make a decision about your pregnancy.

In order to make sure you’re safe, here are a few things you can do ahead of time:

  1. Make sure that you are pregnant. Have you had a pregnancy test yet? If so, have you had an ultrasound? Some women seek abortion unnecessarily before confirming they are pregnant.
  2. Did your ultrasound confirm that your pregnancy is growing inside your uterus? The abortion pill will not typically end an ectopic pregnancy, and your life could be in danger if you do not receive immediate treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. .

If you’re not sure whether you are pregnant, we offer free pregnancy testing.

  1. Know how far along you are. Always ask for a doctor or other qualified medical professional (registered nurse or sonographer) for an ultrasound to make sure you’re pregnant and within the 10 weeks the FDA requires.

Not sure where to get an ultrasound? Call us today. We can help.

  1. Learn about the procedure. Ask the abortion provider what their procedure is for chemical abortion.

Our center can offer education about abortion.

  1. Know your options. Making an abortion decision is not easy, and you do have alternatives. Educating yourself on all options is empowering.

Whenever you need us, we can help.

  1. Stay Safe. Seek medical attention after an abortion if you have any of these symptoms:
  • Heavy bleeding — soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Fever lasting more than 24 hours
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge 
  1. If you’ve already taken the abortion pill, contact us for support resources.
  2. If you have recently taken the abortion pill and are having regret, it may be possible to undo the effects of abortion drugs. Learn more here.

Surgical Abortion (Aspiration Abortion, Dilation & Evacuation Abortion)

A surgical procedure removes the fetus from the uterus through the vagina. The procedure is typically done using suction or an instrument called a curet. Different processes are used depending on the gestational age of your pregnancy. If you are unsure how far along you are, contact us for a free ultrasound to confirm your dates.

The type of surgical abortion you have will depend on how far along you are. Suction abortion (also called vacuum aspiration) is the most common while Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is another kind of in-clinic abortion procedure often used for pregnancies late in the second trimester.

Here are some steps to a typical surgical abortion:

  • Depending on how far along you are, dilators (rods) might be used to open the cervix prior to the abortion.
  • You will be on the exam table in the same position used for a pelvic exam, with your feet on stirrups while lying on your back.
  • The abortion provider will insert a speculum into the vagina.
  • The vagina and cervix will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
  • A numbing medicine (local anesthetic) will often be injected in the cervix.
  • Sometimes other medicines for pain or sedation will be given by mouth or through a vein.
  • The abortion provider will grasp the cervix with an instrument to hold the uterus in place.
  • Your cervix will then be opened (dilated) with a small instrument.
  • A tube (cannula) will be inserted into the cervical canal, and suction will be used to remove the baby and pregnancy tissue from the uterus. During this process, the uterus will contract which will cause cramping. Some women also may have nausea or sweating or feel faint.
  • Sometimes a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure is needed after a vacuum aspiration if all of the tissue has not been removed. D&C uses a sharp surgical instrument to clear tissue from the uterus.

In order to make sure you’re safe, here are a few things you can do ahead of time:

  1. Make sure that you are pregnant. Have you had a pregnancy test yet? If so, have you had an ultrasound? Some women seek abortion unnecessarily before finding out that they are pregnant.
  2. Know how far along you are. Always ask for a doctor or other qualified medical professional (registered nurse or sonographer) to provide an ultrasound to confirm your dates.

Not sure where to get an ultrasound? Call us today. We can help.

  1. Learn about the procedure. Ask the abortion provider what procedure will be used for your abortion. You can ask as many questions as needed to understand the process.

Our center can offer education about abortion. Please contact us today for an appointment.

  1. Know your options. Making an abortion decision is not easy, and you do have alternatives. Educating yourself on all options is empowering.
  2. Stay Safe. Seek medical attention after an abortion if you have any of these symptoms:
  • Heavy bleeding - soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours
  • Signs of infection such as headache, muscle aches, dizziness, or a general feeling of illness. Severe infection is possible without fever.
  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • Hot flushes or a fever
  • Vomiting lasting more than 4 to 6 hours
  • Sudden abdominal swelling or rapid heart rate
  • Vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad
  • Pain, swelling, or redness in the genital area
  • Bleeding lasting longer than 2 weeks
  • New, unexplained symptoms
  • No menstrual period within 6 weeks
  • Signs and symptoms of depression.

Whenever you need us, we can help. 

Next Steps

If you are thinking about your pregnancy decision, you are not alone. There are many options available to you. At our center, we are here to talk with you about any choices you would like to discuss including abortion, adoption, or parenting. As with any medical procedure, it is important to understand what the abortion entails, side effects, possible risks, complications, and alternatives. If you are ready to talk to someone about your situation, contact us and we can provide you with confidential help.


References

Abortion Pill Reversal. (n.d.). https://abortionpillreversal.com/

American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (n.d.). AAPLOG statement on dismemberment abortion bans. https://aaplog.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/AAPLOG-Statement-on-DE-bans.pdf

American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (n.d.). AAPLOG statement on the necessity for informed consent before elective procedures on the pregnant woman. https://aaplog.org/aaplog-statement-on-the-necessity-for-informed-consent-before-elective-procedures-on-the-pregnant-woman/

American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (n.d.). AAPLOG statement on the necessity for ultrasound before elective procedures on the pregnant woman. https://aaplog.org/aaplog-statement-on-the-necessity-for-ultrasound-before-elective-procedures-on-the-pregnant-woman/

American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2020, February). Medication abortion. AAPLOG Practice Guideline, 8, 1-17. https://aaplog.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/PG-8-Medication-Abortion.pdf

American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2022, November). The reversal of the effects of mifepristone by progesterone. AAPLOG Practice Guideline, 6, 1-5. https://aaplog.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/PG-6-Reversal-of-the-Effects-of-Mifepristone-by-Progesterone.pdf

American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). Fetal development: How to calculate gestational age. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/while-pregnant/fetal-development/

American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). I need help with an unplanned pregnancy. https://americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/getting-help/

American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). What is hcg?. https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/hcg-levels/

Chasen, S. T., Kalish, R. B., Gupta, M., Kaufman, J. E., Rashbaum, W. K., & Chervenak, F. A. (2004). Dilation and evacuation at ≥20 weeks: Comparison of operative techniques. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 190(5), 1180-1183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2003.12.034.

Cleveland Clinic. (2022, September 28). Ultrasound in pregnancy. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/9704-ultrasound-in-pregnancy

Healthwise Staff. (2021, November 22). Dilation and evacuation (D&E). C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital: University of Michigan Health. https://www.mottchildren.org/health-library/tw2462

Healthwise Staff. (2021, November 22). Vacuum aspiration for abortion. University of Michigan Health. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tw1078

Mayo Clinic. (2021, October 19). Dilation and curettage (D&C). https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dilation-and-curettage/about/pac-20384910#std120864-sec

Mayo Clinic. (2022, March 12). Ectopic pregnancy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/symptoms-causes/syc-20372088

Mayo Clinic. (2022, July 29). Medical abortion. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/medical-abortion/about/pac-20394687

Mayo Clinic. (2021, December 03). Symptoms of pregnancy: What happens first. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853

Option Line. (n.d.). Abortion safety checklist. https://optionline.org/options/abortion-overview/abortion-safety-checklist/

Option Line. (n.d.). Considering abortion. https://optionline.org/options/abortion-overview/

Option Line. (n.d.). Medication abortion. https://optionline.org/options/abortion-overview/medication-abortion/

Option Line. (n.d.). Surgical abortions. https://optionline.org/options/abortion-overview/surgical-abortions/

Option Line. (n.d.). What are my pregnancy options?. https://optionline.org/options

Option Line. (n.d.). When should I take a pregnancy test?. https://optionline.org/pregnant/pregnancy-tests

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2023, April 24). Depression. https://www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/depression

Tufa, T. H., Prager, S., Lavelanet, A. F., & Kim, C. (2020). Drugs used to induce fetal demise prior to abortion: A systematic review. Contracept X, 2, 100046. doi: 10.1016/j.conx.2020.100046

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Questions and answers on mifepristone for medical termination of pregnancy through ten weeks gestation. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifepristone-medical-termination-pregnancy-through-ten-weeks-gestation

Villines, Z. (2023, February 21). Signs of womb damage after abortion. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/signs-of-womb-damage-after-abortion#is-it-possible