Abortion is a permanent choice that ends a pregnancy. If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and thinking about abortion as a next step, you deserve to know all the facts. By understanding the different types of abortion and the associated risks, you can be empowered to move forward with the decision that’s right for you. 

There are two main types of abortion: medical and surgical. While abortion is illegal in Missouri at the time of this writing, read on to learn more about each type. 

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion, also known as the “abortion pill,” is a series of two drugs taken 24-48 hours apart. The first drug, mifepristone, blocks progesterone in your body. Progesterone is a hormone that your body needs to maintain a pregnancy. Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours later, and it causes your uterus to contract and pushes out the pregnancy. 

The abortion pills are only approved through 10 weeks of pregnancy, and there are certain risks associated with these drugs, including heavy bleeding, painful cramping, and vomiting. Also, if you have certain pre-existing medical conditions and personal histories, medical abortion isn’t an option. Some of these situations include having kidney, lung, or heart disease, an intrauterine device (IUD) in place, or blood clotting disorders. 

Surgical Abortion 

There are different kinds of surgical abortions, but all involve dilating (opening) the cervix so medical instruments can reach the uterus and remove the pregnancy. 

The risks of surgical abortion include cervical damage, infection, heavy bleeding, and uterine scarring that could make menstrual periods more painful. However, this isn’t a complete list. There are also potential mental and emotional effects as well. 

Next Steps

Before considering an abortion, it’s important to safeguard your health. You can do this by talking to a healthcare provider to evaluate your medical history, as well as confirming your pregnancy age and location through an ultrasound. 

You’re Not Alone

While facing an unplanned pregnancy can feel scary, you’re not alone. At Pregnancy Help Center, we offer free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and other resources to help you make an informed decision about what to do next. Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment.