If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you have a decision to make that will impact you for the rest of your life. At Southwest Options for Women, we believe the more knowledge you have, the better prepared you will be to make that decision. Your health and safety are our priority, so that’s why we talk to you about abortion. 

Do You Understand Abortion Procedures?

Even though abortion is in the news constantly, you rarely hear anyone explain the methods and how they can affect you physically and mentally. There are two types of abortion, medical (also known as the “abortion pill”) and surgical. Which method you have is determined by how far along you are in your pregnancy.

This article focuses on medical abortion because most abortions today use the abortion pill method. If your pregnancy is over 70 days, talk to us about surgical procedures and the potential side effects and risks involved.

Medical Abortion (aka the abortion pill method)

If you aren’t familiar with the abortion pill, it’s two drugs taken within a 24 to 48-hour period to terminate a pregnancy. The Mayo Clinic says, “Having a medical abortion is a major decision with emotional and psychological consequences. If you’re considering this procedure, make sure you understand what it entails, side effects, possible risks, complications and alternatives.”

The Method

The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the pregnancy hormone progesterone from reaching the uterus. Without progesterone, a pregnancy cannot survive. Misoprostol, the second drug, causes contractions to expel the pregnancy through your vagina.

Who Shouldn’t Use the Abortion Pill Method

The following are a few reasons why taking mifepristone could be dangerous:

  • Your pregnancy is further along than 70 days
  • You use an IUD
  • You have an ectopic pregnancy (the pregnancy is growing outside the uterus)
  • You have certain medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or uncontrolled seizures
  • You have a bleeding problem or take certain steroid medications
  • You cannot make a follow-up visit
  • You’re allergic to either drug
  • You are taking prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
  • You do not have access to emergency care

Potential Physical Risks of Abortion 

The following are a few of the physical risks when using the abortion pill method:

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

Potential Emotional Risks of Abortion

The National Library of Medicine states:

  • “Abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion.”
  • “The abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems for at least some women.”
  • “There are risk factors, such as pre-existing mental illness, that identify women at greatest risk of mental health problems after an abortion.”

Would You Like More Information?

As you can see, our caring team at Southwest Options for Women wants you to be fully informed. We recommend before moving forward with any abortion, you speak with a healthcare provider, take a reliable pregnancy test, have an ultrasound, and discuss your current health history, including medications.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, schedule an appointment with us. We’re here to give you the care and knowledge you need to make the best choice for your future.