Many women will consider abortion in their lifetimes- as many as 1 in 4 women will undergo an abortion procedure. Before you move forward with an abortion, equip yourself with the known risks and facts.
What is abortion?
Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy by the removal of an embryo or fetus. There are two main types of abortion: chemical abortion and surgical abortion. Which method is used typically depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Chemical abortion, or the abortion pill, is a combination of two different drugs administered at different times to end your pregnancy. The fetus is typically dispelled in the patient’s home after the second medication is taken orally. Surgical abortion procedures are used at 4-24 weeks gestation and occur in an abortion facility. During these procedures the cervix is dilated and the abortion provider will use different instruments like a curette, suction tools, or forceps. The exact surgical procedure will depend on how developed the fetus is.
The side effects for both medical and surgical abortion include cramping, bleeding, nausea, diarrhea, and pain. Some women experience emotional or psychological risks after an abortion- like anger, guilt, long-term grief, or suicidal thoughts.
Chemical (medication) Abortion
It’s important to know that only women 10 weeks pregnant or earlier are eligible for chemical abprtion abortion. Since about three fourths of abortions were performed at ≤9 weeks’ gestation, this is a popular option. There are two abortion drugs involved in medication abortion, Mifepristone and Misoprostol whose side effects include:
Incomplete abortion (which would mean a surgical abortion would still be required to complete the abortion)
Some of the surgical abortion methods, Dilation & Curettage and Dilation & Evacuation are done without the provider being able to see into your uterus, which increases the risk of perforation (where the abortion tools may accidentally push through the wall of your uterus). The type of surgical abortion procedure you receive depends on how far along you are, only known through an ultrasound. The risks of surgical abortion include:
Damage to the womb or cervix
Heavy and prolonged bleeding
Infection of the uterus or Fallopian tubes
Scarring of the inside of the uterus
Emotional trauma and mental health complications
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) caused by abortions obtained while infected with ChlamydiaThe most important step when considering an abortion is getting an ultrasound. Ultrasounds provide valuable information about your health and pregnancy- like gestational, age, viability, and location. This typically informs what kind of abortion you would be eligible for as well as costs associated. You can also check out our free abortion safety checklist before you proceed.
While abortion laws are ever-changing, at this time there are no abortion providers in Kentucky. However, at Clarity we provide pre-abortion appointments to help you get answers to all of your questions and get the medical services you need as you process your decision. All of our services are offered for free by a licensed, medical professional. you make the choice that’s best for you!
Broen AN, Moum T, Bødtker AS, Ekeberg O. The course of mental health after miscarriage and induced abortion: a longitudinal, five-year follow-up study. BMC Med. 2005;3:18.