Think you might be unexpectedly pregnant? It’s understandable that you might not know where to start. As you consider your options, learn all the details about each potential path for you.
Abortion and adoption may be two of the options you’re currently considering. You may have a picture in your mind of what each entails—but do you have the full picture?
Take a deep breath—we’re here to help fill you in on what you need to know before taking your next steps. This is an important choice that has life-changing consequences, so make sure you are making a confident, informed decision.
How Does Abortion Work?
Although it may sound simple and easy, abortion is a serious medical procedure with associated risks and side effects. You deserve to know all the facts about what abortion entails before you make your choice.
Depending on how far along in your pregnancy you are, up to two abortion methods may be an option for you.
Abortion Types & Risks
Medical or medication abortion—more commonly referred to as the abortion pill—is used to terminate early pregnancies, up to 10 weeks.
Medication abortion actually a two-step process involving two separate doses of medication. The first, mifepristone, is typically taken at an abortion clinic and works by blocking the pregnancy hormone progesterone, preventing the pregnancy from progressing.
The second dose, misoprostol, is taken hours or sometimes even a day later. This dose causes the uterus to contract, expelling the pregnancy and remaining tissue from the uterus through the vagina.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are potential physical risks of the abortion pill:
- Incomplete abortion
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
For later pregnancies, surgical abortion is an abortion method performed inside a clinic or hospital. As this is a more invasive procedure, it is typically performed by a physician and often involves some form of sedation.
In one common form of surgical abortion known as dilation & curettage, the physician or provider uses medication to dilate (open) the cervix and medical instruments to scrape or lightly suction the pregnancy from the uterus.
The Mayo Clinic quotes the following as potential physical risks of surgical abortion:
- Perforation (tearing or puncture) of the uterus
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
- Excessive bleeding
- Dizziness or fever
- Severe cramping
It is also worth considering that many women report psychological or emotional effects following an abortion. Take the time to think through how each pregnancy option may affect your whole-person health.
Is Adoption Right for Me?
Adoption is a tough choice to make that should not be taken lightly. However, it can be an incredibly rewarding path that provides a bright future for both you and your child.
The process of adoption today probably looks a good bit different than the picture you have in your head. In partnership with an adoption agency, birth moms can choose from a number of types of adoption to control what level of contact after the child’s birth is most comfortable and healthy for them.
Most adoption agencies have comprehensive processes and plans in place to facilitate choosing an adoptive family with the help of complete profiles and background checks. The extensive information provided to birth parents can help them feel confident and secure in their choice, and increase reassurance that the child will be healthy and loved in a safe and caring family.
Types of Adoption
Adoption plans can be open, closed, or semi-open. Both birth parents make the adoption decision together.
Open adoption allows the birth parents and adoptive family to exchange contact information to maintain ongoing communication and relationship with the child. In many cases, this knowledge of the child’s well-being and the chance for in-person visits and a relationship can be comforting.
On the other end of the spectrum, closed adoption keeps the birth parents’ information private, and no contact is maintained with the child. Semi-open adoption plans involve some measure of contact, typically facilitated in partnership with the adoption agency.
It is worth considering that the choice for adoption may also involve some emotional effects. Adoption is a difficult choice to make, and it may be wise to be prepared for feelings of grief, sadness, or uncertainty—but also relief, joy, love, or security. Making an adoption plan can be a rewarding experience that allows both birth parents and child an incredible chance at a healthy, stable future.
Schedule Your Free Appointment To Navigate Your Options
Navigating a pregnancy decision is a difficult journey, but there are helpful resources available to you. It may serve you well to discuss your options with a trusted, caring professional.
At Pathways Clinic, we’d love to provide you with a no-cost appointment to confirm your pregnancy and discuss the options and resources at your disposal, no matter what you decide.
Our medical team can help you answer a number of questions about your unique pregnancy situation, including how far along you are and if any other medical complications such as ectopic pregnancy may affect the options available to you.
The choice is yours, but we’re here to help. Schedule your free appointment today to prioritize your health and future!