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What are the Different Types of Abortion?

There are two main types of abortion: surgical abortion and medication abortion. When considering this option, you deserve to understand the facts and risks before making up your mind. Feel confident in whatever step you take next.

You are not alone in your pregnancy journey. In this blog, get answers to your many abortion questions.

How Does Surgical Abortion Work?

The process of surgical abortion includes anesthesia and surgical instruments to remove a fetus and placenta from the mother’s womb (uterus). The procedure is completed at an abortion clinic or doctor’s office.

Surgical abortion involves dilating the cervix and using a suction tube to remove the fetus and related pregnancy contents from the uterus. There are two different types of surgical abortion procedures used, depending on the length of the pregnancy. Aspiration abortion is done up to 14-16 weeks of pregnancy, while a D&E (dilation and evacuation) abortion is done after the 14-16 week mark.

An ultrasound is necessary to know how far along you are in your pregnancy, determining what type of abortion you qualify for.

Risks of Surgical Abortion

There are many physical risks to consider when exploring the option of surgical abortion. Potential risks of surgical abortion include:

  • Damage to the womb or cervix
  • Uterine perforation
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection of the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Scarring of the inside of the uterus
  • Reaction to the medicines or anesthesia, such as problems breathing
  • Not removing all of the tissue, requiring another procedure

What is Medication Abortion?

Commonly known as the abortion pill, medication abortion is a pregnancy termination regimen involving two different drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. They are only recommended to be used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy (first 70 days).

The first drug, mifepristone works to block the womb from absorbing progesterone, a hormone only produced during pregnancy. Blocking this hormone prevents the embryo from implanting or growing any further.

Misoprostol goes a step further and causes the uterus to contract and remove the pregnancy through the vagina. Typically, Mifepristone is prescribed at an abortion clinic and Misoprostol is taken at home, 24 to 48 hours later.

Risks of Medication Abortion

There are some potential risks of medication abortion to think over before making a final decision, including:

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

Are You Eligible for Abortion?

To know what abortion options you’re eligible for, confirm your pregnancy with a lab-quality pregnancy test AND ultrasound at our clinic, free of charge.

At Pathways Clinic, we offer free-of-charge limited ultrasounds to determine the gestation (how many weeks pregnant you are), viability, and location of your pregnancy.

It’s vital that you don’t skip the pregnancy confirmation process, so you are alerted of any possible pregnancy complications. This could include a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (where the pregnancy grows outside of the uterus). If either of these is present, abortion is not needed, and a different medical procedure would treat these issues instead.

Schedule your appointment today to learn more.


Confidence Comes With Choosing Courage Over Fear.