woman considering abortion

Unplanned pregnancies can bring on a lot of fear and anxiety. The urge to find a speedy solution might feel right, but haste could cause you to make a decision you later regret. 

If you’re considering abortion, it’s wise to educate yourself on what’s available and learn the risks of each procedure.

Take a deep breath; you have time to figure out what’s best for your health and future. 

Below is a summary of the different types of abortions, how they work, and the risks associated with each. 

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion terminates an early pregnancy, no more than 10 weeks gestation,as approved by the FDA. The process is accomplished by taking two different medications: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Mifepristone is given first and causes the uterus lining to thin, forcing the pregnancy to detach and die. 

About 24-48 hours later, misoprostol is administered, which causes uterine contractions and heavy bleeding to expel the pregnancy and tissue from the womb. 


Serious complications from a medical abortion are rare; however, complications still happen, and it’s best to be prepared for any scenario. 

Risks associated with a medical abortion include: 

  • Infection
  • Heavy, prolonged bleeding
  • Incomplete abortion
  • Injury to the uterus

Surgical Abortion

While a medical abortion may be completed at home under your doctor’s instruction, a surgical abortion must be done at a clinic or hospital. 

Several options are available for a surgical abortion, depending on how far along the pregnancy is. 

One option is a suction procedure. The procedure begins by dilating the cervix to access the womb. Once the cervix is open, a small hose is inserted into the uterus to suction and remove the pregnancy tissue. 

A dilation and curettage (D&C) is typically used for women further in their pregnancies. 

The process for dilation and evacuation begins once again by opening the cervix. Next, doctors will insert forceps to pull apart and remove the pregnancy a few small pieces at a time. Once the large pieces have been removed, the provider will gently scrape the inside of the uterus to make sure no tissue is left behind – as this can cause serious infections. 

Risks and Side Effects

Risks associated with surgical abortions include: 

  • Uterine perforation
  • Infection
  • Damage to cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall (Asherman’s Syndrome) 

Next Steps

If you’re struggling with an unwanted pregnancy and unsure of how to move forward, Ventura Pregnancy Center is here to support you. 

Our center offers women no-cost pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, abortion information, and parenting education. 

While we do not offer or refer women for abortions, we do offer compassionate, informative care to help you make the best decision for you. 

Call or request an appointment online at your convenience. We’re cheering for your future.

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