Considering an Abortion?
Are you pregnant? Do you think you may be pregnant? If so, you may find yourself wondering what your options are. At this point, you may begin looking for abortion information and wondering who to trust. The decisions you’re facing are stressful enough as it is. You need to know the risks, benefits, and alternatives of your choices. Otherwise, you can’t give informed consent for your reproductive health decisions. Our goal is to equip you with the facts about the abortion pill, and surgical abortion so you can make an informed decision about your pregnancy.
So how do we start? Well, first things first. You’ll want to confirm whether you’re pregnant or not.
Am I Pregnant? The Urine Test
A urine test will identify the pregnancy hormone, also known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). They are highly accurate in their detection of hCG levels. But, if you took the test BEFORE the day you were supposed to get your period, you might not get an accurate result. The hCG concentration increases each day during early pregnancy. Now that time has gone by, you’ll get a more accurate reading.
Two Options for Urine Testing
Your first option is the home pregnancy test. These have been on the market for several decades and tend to be quite accurate. If you go this route, make sure your test is not expired and that you carefully follow the instructions.
Taking a pregnancy test can be nerve-wracking. Do you need moral support when you look for one or two pink lines? Rather than testing alone, get a free pregnancy test at NAME OF CENTER.
Going into a clinic for your urine test helps take away some of the stress of human error. Those at the clinic have supported others through this process many times before. You’ll have the assurance that knowledgeable people are helping you. Getting clinical testing is also an opportunity to gather more information in a safe, confidential setting.
So let’s say you go to a clinic and take a test that is positive. You’ll probably be told that the test is positive, rather than being told that you’re pregnant. There are many factors involved in a positive reading, and you may wonder about the status of your pregnancy.
As effective as these tests are, there’s always the chance for error. That’s why you’ll want to confirm your pregnancy with an ultrasound. This is something we can do for you right here at our office. The ultrasound will confirm whether you have a viable pregnancy. It will also give you a more accurate age of your pregnancy.
Another thing to consider at this point is making an appointment with your physician. Don’t have a physician? No problem. Life-Options can help you find one right for you. If you don’t already have someone in mind, your physician can refer you to an OB/GYN. Since you’re sexually active, you’ll want to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Not Ready? Educate Yourself with Abortion Information
Many young women go through the steps already mentioned and, for one reason or another, do not feel ready to continue the pregnancy. The most important thing at this point is to gather all the abortion facts you can. This way, you can make an educated decision moving forward. You’re probably asking questions like “What is abortion?” “Is it different at each stage of pregnancy?” and “Are there any risks associated with abortion?” We’ll now take a look at some information on abortion to get a clearer picture.
Abortion Information and Facts
What is Abortion?
No article on abortion information would be complete without a definition. According to the CDC, “legal induced abortion” is “an intervention performed by a licensed clinician…that is intended to terminate an ongoing pregnancy.” That said, there are several types of possible abortions. While there are different ways to break these types down, we’ll simplify it here.
Miscarriage can be defined as “a pregnancy that ends on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation.” This is the most common form of pregnancy loss, with 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies ending in miscarriage. This usually occurs during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage, while known as “spontaneous abortion,” is not what we mean when we say “abortion.” It is not a procedure by a healthcare provider. It is different from the other information about medical abortions covered here.
What is the Abortion Pill?
Is it the same as Plan B? How much does it cost? Is it safe?
Great questions! The abortion pill is not the same as Plan B, also known as the Morning After Pill. The Morning After Pill, or levonorgestrel, is a form of emergency contraception. Plan B prevents pregnancy by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg), thus preventing conception (the joining of sperm and egg.) If conception and implantation have already taken place, Plan B won’t end an existing pregnancy.
Back to the abortion pill.
Over 50% of abortions are medical abortions with the abortion pill. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 54% of US abortions in 2020 were medication abortions.
Medical abortion is actually two prescription pills, mifepristone and misoprostol. Cost can vary from state to state with different insurance, but is in the ballpark of $500. As with any medication, you should be fully informed of possible side effects. You can’t give informed consent for your reproductive health decisions unless you know the risks, benefits, and alternatives of your choices.
Let’s start with general abortion pill benefits.
You won’t be pregnant anymore unless the pills don’t work.
Abortion pill risks:
A common risk is heavy bleeding, which can be confusing because the pills abort the pregnancy by causing bleeding. Call your doctor if you have concerns such as fever, vomiting, passing out, or other symptoms listed here.
If the medical abortion only partially clears out the pregnancy, any remaining tissues can become infected. You’ll need to have a surgical abortion to remove the infection. (Fever is one possible sign of infection.)
It’s possible that the drugs won’t end the pregnancy. The abortion pill is less effective as time goes on, and cannot be used after 10 weeks gestation, per the FDA. Failure of the pill starts at 2% before 8 weeks, and increases to 13% at 10 weeks. (Some clinics ignore the FDA and give out pills at 11 weeks without acknowledging the increased risks.)
Ectopic pregnancies are pregnancies that are located outside the uterus, often in the fallopian tubes. They can be life-threatening. Medical abortion does not cause ectopic pregnancies, but it does not abort them either. In fact, taking the abortion pill can make an ectopic pregnancy even more of a threat to your life. Before taking abortion pills, you should get an ultrasound to screen for an ectopic pregnancy.
You may be allergic to mifepristone, misoprostol, or one of their ingredients. You must avoid eating grapefruit. These drugs may interact with over-the-counter and prescription drugs you take. Tell your doctor if you have an IUD or are breastfeeding. Before any medical procedure, you should talk to your doctor about your health history.
No one who seeks an abortion thinks they’ll regret it, just like no one who gets a tattoo thinks they will regret it. And yet, after the fact, some people have regrets. (3,000 women reversed their pill abortion and saved their babies.)
Ultrasound can estimate the age of your pregnancy. Life-Options offers free ultrasounds to check the age and health of your pregnancy. All the services at Life-Options are no-cost, which means no credit card, no insurance required, and no bias. (The center does not benefit financially from your decisions and won’t give you the hard sell for pills or procedures.) You can schedule a free, confidential visit to talk about all your options. Or if you don’t want to leave the house you can call and chat confidentially over the phone. (We haven’t figured out how to give ultrasounds by phone yet.) Either way, you can talk while non-judgmental staff listen.
One method of surgical abortion is called an aspiration abortion. This is another type of abortion that occurs in the first trimester. The patient must be dilated before the procedure takes place. The abortion practitioner then uses either a plastic cannula or a hand-held syringe to pull the baby out of the uterus. Early-stage aspiration abortions are done between 5-9 weeks. They can, however, be done between 10-14 weeks if using a machine-operated pump.
Another method of surgical abortion is known as dilation and evacuation. This is the method used during the second trimester. It involves vacuum aspiration as well as forceps to remove the baby from the uterus. If it’s been more than 13 weeks since your last menstrual period, a dilation and evacuation is most likely the type of abortion you’ll be having. While this is typically an outpatient procedure, risks increase as your pregnancy progresses.
Risks Associated with Abortion
We just mentioned the fact that risks increase as your pregnancy progresses. That brings up an important topic many women are looking for when seeking abortion information. So what are the risks?
- Cervical trauma. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Women who have multiple surgical abortion procedures may also have more risk of trauma to the cervix.” Cervical insufficiency can pose problems like preterm birth for future pregnancies.
- Increased risk of breast cancer. Studies have listed “induced abortion” as a risk factor.
- Emotional side effects related to abortion, whether the abortion was planned or not.
- An increased risk of mental health problems. (For example, substance use and suicidality.)
- Increased risk of dying within one year after the abortion. This study compared abortion outcomes with birth and miscarriage. The CDC found that from 2008 to 2013, for every 100,000 reported legal abortions, 0.62 led to later abortion-related deaths. And this statistic is not complete. Only 32 US states provide abortion data through 2020, and 3 don’t provide any data. One of those is California, which hosts a population of over 39 million. That means there are a lot of deaths that are most likely not reported and not included in the data set.
Pulmonary thromboembolism (a blood clot in the lung) is an infrequent yet serious complication of induced abortion. Risk factors include obesity, use of oral contraceptives, previous thrombophlebitis, or type A blood.
So What’s Right For You?
It’s important for you to gather accurate pregnancy and abortion information so you can make an informed decision. You hold key insights as to what’s going on in your life and what your future will look like. But people are here waiting to help. Do you need someone to talk to?
Call, email, or visit Life-Options to learn more about abortion, parenting, and adoption. You’ll get a thoughtful, non-judgmental response on the other end. Please note, our center doesn’t provide or perform abortions but can provide the abortion information you need. We’re here to help you choose the best next steps for your life.
Disclaimer: This website and blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Content from this website is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for educational use only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.