It’s essential to talk to your healthcare provider before any medical procedure. You should know what to expect. The same is true of abortion. At Cornerstone, we don’t think you should have to guess. We want you to understand the different abortion procedures, side effects, and potential risks so you’re fully prepared.

Are You Less Than 10 Weeks Pregnant?

How far along you are in your pregnancy determines the abortion method used. The FDA approves using the abortion pill method to end a pregnancy only up to ten weeks of gestation (70 days or fewer since the first day of a patient’s last menstrual period). The Mayo Clinic recommends not using this method past nine weeks. 

If you are eligible for the abortion pill method, the abortion provider prescribes two drugs. Mifepristone, the first drug, blocks the hormone progesterone from reaching the pregnancy. Without progesterone, the pregnancy cannot survive.

The second drug, misoprostol, is taken 24 to 48 hours later. This drug causes contractions to expel the pregnancy from your body. You can expect bleeding and cramping with most abortions, but the abortion pill procedure also has the following side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever 
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea

Possible risks of the abortion pill include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by a surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection

Have You Been Pregnant Longer Than Ten Weeks?

Although some abortion providers continue using the abortion pill method after the recommended time, you may need a surgical abortion. The length of your pregnancy determines the surgical procedure. 

For instance, in your first trimester (up through 12 weeks), you could have suction or vacuum aspiration. As your pregnancy progresses, the abortion provider might use a sharp, spoon-shaped instrument to scrape the lining of your uterus or forceps to remove larger pieces of the pregnancy.

What Do I Need to Do Before An Abortion?

At Cornerstone, we provide a free pregnancy test and ultrasound. Even if you’ve taken an at-home test, confirm your results with another pregnancy test. If it is positive, we’ll provide you with an ultrasound.

Why Do I Need an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound answers three critical questions.

  1. How far along am I?
  2. Is my pregnancy viable (growing), or have I had a miscarriage? (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage).
  3. Is my pregnancy located in the correct place? If not, it could be a life-threatening health issue.

Discussing your mental and physical health with a healthcare professional is essential. Our medical team can give you more information on abortion procedures, the side effects to expect, and what potential risks to watch out for.

You Deserve to Be Prepared

Schedule a free and confidential appointment with Cornerstone Women’s Resource Center. We support you no matter what decision you make. You deserve to have truthful information and learn about all your options.

At Cornerstone, we’re here for you. Contact us today!