When you first learned about your unplanned pregnancy, we imagine you were surprised, very surprised. We get it. No one is fully prepared for that type of news. As you have thought about a solution, we imagine you may be considering abortion.

What Do I Need to Know About Abortion?

An abortion is a medical procedure terminating a pregnancy. We want you to be as informed as possible about abortion procedures, side effects, and possible risks. Schedule an appointment with a client advocate. We will share abortion facts and answer your questions. At Alpha, it costs nothing to sit and talk.

Two Types of Abortion Procedures

How far along you are in your pregnancy determines what kind of abortion you have. That is why it is crucial to have an ultrasound before making a decision. The ultrasound tells you the date of conception and how far along your pregnancy is.

Medication Abortion

The abortion pill (RU486) is known as a medication abortion. This procedure can only occur before your first nine or ten weeks of pregnancy. You actually take a series of two drugs. The first drug causes the lining of your uterus to thin so the embryo cannot stay implanted. The second drug causes your uterus to cramp to help your body expel the pregnancy. While it does not require an invasive procedure like surgical abortion, a medication abortion has known complications and side effects. For instance, there is the possibility of an incomplete abortion.

Surgical Abortion

If you’re further than nine or ten weeks along, the abortion pill won’t be an option for you. You will need to have a surgical abortion. A surgical abortion is an invasive procedure that must be performed in a medical clinic with medical staff. There are a number of different types, depending on how far along your pregnancy is, but all involve injections, dilation and a suction device. The side effects are more intense and there is a greater possibility for long-term complications. You should always make sure the clinic knows how to handle any complications that might arise during your abortion procedure.

Side Effects and Possible Risks

Whether you’re able to have a medication or surgical abortion, it’s important to remember both are serious medical procedures. Like any others, it comes with a variety of side effects, risks, and long-term impact.

Common physical side effects include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Possible damage to your cervix*
  • Potential for a perforated uterus**

In addition, you need to take into consideration the emotional effects of abortion. Many women report feelings of guilt, shame, depression, and worse after their abortion.

Your Next Step

Prior to any abortion, you will need to verify your pregnancy and find out how far along you are. Through pregnancy testing and limited ultrasound at Alpha PRC, we can answer those questions for you. Both services are free and completely confidential.

If you have questions or want to know more about abortion procedures and the possible side effects, please call us. We want you to be fully informed. You are not in this alone. We are here for you. Talk with us before making a decision about your unplanned pregnancy.


*Mayo Clinic – scarring of the inner lining of the uterus

**Mayo Clinic – perforation of the uterus