Contra(miscon)ception: Are You Really in Birth “Control”?

What’s your contraceptive of choice?  Most women select their birth control method based simply on what best fits their lifestyle.  However, you might be surprised to learn that they’re not all as safe as you think.  In fact, your birth control’s safety and effectiveness depends on more than just the method you choose. The main […]

Ectopic Pregnancy

Pregnancy begins at conception, when an egg is fertilized by the sperm. Conception usually occurs in the fallopian tube. In a healthy pregnancy the zygote implants somewhere in the uterine wall. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg (zygote)  most commonly implants in the fallopian tube. However, ectopic pregnancy can also occur in the ovary, […]

thinking about abortion risks

Are There Any Risks to Having an Abortion?

Our job is not to give you an ultrasound scan – although we do that; it’s not to give you STI screening – although we do that; it’s not to give you a personalized solutions assessment – although we do that. Our job is to give you peace of mind. Our job is to give you support and security, such that abortion isn’t the first thing you think about, it’s the last thing you think about.”

In order to weigh your options, you’ll need to be well-informed.  How much do you know about the abortion procedures available?  All procedures come with potential risks and side effects.  The treatment options recommended by your medical specialist should be determined by medical confirmation of pregnancy and how far along in the pregnancy you are (gestational age of the baby).

Other health and social factors should be considered by the medical provider as well before he or she recommends a treatment plan. These considerations are for the purpose of protecting your future reproductive and emotional health and would include things like Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) testing and treatment and understanding of your beliefs about whether a human life begins at conception.

The following are the 4 main types of abortion procedures:

Method 1 – (within 9 weeks) – Mifepristone and Misoprostol pills also knonwn as RU-486 are administered orally under a physician’s (MD or DO) supervision and cause the baby to detach from the uterine wall and contractions to begin. The FDA recommends a three stage treatment process over a two week period including two separate doses with follow-up. This method has an 8-10% failure rate. Failure typically means that the baby was not successfully separated from the mother in whole or in part and may still be alive. There are serious health warnings associated with this drug. Side effects to the mother can include nausea, cramping and infection, and are more serious for those in high risk groups.

Method 2 – (within 6-12 weeks) – A surgical procedure called a vacuum aspiration may be performed at a clinic or medical office.  Side effects to the mother can include, but are not limited to, nausea, cramping and infection.

Method 3 – (within 12-15 weeks) – A surgical procedure called a D&C (Dilation & Curettage) is typically performed at a clinic or medical office. Side effects to the mother can include, but are not limited to, nausea, cramping, and infection. Risks include damage to the cervix and uterus and the possibility of failure. Failure can occur when all baby parts are not completely removed, resulting in infection and/or the necessity for a second procedure.

Method 4 – (between 15 and 21 weeks) – A surgical procedure called a D&E (Dilation & Evacuation) is necessary.  This procedure should be performed in a hospital setting due to it’s increased risk for complications, including hemorrhaging, blood clots and damage to the cervix and uterus.  Other risks include the possibility of failure and infection.

It is your right and responsibility to be well informed about the risks and side effects of the abortion procedure you’re considering. This would include receiving clear documentation of pregnancy confirmation and gestational age from the specialist recommending the procedure. In addition to the medical risks, there are very real emotional risks associated with abortion.  A common initial reaction after receiving an abortion may be one of relief1.  However, emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and seemingly unassociated, self-destructive behavior can also follow and should not be dismissed when considering your options.

CompassCare exists to provide a confidential, professional atmosphere where you can get free, nonjudgmental, unbiased, and confidential medical services. Nurses are available for same day and next day appointments.
Schedule a Free Consultation or pre-termination evaluation.

  1. Adler NE, et al. “Psychological factors in abortion: a review.” American Psychologist, 1992, 47(10): 1194-1204