Abortion Methods


Non-surgical Abortions (Medication Abortion)

*Used up to 70 days from LMP

First, your health care provider will give you an oral dose of mifepristone. This drug will interfere with the natural function of your body by softening and breaking down the lining of your uterus. You will take a second medicine- misoprostol to make your uterus contract to push the fetus from your body, in a process similar to labor. Your health care provider will give you instructions on how and when to take the second medicine.

•Used up to 49 days of pregnancy

This drug is FDA approved for treating certain cancers and rheumatoid arthritis. It is given orally or by injection. It works by stopping the growth of rapidly dividing cells. Three to seven days after methotrexate is taken, misoprostol is used vaginally to expel the baby.

*Abortion Pill Reversal: if you have changed your mind after taking the first pill (mifepristone) and want to continue your pregnancy call 877-558-0333 and/or visit www.abortionpillreversal.com or seek the help of an obstetrician immediately.


In-Clinic Abortion Procedures (Surgical Abortions)


*4-13 weeks LMP

For this procedure, you lie on your back with your feet in stirrups, and the health care provider may apply a shot of anesthetic to your cervix to reduce pain. Your cervical muscle is stretched, or “dilated,” until the opening is wide enough to allow the abortion tools to pass into your uterus. Next the health care provider will guide one end of a tube through the cervix and into your uterus. The tube is either attached to a suction machine or to a device called a “manual vacuum aspirator”. After suction is initiated with the machine, you will feel the suction, which is used to pull the placenta and embryo into parts small enough to pass out of your body through tube.

D & C (Dilation & Curettage)

*4-13 weeks LMP

The health care provider opens your cervix, as described above, but in this case a loop-shaped tool is used to scrape the wall of your uterus. This reduces the embryo and placenta into parts small enough to pull them out of your body through the cervix. Anesthesia is usually used for this procedure.

D & E (Dilation & Evacuation)

*13 weeks & up after LMP

The cervix must be opened wider than in a first trimester abortion Sometimes laminaria and/or vaginal medications are placed in the cervical opening the night before to soften the cervix.

Because the fetus is larger by this time, the health care provider may have to use a medical instrument called a forceps. This tool, is used to pull apart the fetus into small enough parts that are able to be removed from your body through the cervix.


Physical Risks

It’s tough to imagine the future and the impact this one decision will have on your life. Despite the pressure you feel, you need to weigh your options. Before you choose to have an abortion, carefully consider all of the risks.

General Side Effects

Side effects for both medication abortion and surgical abortions include cramping, bleeding, nausea, diarrhea, and pain.

The Abortion Pill (Medication Abortion)

The abortion pill doesn’t always cause an abortion. A surgical abortion is usually done to complete a failed medical abortion.

In-Clinic Abortion Procedures (Surgical Abortions)

In both D&C and D&E procedures, some bleeding is normal. However, there is a risk of severe bleeding known as hemorrhaging. This may result from cervical tears, uterine punctures, retained tissue, or when the uterus fails to contract after it is emptied. With both procedures, there is also a risk of infection. This infection could be from fetal parts mistakenly left inside (known as incomplete abortion). This may result in the need for a surgical procedure to fully empty the uterus. Infection may cause scarring of the pelvic organs.


Emotional | Psychological Risks

Some women may feel immediate feelings of relief following an abortion, but others find themselves facing feelings they did not expect. They may have a difficult time talking about these feelings. Some psychologists have labeled these problems as post-abortion stress. You may recognize some of the following side effects in your friends or family members who have had abortions. These are several of the outcomes you may experience after having an abortion.

  • sadness
  • anger
  • guilt/emotional pain
  • sexual dysfunction
  • difficulty maintaining relationships
  • memory repression
  • increased alcohol and drug abuse
  • flashbacks
  • long-term grief anniversary reactions
  • suicidal thoughts

*Next Step offers Post Abortion Recovery Counseling.