What are the Different Types of Abortion?

There are two different types of abortion: medical and surgical.

While medical abortion terminates a pregnancy with drugs, surgical abortion uses dilation and surgical tools to end the pregnancy and remove the tissue.

While we covered both medical and surgical abortion, their descriptions, and their risks in last month’s blog, here is a quick overview to help you compare:

About Medical Abortion (The Abortion Pill)

Medical abortion has been called many names: abortion pill, medication abortion, at-home abortion, online abortion, mail-order abortion, chemical abortion, etc. This is because this type of abortion happens through the use of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. 

In Illinois, women can receive these drugs either by mail or in person, and the procedure is typically finished at home.

Medical abortion is less invasive and more private than surgical abortion. It is generally less expensive and takes longer. It also causes cramping and bleeding to complete the procedure, which doesn’t happen with surgical abortion.

The FDA has only approved this procedure through the first ten weeks of pregnancy. After, surgical abortion might be considered a safer method for your personal health.

We recommend reading about the risks, side effects, and pre-existing conditions that make women ineligible for medical abortion when considering this option. 

About Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortion takes less time than a medical abortion, and the full procedure happens in an abortion clinic or other medical facility.

In Illinois, surgical abortion is legal until viability (around 24 weeks), and after only to protect the health and life of the woman.

Depending on the provider, women usually have a choice of local anesthesia or sedation during the procedure. Surgical abortion works by dilating the cervix, then using tools (curette and/or forceps) to remove the tissue through a mixture of suction and scraping.

As with medical abortion, we recommend knowing the risks before proceeding.

Ultrasound: A Critical Step Before Abortion

An ultrasound tells you how far along you are, if your pregnancy is viable, and where it is located in your body. 

If your pregnancy isn’t progressing (because of a miscarriage) or is located outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy), other medical procedures will be recommended to prevent any serious complications.
We offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasound referrals so you can get all these important details. Schedule a confidential appointment today by choosing an available timeslot online.

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