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Abortion Facts

The Facts

Abortion Procedures Information

During an abortion procedure cells infected with Chlamydia or Gonorrhea can travel from your cervix up into your uterus. When the infection travels and is not treated, you are at greater risk for developing a secondary infection called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. PID can lead to serious consequences including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, abscess formation and chronic pelvic pain. (Reference 5)

In order to avoid medical complications, make it a priority to get screened and treated before an abortion procedure. Taking antibiotics will greatly reduce your risk of complications from the infection. Bridges provides testing for pregnant clients, and will prescribe antibiotic treatment if you screen positive for either Gonorrhea or Chlamydia.


Abortion Pill


The use of the Abortion Pill (RU-486), is considered a medical abortion and causes the termination of a pregnancy by using a combination of medications. The protocol approved by the Food and Drug Administration allows this type of abortion up to 70 days -10 weeks after the first day of a woman's last period. Mifepristone, the first medicine causes the blockage of progesterone, a hormone needed for the fetus to grow and develop. You will also be given antibiotics. 24-48 hours after taking the mifepristone, a woman will take the second medicine called misoprostol to make the uterus contract and empty. The second medicine will cause you to have cramps and bleed heavily. You may see large blood clots or tissue at the time of the abortion. It can take several hours after taking misoprostol for the abortion to be complete sometimes a few days. You will need to have a follow-up appointment with in 1-2 weeks to make sure that the abortion is complete and that you are well. You will need an ultrasound or blood test. If the medical abortion is incomplete, another dose of medication may be given or a surgical abortion may be necessary to terminate the pregnancy. Bleeding may occur for up to four weeks after the abortion. Please be advised to follow doctor’s instructions regarding amount of bleeding. Medical attention may become necessary. (Reference 1,2)

It may be possible to reverse the effect of the abortion pill. If you change your mind after taking the first abortion pill, mifepristone, time is of the essence. For more information, call the Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline 877-588-0333 or call one of our clinics for assistance. (Reference 3)

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Surgical Abortion


Suction Aspiration (Also called Manual Vacuum Aspiration):
This method is used early in the first trimester. The cervix is stretched open with dilators (metal rods). A hollow plastic tube is inserted into the uterus. The fetus and the remaining contents of the uterus are removed using a handheld suction device.

Dilation and Curettage (D&C) with Vacuum Aspiration (Also called Suction Curettage):
This is a surgical procedure usually used in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor normally opens the cervix with dilators (metal rods) and then empties the uterus with a hollow plastic instrument connected by tubing to a suction machine. After suctioning, the doctor may scrape the walls of the uterus with a curette, a loop-shaped knife, to ensure the fetus, placenta, and contents of the uterus have been completely removed.

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E):
This surgical procedure is generally performed from 13-24 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor must first insert laminaria sticks into the cervix for 1-2 days to start the dilating process. These dried seaweed sticks absorb moisture and expand, causing the cervix to enlarge. On the day of the procedure, the physician will use dilating rods to further enlarge the cervical opening. Then the fetus is dismembered and removed with forceps, along with the placenta and other tissue. A curette may then be used to scrape the uterus to make sure that all tissue has been removed.

Dilation and Extraction (D&X):
This procedure is considered a late-term abortion that takes three days to complete. During the first two days, the cervix is dilated and medication is given for cramping. On the third day, the woman receives medication to start labor. After labor begins, the abortion doctor uses ultrasound to locate the positioning of the fetus. Using forceps the fetus is delivered up to the head. Next, scissors are inserted into the skull to create an opening. A suction catheter is placed into the cranium to remove the skull contents. The skull collapses and the fetus is removed.

Anesthesia Options

Anesthesia for surgical abortion:
Three options are available for pain relief during a surgical abortion:

1. Local anesthesia: A local anesthetic is injected into the cervix to cause a numbing effect before dilation.
2. Local anesthesia with sedation: Along with a local anesthetic injected into the cervix, a medication is given to help the woman relax or become "sleepy" during the procedure.
3. General anesthesia: Anesthetic medications are given intravenously to cause the woman to be "asleep", completely unaware of her surroundings.

Choosing an Abortion Provider

If you choose abortion, there are several things to consider. It is not a risk-free procedure and needs to be treated seriously. To ensure a woman’s health and safety, there are several very important questions to ask yourself and the abortion provider.

Have I confirmed that my pregnancy is viable?

Do I understand the risks involved in an abortion procedure?


Am I going to a licensed medical clinic?

Who performs the surgical abortion procedure? A licensed OB/GYN physician or a nurse?

Ask to speak with the physician before the procedure regarding anesthesia choices, how the procedure is done, and the possible complications.

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References:
1. US Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm492705.htm
2. RXList http://www.rxlist.com/mifeprex-ru486-drug.htm
3 Abortion Pill Reversal. http://www.abortionpillreversal.com/
4. American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/miscarriage/
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. http://patient.info/health/pelvic-inflammatory-disease-leaflet


Frequently Asked Questions

-What are some of the possible side effects of abortion?

  • Cramping of the uterus or pelvic pain 
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional or psychological distress
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

+What are the risks of abortion?

+Regret taking the abortion pill?

+How is it possible that I may not need an abortion to end my pregnancy?

+Should I take the morning after pill?

+How much does an abortion cost?


References:
Manufacturer's Prescribing Information for Plan B (Levonorgestrel) tablets, 0.75 mg. Mfg. by Gedeon Richter, Ltd., Budapest, Hungary for Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pomona, NY 10970. Revised Feb 2004. BR-038 / 21000382503

Choosing an Abortion Provider

If you choose abortion, there are several things to consider. It is not a risk-free procedure and needs to be treated seriously. To ensure a woman’s health and safety, there are several very important questions to ask an abortion provider.

  • Am I going to a licensed medical clinic?
  • What are my legal rights?
  • Is the person performing the procedure a licensed OB/GYN physician or a nurse?
  • Ask to speak with the physician before the procedure regarding abortion choices, how the procedure is done and the possible complications.

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Bridges is committed to providing you with everything you need to make an informed choice. We believe women and men have a right to get accurate information from a resource that will not profit from choices they make. All our services are free and confidential. We do not provide or refer for abortions. We do not profit from any of your sexual health or pregnancy decisions.

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Bridges Pregnancy Clinic is a 501c3 non-profit organization. The information presented on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice. The testing, peer counseling, and assistance we provide is free because of community support. Help support our organization through your tax deductible financial donation.