The fear of others finding out about an unplanned pregnancy is one of the reasons some women choose abortion as a solution. Arkansas bans abortion at all stages of pregnancy, so a woman would need to travel. Before doing so, learn about medical and surgical abortion procedures and how they might affect you physically and emotionally.

Two Types of Abortion

There are two types of abortion, medical and surgical. The method you qualify for is determined by how far along you are in your pregnancy. 

Medical Abortion

The FDA has approved a medical abortion through ten weeks gestation (70 days or less since the first day of a patient’s last menstrual period). Knowing how far along you are in your pregnancy is essential for safety reasons.

The abortion pill method is a medical abortion because it uses two drugs to terminate a pregnancy. The drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, are taken within 24 to 48 hours of each other. The first drug blocks a pregnancy hormone required for the embryo to continue growing, and the second causes contractions to expel the terminated pregnancy from a woman’s body.

There are several reasons why a woman should not use this method. For instance, don’t use the abortion pill if:

  • You are past 70 days in your pregnancy
  • You have an IUD
  • Your pregnancy is ectopic (growing outside the uterus)
  • You take certain medications or have specific health issues

In addition, abortion providers recommend you not use the abortion pill method if you do not have access to emergency care or cannot return to the abortion provider to determine if the abortion was complete, which would require another out-of-state visit.

The Mayo Clinic lists an incomplete abortion as the number one risk. And they list other risks as heavy and prolonged bleeding, infection, and the potential for an ongoing pregnancy.

Surgical Abortion

There are a variety of surgical abortion procedures depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. Most surgical procedures use Vacuum Aspiration, where suction removes the embryo or fetus from the uterus. 

Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, additional tools like a curette (a sharp spoon-shaped instrument) for scraping the uterine lining or forceps might be required to remove the fetus and pregnancy tissue entirely. 

Most surgical procedures require the abortion provider to dilate (open) the cervix for the fetus or embryo to fit through. In addition, some methods require anesthesia or sedation.

With a surgical abortion, you run the risk of any of the following:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection

Potential Complications From All Abortions

It’s vital to be aware of the symptoms of abortion complications, so you know when to get emergency medical attention. The following are signs from both medical and surgical abortions that could indicate serious complications:

  • Heavy bleeding – soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Fever lasting more than 24 hours
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Negative mental health issues

Would You Like To Know Your Options?

You have more than one choice for your unplanned pregnancy, and we would be happy to discuss those with you. If you still feel abortion is your best option, verify your pregnancy before traveling. 

Studies estimate that as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Don’t travel for an abortion only to discover you have already miscarried. We offer a free pregnancy test and referrals for a free ultrasound. 

Only an ultrasound can determine if your pregnancy is viable (growing) or if you have miscarried. Ultrasound also accurately dates your pregnancy, so you’ll know which method you qualify for. 

Schedule a visit to HopePlace to get your questions answered and learn more about your pregnancy. We can review your situation and discuss your options. We genuinely care about you and want to give you the information you need to protect your health and safety. Call us today!