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Considering an Abortion? Here’s the Info You Need

FLPCC23 Considering an Abortion?

Are you pregnant? Do you think you may be pregnant? If so, you may find yourself wondering what your options are. At this point, you may begin looking for abortion education and wondering who to trust. The decisions you’re facing are stressful enough as it is. You need to know the risks, benefits, and alternatives of your choices. Otherwise, you can’t give informed consent for your reproductive health decisions. Our goal is to equip you with the facts about the abortion pill, and surgical abortion so you can make an informed decision about your pregnancy.

So how do we start? Well, first things first. You’ll want to confirm whether you’re pregnant or not.

 

Am I Pregnant? The Urine Test

A urine test will identify the pregnancy hormone, also known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). They are highly accurate in their detection of hCG levels. But, if you took the test BEFORE the day you were supposed to get your period, you might not get an accurate result. The hCG concentration increases each day during early pregnancy. Now that time has gone by, you’ll get a more accurate reading.

Two Options for Urine Testing

Your first option is the home pregnancy test. These have been on the market for several decades and tend to be quite accurate. If you go this route, make sure your test is not expired and that you carefully follow the instructions.

Taking a pregnancy test can be nerve-wracking. Do you need moral support when you look for one or two pink lines? Rather than testing alone, get a free medical-grade urine pregnancy test at Family Life Center. 

Going into a clinic for your urine test helps take away some of the stress of human error. Those at the clinic have supported others through this process many times before. You’ll have the assurance that knowledgeable medical staff are helping you. Getting clinical testing is also an opportunity to gather more information in a safe, confidential setting.

Confirming Pregnancy

So let’s say you go to a clinic and take a test that is positive. You’ll probably be told that the test is positive, rather than being told that you’re pregnant. There are many factors involved in a positive result, and you may be left to wonder about the status of your pregnancy. 

As effective as these tests are, there’s always the chance for error. That’s why you’ll want to confirm your pregnancy with an ultrasound. This is something we can do for you right here at our office. The ultrasound will confirm whether you have a viable pregnancy, and that the pregnancy is in your uterus. It will also give you a more accurate age of your pregnancy.

Another thing to consider at this point is making an appointment with your physician. Don’t have a physician? No problem. If you don’t already have someone in mind, your physician can refer you to an OB/GYN, or Family Life Center can help you find one right for you. Since you’re sexually active, you’ll want to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) also.

Not Ready? Educate Yourself with Abortion Education

Many young women go through the steps already mentioned and, for one reason or another, do not feel ready to continue the pregnancy. The most important thing at this point is to gather all the abortion facts you can. This way, you can make an educated decision before moving forward. You’re probably asking questions like “What is abortion?” “Is it different at each stage of pregnancy?” and “Are there any risks associated with abortion?” We’ll now take a look at some education on abortion to get a clearer picture.

Abortion Education and Facts

What is Abortion?

No article on abortion education would be complete without a definition. According to the CDC, “legal induced abortion” is “an intervention performed by a licensed clinician…that is intended to terminate an ongoing pregnancy.” That said, there are several types of possible abortions. While there are different ways to break these types down, we’ll simplify it here.

Miscarriage

Miscarriage can be defined as “a pregnancy that ends on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation.” This is the most common form of pregnancy loss, with 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies ending in miscarriage. This usually occurs during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage, while known as “spontaneous abortion,” is not what we mean when we say “abortion.”  It is not a procedure by a healthcare provider.

What is the Abortion Pill?

Is it the same as Plan B? How much does it cost? Is it safe?

Great questions! The abortion pill is not the same as Plan B, also known as the Morning After Pill. The Morning After Pill, or 2levonorgestrel, is a form of emergency contraception. Plan B prevents pregnancy by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg), thus preventing conception (the joining of sperm and egg.) If conception and implantation have already taken place, Plan B won’t end an existing pregnancy. 

Back to the abortion pill. 

According to the 1Guttmacher Institute, 54% of US abortions in 2020 were medication abortions.  

Medical abortion is actually two prescription pills, mifepristone and misoprostol. Cost can vary from state to state with different insurance, but is in the ballpark of $500. As with any medication, you should be fully informed of possible side effects. You can’t give informed consent for your reproductive health decisions unless you know the risks, benefits, and alternatives of your choices.

Let’s start with abortion pill risks. 

Heavy bleeding

A common risk is heavy bleeding, which can be confusing because the pills abort the pregnancy by causing bleeding. Call your doctor if you have concerns such as fever, vomiting, passing out, or other symptoms listed here.

 

Infection

If the medical abortion only partially clears out the pregnancy, any remaining tissues can become infected. You’ll need to have a surgical abortion to remove the infection. (Fever is one possible sign of infection.)

 

Failure and improper use

It’s possible that the drugs won’t end the pregnancy. The abortion pill is less effective as time goes on, and cannot be used after 10 weeks gestation, per the FDA. Failure of the pill starts at 2% before 8 weeks, and increases to 13% at 10 weeks

  • Risk reduction

Ultrasound can estimate the age of your pregnancy. Family Life Center in Effingham offers free ultrasounds to check the age and viability of your pregnancy. All the services at Family Life Center are no-cost, which means no credit card, no insurance required, and no bias. (The center does not benefit financially from your decisions and won’t give you the hard sell for pills or procedures.) You can schedule a free, confidential visit to talk about all your options. Or if you don’t want to leave the house you can call and chat confidentially over the phone. Either way, you can talk while our non-judgmental staff listen.

 

Ectopic pregnancies

Ectopic pregnancies are pregnancies that are located outside the uterus, often in the fallopian tubes. They can be life-threatening. Medical abortion does not cause ectopic pregnancies, but it does not abort them either. In fact, taking the abortion pill can make an ectopic pregnancy even more of a threat to your life. Before taking abortion pills, you should get an ultrasound to screen for an ectopic pregnancy. 

 

Abortion Pill Side Effects: Allergies and Interactions

You may be allergic to mifepristone, misoprostol, or one of their ingredients. You must avoid eating grapefruit. These drugs may interact with over-the-counter and prescription drugs you take. Tell your doctor if you have an IUD or are breastfeeding. Before any medical procedure, you should talk to your doctor about your health history.

 

Regretting the procedure

Many who seek an abortion may not think they will regret it, yet, after the fact, some people have regrets. (3,000 women reversed their pill abortion and saved their babies.)

That was a ton of information, and we have not covered surgical abortions yet!

Surgical Abortion

One method of surgical abortion is called an aspiration abortion. This is another type of abortion that occurs in the first trimester. The patient must be dilated before the procedure takes place. The abortion practitioner then uses either a plastic cannula or a hand-held syringe to pull the baby out of the uterus. Early-stage aspiration abortions are done between 5-9 weeks. They can, however, be done between 10-14 weeks if using a machine-operated pump.

Another method of surgical abortion is known as dilation and evacuation. This is the method used during the second trimester. It involves vacuum aspiration as well as forceps to remove the baby from the uterus. If it’s been more than 13 weeks since your last menstrual period, a dilation and evacuation is most likely the type of abortion you’ll be having. While this is typically an outpatient procedure, risks increase as your pregnancy progresses.

Risks Associated with Abortion

We just mentioned the fact that risks increase as your pregnancy progresses. That brings up an important topic many women are looking for when seeking abortion education. So what are the risks?

  • Cervical trauma. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Women who have multiple surgical abortion procedures may also have more risk of trauma to the cervix.” Cervical insufficiency can pose problems like preterm birth for future pregnancies.
  • Increased risk of breast cancer. Studies have listed “induced abortion” as a risk factor.
  • Emotional side effects related to abortion, whether the abortion was planned or not. 
  • An increased risk of mental health problems. (For example, substance use and suicidality.)
  • Increased risk of dying within one year after the abortion. This compared abortion outcomes with birth and miscarriage. The CDC found that from 2008 to 2013, for every 100,000 reported legal abortions, 0.62 led to later abortion-related deaths. And this statistic is not complete. Only 32 US states provide abortion data through 2020, and 3 don’t provide any data. One of those is California, which hosts a population of over 39 million. That means there are a lot of deaths that are most likely not reported and not included in the data set. 

Pulmonary thromboembolism (a blood clot in the lung) is an infrequent yet serious complication of induced abortion. Risk factors include obesity, use of oral contraceptives, previous thrombophlebitis, or type A blood.

So What’s Right For You?

It’s important for you to gather accurate pregnancy and abortion education so you can make an informed decision. You hold key insights as to what’s going on in your life and what your future will look like. But people are here waiting to help. Do you need someone to talk to?

Call, email, or visit Family Life Center to learn more about abortion, parenting, and adoption. You’ll get a thoughtful, non-judgmental response on the other end. Please note, our center doesn’t provide or perform abortions but can provide the abortion education you need. We’re here to help you choose the best next steps for your life.

Disclaimer: This website and blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Content from this website is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for educational use only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

 

Citations:

1. https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2022/02/medication-abortion-now-accounts-more-half-all-us-abortions 

2. https://www.drugs.com/plan-b.html 

3. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/Data_Stats/Abortion.htm

4. https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/miscarriage/ 

5. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/mifepristone-tablets-for-ending-early-pregnancy.html 

6. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/mifepristone-tablets-for-ending-early-pregnancy.html 

7. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information

8. https://jewelwc.org/blog/does-abortion-affect-fertility/ 

9. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/misoprostol.html 

10. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/mifepristone-tablets-for-ending-early-pregnancy.html 

11. https://pregnancyhelpnews.com/a-sterling-defense-of-abortion-pill-reversal 

12. https://www.webmd.com/women/abortion-procedures#091e9c5e8163c466-2-5 

13. https://www.webmd.com/women/abortion-procedures#091e9c5e8163c466-2-7 

14. https://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2004/04000/Risk_Factors_for_Legal_Induced_Abortion_Related.20.aspx 

15. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/expert-answers/abortion/faq-20058551

16. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deq177 

17. https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/18/4/1157.full

18. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313098.php 

19. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/abortion-and-mental-health-quantitative-synthesis-and-analysis-of-research-published-19952009/E8D556AAE1C1D2F0F8B060B28BEE6C3D 

20. https://afterabortion.org/PAR/V8/n2/finland.html  

21. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/ss/ss6625a1.htm?s_cid=ss6625a1_w 

22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/686105 

23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/686105 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We do not offer, recommend or refer for abortions or abortifacients, but are committed to offering accurate education about abortion procedures and risks.