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There are two main types of abortion: Medical abortion and surgical abortion. If you’re considering having an abortion, you’ll want to clearly understand the differences between the two types to make sure your health is protected.

A medical-grade pregnancy test and ultrasound exam will provide critical answers about your pregnancy’s location, stage, and health so you can fully understand what options are available to you.

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion, also called the abortion pill, involves two drugs taken at different times. The abortion pill method is only available to women through the first nine weeks of pregnancy per FDA guidelines.

The first drug is mifepristone, which blocks progesterone, a hormone needed to help the pregnancy grow. Blocking progesterone causes fetal demise.

The second drug is misoprostol, which causes your uterus to contract to expel the pregnancy from the body through the vagina.

Do I Qualify for a Medical Abortion?

In addition to the 9-week guideline set in place by the FDA, medical abortion is not available to women who fall into any of the following categories (per the Mayo Clinic):

  • Having an intrauterine device (IUD) currently in place
  • Having a suspected pregnancy outside of the uterus, called an ectopic pregnancy
  • Having certain medical conditions. These include bleeding disorders; particular heart or blood vessel diseases; severe liver, kidney, or lung disease; or an uncontrolled seizure disorder
  • Taking a blood thinner or certain steroid medicines
  • Unable to make follow-up visits to your provider or have no access to emergency care
  • Having an allergy to the treatment used

Surgical Abortion

There are two main types of surgical abortions: Dilation and Curettage (D&C) and Dilation and Evacuation (D&E). Both can begin with a lethal injection to end the pregnancy.

A dilation and curettage abortion method begins by opening the cervix through medication and/or surgical instruments. A suction device and curette remove the pregnancy tissue from your body.

In a dilation and evacuation abortion, the cervix is dilated, and a combination of curettage and vacuum aspiration procedures are used to remove the pregnancy.

What Are My Next Steps?

Confirm your pregnancy and learn more about it (and your abortion options) by taking a pregnancy test and getting an ultrasound. 

An ultrasound is a vital first step to learning if you qualify for an abortion. In the case of ectopic pregnancies, for example, the pregnancy is non-viable, and abortion does not protect your health.

We’re here to help. Contact us to schedule a free, confidential pregnancy testing and ultrasound appointment so you can learn more about your options and make a fully-informed choice.

Know my status.
Know my options.


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