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There are two main types of abortion: medical (also known as the “abortion pill”) and surgical. 

If you’re considering abortion, it’s critical to learn all you can to protect your health. 

This article covers the essentials you need to know before seeking an abortion. However, if you’re looking for free pregnancy resources or want to talk to someone about your pregnancy options, contact Albemarle Pregnancy Resource Center to schedule a free, confidential appointment. 

How Does Abortion Work?

Abortion is the process of terminating a pregnancy and removing it from your uterus, but this is done differently in medical and surgical procedures.

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion involves taking two powerful drugs at home. 

The first drug, mifepristone, works by blocking progesterone. This hormone is necessary for pregnancy; without it, your uterine lining will loosen, and the pregnancy will end. 

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

The abortion drugs are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is 10 weeks gestation or under. If you take the drugs and your pregnancy is later, you’re at a greater risk of experiencing complications, like incomplete abortion—which is when parts of the pregnancy remain in your uterus, and it can lead to a potentially life-threatening complication. 

Surgical Abortion

Abortion providers perform surgical abortions in a clinical setting. The process involves dilating (opening) the cervix so that medical instruments—like scarping tools and strong suction—can terminate the pregnancy and remove it from the uterus.

Potential risks associated with surgical abortion include:

  • Uterine perforation (which is when the surgical instruments poke a hole in the uterus)
  • Uterine scarring (which can lead to painful periods or future infertility)
  • Cervical damage
  • Infection 

How to Protect Your Health

Before seeking an abortion, it’s essential to get an ultrasound. This simple scan can help protect your health by giving you the vital information you need to protect your health—no matter what pregnancy decision you’re considering. 
At Albemarle Pregnancy Resource Center, we offer free, limited ultrasounds because your health and well-being are our top priority. Call us today to connect with one of our caring team members.

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