Yesterday, pregnancy was just a word, but today it's a reality - a reality that you do not feel ready for. Maybe you never thought you'd be here--looking for an abortion--but now it seems like the only answer.
Whether it’s because you’re still in school, have financial concerns, lack support, or because you just can't take care of another baby, we understand and are here to help you think through this option.
If you are worried about an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, you need to know:
- Are you really pregnant?
- How far along are you?
- What types of abortions are available?
- How does the procedure work?
- What are the short-term and long-term risks?
If you think you are pregnant and you are considering abortion, make sure to get the facts first. Be educated and informed. At APS Medical, our client advocate will discuss the procedures with you for your stage of pregnancy as well as the risks involved.
Learn Abortion Procedures
1st trimester abortion methods
Medical abortion methods
Mifeprex/Mifepristone (RU486; Abortion Pill) – Within 4 to 7 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP) This drug is approved for use in women only up to the 49th day after their last menstrual period. The procedure usually requires three office visits. On the first visit, the woman is given pills to cause the death of the fetus. Two days later, if the abortion has not occurred, she is given a second drug which causes cramps to expel the fetus. The last visit is a follow-up ultrasound to determine if the procedure has been completed.
RU486 will not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. This is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the fetus lodges outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. If an ectopic pregnancy is not diagnosed early, the tube may burst, causing internal bleeding and in some cases, the death of the woman.
First trimester suction abortion about 4-13 weeks after last menstrual period
This surgical abortion is done throughout the first trimester. Varying degrees of pain control are offered ranging from local anesthetic (typically) to full general anesthesia. For very early pregnancies (4-7 weeks LMP), a long, thin tube is inserted into the uterus. The tube is then attached to a manual suction device and the embryo is suctioned out.
Late in the first trimester, the cervix needs to be opened wider because the fetus is larger. The cervix may be softened the day before using medication placed in the vagina and/or slowly stretched open using thin bundles made of seaweed inserted into the cervix. The day of the procedure, the cervix may need further stretching using metal dilating rods. This can be painful, so local anesthesia is typically used. Next, the doctor inserts a stiff plastic tube into the uterus and suction pulls apart the body of the fetus and pulls it out of the uterus. The doctor may also use a loop-shaped tool, called a curette, to scrape any remaining fetal parts out of the uterus.
2nd trimester methods
Dilation & Evacuation (D & E): About 13 weeks After LMP and Up
The majority of second trimester abortions are performed using this method. The cervix must be opened wider than in a first trimester abortion because the fetus is larger. This is done by inserting numerous thin bundles made of seaweed a day or two before the abortion and/or giving other oral or vaginal medications to further soften the cervix. Up to about 16 weeks gestation, the procedure is identical to the first trimester one (with the following addition). After the cervix is stretched open and the uterine contents suctioned out, any remaining fetal parts are removed with a grasping tool (forceps). A curette (a loop-shaped tool) may also be used to scrape out any remaining tissue.
After 16 weeks, much of the procedure is done with the forceps to pull fetal parts through the cervical opening, as suction alone will not work due to the size of the fetus. The doctor keeps track of what fetal parts have been removed so that none are left inside. Lastly, a curette, and/or the suction machine are used to remove any remaining tissue or blood clots, which if left behind could cause infection and bleeding.
Medical Methods for Second Trimester Induced Abortion
This technique induces abortion by using medicines to cause labor and eventual delivery of the fetus and placenta. Like labor at term, this procedure typically involves 10-24 hours in a hospital’s labor and delivery unit. Digoxin or potassium chloride is injected into the amniotic fluid, umbilical cord or fetal heart prior to labor to avoid the delivery of a live fetus. The cervix is softened with the use of seaweed bundles and/or medications. Next, medications are used to induce labor. In most cases, these drugs result in the delivery of the dead fetus and placenta. The patient may receive oral or intravenous pain medications. Occasionally, scraping of the uterus is needed to remove the placenta.
Potential complications include hemorrhage and the need for blood transfusion, retained placenta, and possible uterine rupture.
Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment. All services provided by APS are free and confidential.
APS offers peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however we do not refer for or perform abortion services.
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