Do you know what kind of abortion you will have? The type of abortion is based on the stage of your pregnancy.

Surgical Abortion

The surgical abortion procedure is usually performed between weeks 5-20 of pregnancy. During pregnancy, your cervix naturally tightens to prevent a miscarriage. The doctor must stretch the cervix by dilating it, usually with metal rods or laminaria sticks (dried kelp that absorbs water and expands). Once the cervix is dilated, the doctor will insert a surgical tube into your uterus. This tube connects to a suction machine that is 4 times more powerful than your home vacuum. The suction pulls the fetus’ body apart and out of the uterus. The doctor may then use a curette (a loop-shaped instrument) to scrape the uterus to make sure all fetal body parts are removed.

Medical Abortion (Abortion Pill)

The medical abortion procedure is more commonly known as the “abortion pill”, or a medical abortion, which is performed up to 9 weeks of pregnancy. There are two parts to the medical abortion. At the first visit, you will take a mifepristone pill to stop the growth of the fetus by cutting off the supply of blood and nutrients. You will be sent home with more medication and information about what to expect. One to two days later, you will insert misoprostol pills into your vagina which will imitate a miscarriage. Typically, you will return to the clinic about two weeks later for a second visit to determine if the abortion is complete and no fetal body parts remain in your body.


There are potential physical and emotional risks associated with an abortion. There are physical risks associated with any surgical procedure. You may experience any of these complications from an abortion procedure: infection, uterine or cervical damage, placenta previa, pelvic inflammatory disease, retained products of conception (fetal parts, placenta, umbilical cord, or amniotic sac), future ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, and future premature birth. The most common emotional risk related to abortion is Post-Abortion Stress. Some women and men may experience strong negative disturbances soon after the abortion or several months / years later. It varies from person to person. For more info on risks associated with abortion, please read our FAQs

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This is not a substitute for medical advice.


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