There are two types of abortions used to terminating a pregnancy. One is by medication only (commonly known as the “Abortion Pill”, “At home Abortion”, or RU 486) and the other is Surgical Procedures or “In Clinic” Abortion Procedures.
Medical abortions may be provided very early in pregnancy. There are two combinations of medications that are used to provide medical abortions – mifepristone and misoprostol, or methotrexate and misoprostol.
Mifepristone (the “abortion pill”, Mifeprex, or RU-486) is a medication that was developed and tested specifically as an abortion-inducing agent. It was first licensed in France in 1988. It was approved for use in the U.S. in September 2000.
Methotrexate has been used in the U.S. since 1953 when it was approved by the FDA to treat certain types of cancer. Methotrexate has been used as a method of medical abortion since the early 1990s.
Misoprostol may or may not be needed to complete the process begun by the 1st medication.
There is more than one kind of abortion procedures or surgical abortions. The most common is called aspiration. It is also known as vacuum aspiration or suction curettage and it is used during the first weeks of pregnancy. The cervix is dilated until it is large enough to allow a cannula to be inserted into the uterus. The cannula is a plastic tube that is connected to a vacuum-type pump by a flexible hose. The remaining elements are scraped out of the uterus with a surgical instrument called a curette. Some women experience menstrual-type cramping during the procedure and for up to an hour afterward.
If you are more advanced in your pregnancy, procedures are generally provided on an outpatient basis, using dilation and evacuation (D&E). A small percentage of abortions in the second trimester are done by inducing labor with medications. This is called induction abortion and requires further dilation of the cervix. This may be achieved using sterile absorbent fiber rods called laminaria (algae that serves to absorb moisture and then expand), which are inserted into the cervix, usually the day before, or using a medication called misoprostol which may be taken orally or put in the vagina, usually a few hours before the abortion.
For abortions much later in pregnancy, a labor-inducing abortion is performed; called dilation and extraction (D&X). Labor is induced with drugs in the vagina, injected into the uterus or through an intravenous line (IV). These cause labor to begin within 12 hours, and the abortion occurs after labor begins within 12-24 hours.
Where is an abortion performed?
This depends on a number of factors; how it will be done, the length of the pregnancy and the health of the woman.
Very few procedures require hospitalization. Most types of abortions are outpatient surgery. General and Local anesthetic (patient is usually awake during this procedure) are choices offered to the women to make. Some women return to their normal activities the day after having an abortion; but many women, depending on how far along they are, do need some time to recuperate. A follow-up medical exam is an important part of any abortion procedure.
Before considering the various abortion procedures, we recommend that women obtain an ultrasound to determine if the pregnancy is viable (uterine, non-ectopic pregnancy). Our ultrasound can pick up a non viable pregnancy, so you might not need an abortion. Studies reveal that anywhere from 15-20% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
The ultrasound also helps for accurate pregnancy dating or gestation. A pregnancy verification may be required if choosing to get an abortion.
A pregnancy verification can be obtained at one of our three Medical Clinics.
Make a same-day appointment with one of our trained counselors by calling 1-888-252-1822 or at the number provided for each of our women’s clinics in our three Bay area clinics.
Our pregnancy counselors and nurses can help bring clarity to questions and concerns, and will explain the different types of abortion procedures pertinent for each case.
For further concerns or questions you can also read our Ask The Doctor section to get answers to other questions related to abortions. Or if you would rather speak to one of our counselors about your abortion related questions, please call our Health Clinic and make an appointment.
Possible Side Effects of Abortion:
- Cramping of the uterus or pelvic pain
- Emotional or psychological distress
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Foul-smelling discharge
The abortion costs vary by procedure, however they usually start at a minimum of $450 to 500 plus. Our counselors can provide you with more information on costs.
In trying to decide if abortion is the right choice, women have many things to think about and sort out. Learning the facts about abortion can help them in making the best choice for them. We provide you with support and counseling in whatever choice you make. First Resort is a 501 (c)(3) California public benefit, non profit organization. See what clients are saying about First Resort, our services & support.
For information about our services or to make an appointment call one of our three Licensed Medical Women’s Health Clinics today!