|EARLY ABORTION OPTIONS *
|ABORTION PILL/MEDICATION ABORTION WITH MIFEPRISTONE AND MISOPROSTOL
|ASPIRATION ABORTION (SUCTION OR VACUUM ASPIRATION)
|How far along in the pregnancy can I be?
|Up to nine weeks from the first day of your last period
|Up to twelve to fourteen weeks from the first day of your last period
What will happen?
|The abortion takes place at home.
• Generally, in the office, you swallow the abortion pill (mifepristone). Most women feel fine after taking mifepristone. Some women have nausea.
• At home, twelve to seventy-two hours later, take the misoprostol bucally (in the cheek) or vaginally, as instructed by your health care provider.
• The abortion starts one to four hours after you take the misoprostol. You have heavy bleeding and cramps for a couple of hours.
• You check in with your clinic about a week later to be sure the abortion is complete.
|The abortion takes place in the office.
• The actual abortion procedure takes five to ten minutes.
• The doctor puts instruments in your vagina and uterus to remove the pregnancy.
• You return to the clinic if you are experiencing problems or if you would like to see a provider (a return visit is not required).
How painful is it?
|You will have mild to very strong cramps off and on during the abortion. Pain pills help.
|You will have mild to very strong cramps during the abortion. Pain pills help.
How much will I bleed?
Heavy bleeding with clots is common during the time you are passing the pregnancy. After that, lighter bleeding may continue off and on for one to two weeks or more.
Most women have light bleeding for one to seven days. Bleeding may continue off and on for a few weeks.
How much does it cost?
For both types of abortion, the exact cost depends on where you go.
Can the abortion fail?
The pills work 95 to 98% of the time. If the pills fail, you must have an aspiration abortion.
|It works 99% of the time. If it fails, you must have a repeat aspiration.
Can I still have children afterward?
|Yes. Neither type of abortion lowers your chances of getting pregnant or staying pregnant in the future.
Is it safe?
Both pills have been used safely for more than ten years in the United States and over twenty years in Europe. Big problems are rare. Medication abortion carries at least ten times less risk of health complications than continuing a pregnancy.
Aspiration abortion has been done safely for over forty years. Abortion in the first eight weeks is the safest, and problems with any first trimester abortion are rare. Surgical abortion carries at least ten times less risk of health complications than continuing a pregnancy.
What are the advantages?
You won’t have shots, anesthesia, or instruments in your body
• It may feel more natural, like a miscarriage.
• It can be done earlier in the pregnancy than an aspiration abortion.
• Being at home instead of in an office may be more private.
• You can choose to have someone with you, or you can be alone.
• It is over in a few minutes.
• You see less bleeding than you would with a medication abortion.
• Medical staff members are with you during the abortion.
• It can be done later in the pregnancy than a medication abortion.
What are the disadvantages?
• It takes one to two days to complete the abortion.
• It is not the same for all women.
• Bleeding can be very heavy and may last longer than with an aspiration abortion.
• Cramps can be severe and last longer than with an aspiration abortion.
• It cannot be done as late in the first trimester of pregnancy as an aspiration abortion.
• It cannot end a tubal pregnancy.
• It is more invasive; instruments are inserted through the vagina and into the uterus.
• Anesthetics and pain medicines may cause side effects.
• You have less control over the abortion procedure and perhaps over who is with you.
• The vacuum aspirator may seem noisy.
• It cannot be done as early in pregnancy as a medication abortion.
• It cannot end a tubal pregnancy.
* Adapted with permission from materials from the Reproductive Health Access Project.
Excerpted from the 2011 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. © 2011, Boston Women's Health Book Collective.