A Comprehensive Guide to Abortion Options: Understanding Your Choices
Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be an overwhelming experience, filled with complex emotions and difficult decisions. At Mosaic Virginia Pregnancy Resource Centers, we understand the challenges that can come with such situations and are committed to providing comprehensive support and guidance throughout each stage of your pregnancy journey. We want to ensure you have access to accurate information, health services, and the choices you need to make the best decision for your unique situation.
Why is Options Counseling important?
Types of Abortion
Knowing the Risks of Medication Abortion
- Incomplete abortion: In some cases, the medication may not completely terminate the pregnancy. This can lead to an incomplete abortion, where some pregnancy tissue remains in the uterus. If this occurs, a surgical procedure may be necessary to complete the abortion.
- Heavy bleeding: Medication abortion can cause heavy bleeding, which is a normal part of the process. However, in rare cases, the bleeding can be excessive and may require medical intervention. It is important to closely monitor the amount of bleeding and seek medical advice if it becomes unusually heavy or if you soak through more than two sanitary pads per hour for two consecutive hours.
- Infection: There is a small risk of infection associated with any abortion procedure, including medication abortion. Signs of infection may include fever, severe abdominal pain, and an unpleasant-smelling vaginal discharge. If you experience these symptoms, it is important to seek prompt medical attention.
- Allergic reaction: While rare, some individuals may have an allergic reaction to the medications used in a medication abortion. Signs of an allergic reaction may include difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of the face, lips, or throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical help.
- Emotional impact: It is important to be aware of the potential emotional impact associated with medication abortion. Some individuals may experience a range of emotions, including sadness or guilt. It can be helpful to have a support system in place and to consider counseling or support resources to help navigate these emotions.
Surgical abortion is a medical procedure that involves the removal of the baby from the uterus to end a pregnancy. It is typically performed in a clinic or hospital setting by a healthcare professional.
- Vacuum aspiration (also known as suction curettage): This is the most common type of surgical abortion. It involves using a suction tube to remove the embryo and uterine lining from the uterus.
- Dilation and curettage (D&C): This procedure involves dilating (opening) the cervix and scraping the uterine lining with a curette to remove the pregnancy tissue. It may be used in cases where vacuum aspiration is not feasible.
- Dilation and evacuation (D&E): This procedure is usually performed in the second trimester of pregnancy. It involves dilating the cervix and using suction and instruments to remove the embryo and uterine lining.
Knowing the Risks of a Surgical Abortion:
- Infection: Like any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection following a surgical abortion. The uterus is vulnerable to infection during and after the procedure.
- Hemorrhage: In rare cases, surgical abortion can lead to excessive bleeding or hemorrhage. This can happen if the uterus is not properly evacuated or if there is damage to blood vessels during the procedure.
- Damage to the uterus or other organs: Though rare, there is a possibility of injury to the uterus or adjacent organs during a surgical abortion. This may occur if the instruments accidentally penetrate the walls of the uterus or if there are pre-existing conditions that make the procedure more challenging.
- Anesthesia complications: Surgical abortion procedures generally involve the use of anesthesia to ensure patient comfort. While serious complications are rare, there is always a small risk associated with anesthesia, such as allergic reactions or adverse effects on the respiratory or cardiovascular systems.
- Emotional impact: While not a physical risk, it is important to consider the potential emotional impact of a surgical abortion. It is common for individuals to experience a range of emotions, including sadness, guilt, or anxiety, following the procedure. It is recommended to seek appropriate emotional support, such as counseling or support groups, to address any concerns or emotions that may arise.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and now you are considering pregnancy options counseling, we’re here to help. At Mosaic, we are here to inform you of your options and to empower you to make the best choice for your situation.
Navigating the Emotional Journey: Finding Post-Abortion Support
At Mosaic we recognize that women may experience unresolved feelings following an abortion. You do not have to face the emotions of abortion alone. Contact us to learn more about our free abortion recovery program.
Pregnancy and parenting are filled with lots of uncertainty. Our Earn While You Learn and Lifestyle Classes help to answer many of the questions you have and to ease your anxiety.