What to Expect During an Abortion

Not only is deciding to get an abortion a big decision, but it is a serious medical procedure. If you are considering an abortion, you are likely running into a lot of unknowns about what actually happens during the procedure. 

If you are more than ten weeks pregnant, you will need a surgical abortion. Depending on exactly how far along you are, you will either have an aspiration abortion or a dilation and evacuation abortion. 

While the procedures vary, there are common things you can expect during and after an abortion as outlined below.

Before the abortion

On the day of your scheduled abortion, you will likely be told to arrive early to fill out paperwork. This is typical for any surgical procedure and will include things like filling out a consent form, learning about potential side effects, and also learning about various pain medication options after the procedure. If they do not explain the possible side effects, make sure you ask about them so you are prepared if you do experience any of them.

During the abortion

You will be led into a procedure room and local anesthesia may be administered, depending on what kind of procedure you are going to have. You will lie on a table and your feet will likely be put in stirrups to keep them out of the way. The doctor will begin by dilating your cervix with medication absorbent rods that expand slowly as they absorb your bodily fluid. If you are having an aspiration abortion, a long tube will be inserted into your uterus, and a suction device on the other end of the tube will pull out the pregnancy. If you are having a dilation and evacuation abortion, a shot may or may not be administered to the fetus to ensure fetal demise. The fetus will be taken apart piece by piece using forceps and each piece will be removed. Regardless of which procedure you have done, the lining of your uterus will be scraped to ensure all pieces of the pregnancy are removed. 

After the abortion

It is common to experience side effects such as feeling faint nauseous, cramping, sweating, and bleeding. Other side effects like infections, blood clots, damage to the cervix, damage to the lining of your uterus, or a perforated uterus are rarer but are also possible. 

If your symptoms last longer than two weeks, or if you experience extreme symptoms, you should visit your local emergency room.

If you are considering an abortion, the staff at your local pregnancy resource center are available to discuss the procedure and the risks with you. Make an appointment today so you can make an informed decision about your unplanned pregnancy. 

Information in this article comes from AbortionProcedures.com and AmericanPregnancy.org.