Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy either through drugs or surgery. If you are considering abortion or trying to understand your pregnancy options, here are a few pieces of information you need to know.

1. There Are Different Types of Abortion.

The two main types of abortion are medical abortion and surgical abortion. Medical abortion is only FDA-approved through the first ten weeks of pregnancy, and it involves taking drugs to end the pregnancy and then expel it through abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding.

Surgical abortion is more invasive and happens within a clinical or hospital setting. In this type of procedure, a licensed medical provider dilates your cervix and then uses surgical tools and suction to remove the pregnancy and tissue from your uterus.

2. Medical Abortion Isn’t an Option for Some Women.

Since medical abortion involves taking a drug that triggers vaginal bleeding, it’s not an option for women with certain health conditions–including those with bleeding disorders, uncontrolled seizure disorders, certain heart or blood vessel diseases, or severe lung, kidney, or liver diseases.

Before considering medical abortion, make sure to evaluate your health history, current medications (as some can interact with medical abortion drugs), and allergies.

You should also have STD testing to prevent an existing STD from spreading deeper into the reproductive organs and developing into pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

If you have an IUD in place, this should be removed for your safety first.

3. An Ultrasound Can Protect Your Health.

Because medical abortions are only FDA-approved through ten weeks of pregnancy and abortion does not treat ectopic pregnancy, an ultrasound can protect your health before abortion.

An ultrasound tells you how far along you are (gestational age) and whether or not a medical abortion would be an option. It can also identify the location of your pregnancy (it should be in your uterus and not ectopic) and whether it’s progressing or you miscarried.

These details will inform your next steps to understand your options and ensure you receive timely medical treatment when needed.

Be Empowered with Information

The more you know, the better you can care for your reproductive health.

Sienna Women’s Health offers no-cost pregnancy services, including pregnancy testing and ultrasound scans. Schedule an appointment for these no-cost services and more information on your options.