As with any medical procedure, abortion comes with risks. There are two types of abortion: medical abortion (the abortion pill) and surgical abortion.

It’s essential to carefully evaluate the risks to determine if abortion is something you feel comfortable choosing.

What Is a Medical Abortion?

While medical abortion may have different names, it is always a two-step regimen of two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Mifepristone is prescribed and taken at an abortion clinic or medical facility. It blocks progesterone, an essential pregnancy hormone—once blocked, the lining of the uterine thins, causing fetal demise. 

Misoprostol is taken between 24-48 hours later at home. It induces cramps and contractions that expel the embryo from your body through the vagina. 

What Are The Risks of A Medical Abortion? 

The Mayo Clinic states there are complications associated with this procedure women should be aware of, including: 

  • Heavy bleeding (soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours)
  • Severe abdominal or back pain
  • Fever lasting more than 24 hours
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

What Is a Surgical Abortion?

Surgical abortion is performed by first dilating the cervix (the opening of the uterus) and then using a mixture of suction and surgical tools to remove the pregnancy tissue.


There are a few types: vacuum aspiration, dilation & curettage (D&C), and dilation & evacuation (D&E). The type will depend on the facility and how far along you are. 


Vacuum aspiration uses mainly suction to remove a first-trimester pregnancy. A D&C removes the pregnancy with suction and uses a sharp surgical instrument to remove tissue from the uterus. 

A D&E uses a combination of vacuum aspiration and dilation & curettage, plus more surgical tools like forceps to grasp larger pieces of tissue.

What Are the Risks of Surgical Abortion?

According to Mayo Clinic, these are the risks of surgical abortion:


  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection

How Can I Stay Safe?

Knowing your pregnancy’s gestation, ruling out ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, and completing STI testing and treatment can improve personal safety.


At the Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford, we offer many beneficial services at no cost to you. We can confirm and date your pregnancy and provide STI testing and treatment for free. 


Contact us to schedule your appointment today!

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