When faced with an unexpected pregnancy, you might feel fear, confusion, and possibly anger. You wonder what you’re going to do. How will you tell your partner or your parents? What about finishing school or beginning your career? We understand your concerns, and we’re here to support you as you figure this out.

Abortion is one option for an unexpected pregnancy, but you’ll need to ask yourself if it is the right one for you. You need to be physically and emotionally prepared to make this decision. Talk with our medical team about the different procedures, side effects, and possible risks.

Two Types Of Abortion

There are two types of abortion: medical and surgical. The abortion method is determined by how far along you are in your pregnancy (gestational age).

Medical Abortion

The abortion pill is a medical abortion. It uses two drugs to terminate a pregnancy over a 24 to 48-hour period. The timing for the abortion pill method is critical. You would qualify for this method if the first day of your last period were no more than 70 days (10 weeks) earlier.

Risks And Side Effects

  • Incomplete abortion
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Severe cramping
  • Passing large blood clots
  • Infection

Surgical Abortion

There are several surgical abortion methods based on the gestational age of your pregnancy. Vacuum aspiration or suction aspiration uses a suctioning device to remove early pregnancies.

During a vacuum aspiration abortion, the abortion provider uses a tube attached to a bottle and a pump for suctioning and scraping out the contents of the uterus. During a dilation and curettage (D & C), the abortion provider opens the cervix and removes the tissue lining the uterus. A dilation and evacuation (D & E) procedure also uses suctioning and scraping devices, but can require forceps to remove larger parts of the pregnancy.

Generally, your cervix would need to be dilated (opened) wide enough to allow the abortion instruments to pass into the uterus and expel the pregnancy tissue.

Risks And Side Effects

  • Damage to the cervix
  • Puncturing the uterus
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Scar tissue on the wall of the uterus
  • Infection

Emotional Side Effects Of Abortion

Some women report a range of emotions after an abortion. Most women feel relief immediately afterward, but over time some begin experiencing sadness, guilt, and regret. Other post abortion experiences can include:

  • Depression/anxiety
  • Grief
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Substance abuse
  • Flashbacks
  • Sexual Dysfunction

Pregnancy Confirmation And Consultation

Before scheduling an abortion, confirm your pregnancy at Marin Pregnancy Clinic. Take a lab-quality pregnancy test at no charge. If it’s positive, your nurse may recommend an ultrasound to determine if your pregnancy is progressing, and how long you have been pregnant.

We’re fully committed to providing you with accurate information in a non-judgmental environment. Making choices without being fully informed isn’t choosing, it’s guessing. Talk with our medical team about all of your options.

While we provide information on abortion procedures, Marin Pregnancy Clinic does not perform or refer for abortions.