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If you’re pregnant and it wasn’t in your plans, you may be considering an abortion procedure. There are two types of abortions:

Both of these abortion options do come with associated risks and should always be thoroughly discussed with a trusted provider or at your local pregnancy center.

What Is An Abortion?

An abortion is a procedure that causes a pregnancy to end by terminating the embryo or fetus. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Talk with your health care provider to get answers to your questions, help you weigh alternatives and consider the impact the procedure may have on your future.”

What Risks Should I Discuss With My Provider?

Risks can vary depending on the type of procedure. Some risks you can speak with your provider about include:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection

What Should I Do First?

There are several things you should do before undergoing an abortion.

First, confirm the pregnancy with a reliable pregnancy test and ultrasound image. Sometimes women take a home pregnancy test but an inaccurate result can be obtained. Confirming a pregnancy with a reliable test followed by an ultrasound can ensure pregnancy loss hasn’t occurred, or you received the wrong result for another reason.

Ultrasound also helps to protect your health by confirming an ectopic pregnancy isn’t present, which can become a medical emergency, and provide information on your options based on the pregnancy’s gestational age.

Lastly, speaking with a professional and discussing your health history, current medications, and concerns is essential to understanding how a procedure can impact you.

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