I missed my period! What happens in an abortion & What are the risks? What’s Next?
I MISSED MY PERIOD!
“I missed my period and I might be pregnant” can raise a lot of questions. Like “what are my options?”, “what happens in an abortion?”, “what are the risks of abortion?”.
So what do you do? First, confirm your pregnancy. Missing your period is not a confirmation of pregnancy.
Making an appointment for a pregnancy test is easy. ABC Life Choices will provide a free pregnancy test. If your test is positive, you may qualify for a free limited ultrasound to verify your pregnancy. Click here to make your appointment. Other reasons you may miss a period include:
- Experiencing excessive weight gain or weight loss
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders
- Increased exercise
- Different birth control methods
- Hormonal changes or problems
When you are pregnant your body responds with powerful changes that will support the pregnancy. Don’t be alarmed by changes. This link from FamilyDoctor.org details some of what you may experience in the first several months.
WHAT IS ABORTION?
“the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.” – Google Definition
Once you have confirmed your pregnancy by ultrasound, you can determine which kind of abortion may be performed – either taking a series of pills (called medical abortion), or a surgical procedure. Both, ultimately stop the growth of the fetus and remove it from your body.
There are possible risks to consider including physical, emotional and relational when you’re thinking of making a pregnancy decision. You can make an appointment to discuss abortion and your options, at no cost to you, by clicking here:
WHAT IS A MEDICAL ABORTION?
The most common type of medical abortion uses abortion pills. These can be taken up to nine weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP) and will cut off the lifeline to the embryo. Cramping is the body’s natural response. Cramping results in pushing the embryo out, thus ending the pregnancy in a non-surgical manner. Side effects may include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, severe cramping, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, fever and chills. The potential risks are heavy bleeding, possible life-threatening infection, undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy and failed abortion. If the pills fail, a surgical procedure is done to complete the abortion. Other potential risks may include negative emotions including anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts and behavior.
WHAT IS A SURGICAL ABORTION?
Surgical abortions can be performed four weeks after your last menstrual period (LMP). The most common procedure is suction aspiration. It is performed up to approximately 13 weeks LMP. First, a long plastic tube is inserted into the uterus. Then it is attached to a suction device. Last, the fetus is suctioned out. Some surgical abortion risks are: heavy bleeding, infection, incomplete abortion, damage to cervix, uterus, or other internal organs, and emotional problems (anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and suicidal thoughts and behavior).
After 13 weeks LMP, the Dilation & Evacuation procedure is used. Because the fetus is larger, the cervix must be opened wider than in a 1st trimester abortion. Laminaria (dried seaweed sticks used to expand the cervix) is usually placed in the cervix for 2 – 3 days before the procedure. The procedure is identical to a 1st trimester suction abortion, except that after suction is used to remove the uterine contents, remaining fetal parts are removed with forceps. A curette may be used to scrape out remaining tissue.
At 16 weeks LMP, a more complicated surgery is required. Now the fetus is too large to fit through the suction tubing. Surgical instruments are used to grasp and pull body parts through the open cervix. To remove remaining tissue or remaining blood clots, a scraping device and suction machine is used. Surgical abortion risks at this stage may be: incomplete abortion (which occurs when fetal tissue is left in your body), heavy bleeding, organ damage.
At 24 weeks LMP, it is possible for the fetus to survive outside the mothers’ body. The law requires that doctor make sure that the fetus is no longer alive before it is removed. Before the surgical abortion, an injection is given to stop the fetal heart. Later term abortions are much more expensive. They are not available in many states and have a higher risk of complications. Additionally, they have the highest risk of death compared to earlier abortions.
An abortion usually ends a pregnancy quickly. Some women express immediate relief. Meanwhile, some women report negative emotions that linger. As a result, mental and emotional health issues that disrupt a woman’s life emerge months or years later.
Because we are a non-profit, we don’t have a cash register! So all our services are at no cost to you. Therefore, you can expect the following:
- Make an online appointment via phone or text by clicking the link: https://abclifechoices.org/appointment/
- Arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment
- Fill out the one page intake form
- Meet privately with a client advocate
- Take “no cost to you” pregnancy test
- Discuss options with client advocate
- If needed and you qualify, you may schedule a “no cost to you” limited ultrasound for verification, viability and dating of pregnancy
There is power in the choice that you make. Before you decide, choose to be educated.
We welcome you as a woman who is in a crisis. No judgement, no shame.
ABC Life Choices is located at, 416 Avenida de la Estrella in San Clemente California.
Call or text us today, 949 334 7722