Thinking About Abortion?

An unplanned pregnancy can feel overwhelming, regardless of your circumstances. It’s normal to feel confused about what you want to do, but understanding your optionscan feel empowering!

If you’re considering abortion, you should confirm your pregnancy first. At the Pregnancy Resource Center, we provide free pregnancy testing. After a positive test, our medical staff will perform an ultrasound to determine the viability of your pregnancy and the estimated gestational age (how far along you are). With that information, our staff can answer any questions you may have about abortion! We want to empower you to make an informed decision.

What is an abortion? 

An abortion refers to the termination of a pregnancy. A spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, refers to when a pregnancy naturally ends. An induced abortion refers to when a medication or a medical procedure intentionally ends the pregnancy.

 

Where can I get an abortion? 

Women seeking an abortionshould first confirm that they are pregnant and confirm the viability of their pregnancy. Statelaws determine whether a woman can order abortion pills online or must go to a verified healthcare provider for an abortion. The Pregnancy Resource Center provides freepregnancy testing and ultrasounds near you for this reason. Although we don’t perform abortions or refer to abortion providers, we provide the information you need to make an informed decision. 

 

How much does an abortion cost? 

Abortion costs depend on how far along you are and the type of abortion you qualify for. Medical abortions could cost up to $800 and surgical abortions could cost up to $5000. Some abortion providers have additional costs for abortion information visits or post-abortion follow-up.

 

Is a miscarriage the same as an abortion? 

In a miscarriage, or spontaneous abortion, the embryo or fetus naturally dies. But in an induced abortion, medications or surgery ends the life of the embryo or fetus intentionally. Sometimes after a miscarriage, a woman may need medical or surgical interventions to aid her body in expelling the pregnancy products. If you believe that you may be having a miscarriage, you should seek medical care immediately. Pregnancy Resource Center does not provide miscarriage medical care, but we do have referrals for emotional care after a miscarriage. 

 

What is the abortion pill? 

 

With a medical abortion, a woman intentionally takes pills to terminate her pregnancy. A medical abortion may also be referred to asabortion pills, RU-486, or at-home abortion. Medical abortions can only be performed up until 10 weeks of pregnancy (or 70 days after the first day of your last menstrual period). So, the FDA strongly recommends receiving an ultrasound before a medical abortion to determine viability and estimated gestational age.

 

The process involves two medications. The first medication, mifepristone, interferes with progesterone receptors and prevents the pregnancy from developing. The second medication, misoprostol, causes the uterus to cramp and expel the pregnancy. 

 

Depending on the gestational age, a healthcare provider will prescribe the right dosage for the misoprostol, and then provide instructions about how and when to take the medications. 

 

What are contraindications for an abortion? 

Contraindications for medical abortions include a pregnancy over 10 weeks, an ectopic pregnancy, and other medical conditions. All women should speak with a healthcare provider before obtaining a medical abortion and receive education regarding the risks, warning signs, and possible complications. 

 

Contraindications for surgical abortions include allergies to anesthesia and some medical conditions. Any woman considering abortion should know the contraindications and risks of complications. 

 

What is a surgical abortion? 

In a surgical abortion, a woman goes into a clinic and has her pregnancy surgically removed. Depending on the estimated gestational age, a few different surgical options are available. 

 

In the first thirteen weeks of pregnancy, a woman can have a vacuum aspiration (or suction curettage) with a dilation and curettage (D&C). A healthcare provider dilates a woman’s cervix to hold it open before inserting a plastic tube into the uterus. Often, an instrument called a curette is used to remove the contents of the pregnancy, while the plastic tube sucks out the pregnancy products.

 

After 13 weeks of pregnancy, a dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion is required. A healthcare provider dilates the cervix sometimes a day or two before the abortion. Then, instruments are inserted into the uterus to separate and remove parts of the fetus before using a suction device to remove the pieces. 

 

To terminate a pregnancy after 18 weeks, multiple days of procedures are required in a dilation and extraction (D&X). Typically, the procedures begin by dilating the cervix over a few days, then inserting a needle through the cervix and into the fetus’s heart with a medication that will cause the fetus’s heart to stop beating. After a day or two, medications may be administered that causes the uterus to contract. A doctor often then uses forceps to deliver the fetus’s head and to remove the skull. 

 

What are the side effects of abortion?

Expected side effects of a medical abortion including cramping, bleeding, nausea, and diarrhea. After a surgical abortion, a woman may experience cramping, bleeding, and weakness. Healthcare professionals should provide follow-up care after an abortion. Women who experience severe abdominal pain, heavy vaginal bleeding, foul-smelling discharge, a fever, or fainting after an abortion should seek medical care at once. 

 

What are the risks of abortion? 

Induced abortions increase a woman’s risk of experiencing scarring of the uterine lining, perforation of the uterus, infection, complications in future pregnancies, and other medical complications. Recent studies show that after an abortion, women have an increased risk for mental health problems including regret, relationship conflicts, depression, sense of isolation, or nightmares.

 

At the Pregnancy Resource Center, some of our staff members have been where you are right now. They too, have faced difficult situations that caused them to consider difficult decisions. So, during your free appointment, our trained staff will provide you with medically accurate information within a judgment-free and compassionate environment. Call us today at (865)328-9651 or make an appointment online. 

 

We do not perform abortions or provide abortion referrals. 

 

Sources used:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/medical-abortion

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/vacuum-aspiration 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/dilation-and-curettage 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/dilation-and-evacuation 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18279695/#:~:text=Conclusion%3A%20Intrafetal%20digoxin%20injection%20at,are%20effective%20in%20most%20cases.  

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifepristone-medical-termination-pregnancy-through-ten-weeks-gestation 

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/information-about-mifepristone-medical-termination-pregnancy-through-ten-weeks-gestation 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3841747/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6682630/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10552-013-0325-7

https://www.jpands.org/vol22no4/coleman.pdf

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Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) is a pregnancy medical clinic providing services free of charge. In our holistic approach to medical services, we are here to provide you with the support you need before, during, and after your pregnancy. Our medical director or registered nurses on staff do not perform or refer for abortions. PRC is a 501(c)3 in the state of Tennessee.

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