Abortion methods

Everyone is different in how they experience medication and aspiration abortion, but here is some general information comparing the two. Both kinds of abortion are considered very safe, with a less than 1 percent complication rate. Both have no effect on future fertility/pregnancies, unless there is a extremely rare, serious complication.

Frequently Asked Questions

Medication Abortion

Aspiration Abortion (surgical)

What does it cost? Covered under MSP. About $30 for pain medication for those without extended coverage. $735 without MSP. Covered under MSP.
$500 without MSP.
How much pain?  Varies greatly. Generally more pain for a longer period of time  Generally less pain for a shorter time
How much bleeding?  More bleeding, usually much heavier than a period Generally less bleeding, can be less than a period
What about side effects?  Many have flu like symptoms for a few hours including  diarrhea, fever, and chills. Less likely are nausea, vomiting or dizziness Can sometimes cause nausea, vomiting or dizziness for a short time after the procedure
How many appointments?  Usually two appointments. More time usually needed to rest  Usually one appointment
How long does it take?  95% are complete after one week Over 99% complete after one appointment

Please see this page  for more information on the differences between medical and aspiration abortion before booking your appointment.

Myths and Facts about Medication (Medical) Abortion

Myth: It is “just taking pills” or is easier than aspiration abortion
Fact: Medication abortion involves taking one medication to disrupt the pregnancy and a second one the next day that causes the uterus to cramp and bleed, contracting to push out the pregnancy tissue. The second medication tends to have more bleeding, pain, and other side effects associated with it than an aspiration.

Myth: It is the better option with an early pregnancy
Fact: Both medication and aspiration abortion are safe and effective for very early pregnancies.

Myth: It involves less pain than aspiration abortion
Fact: Everyone is a bit different, but generally medication abortion involves more pain for a longer time than aspiration abortion. Medication abortion drugs can also cause flu-like symptoms. Additional medications can be used to manage pain and other side effects.

Myth: It involves less bleeding than aspiration
Fact: Medication abortion usually causes bleeding that is heavier than a period; aspiration abortion tends to result in light bleeding that is often less than a period.

Myth: It is safer than aspiration (surgical) abortion
Fact: Complication rates for both medication and aspiration abortion are less than 1 percent. Both kinds of abortion are very safe.

Myths and Facts about Aspiration (Surgical) Abortion

Myth: Like major surgery it involves cutting, stitches or scarring
Fact: An aspiration abortion is a very safe, minor procedure that involves gentle suction. There is no cutting, stitches, or scarring. It takes about 7-8 minutes and most people return to normal activities within the next day or two.

Myth: It is more painful than medication abortion
Fact: Everyone is a bit different, but generally aspiration involves less pain for less time than a medication abortion (which causes the uterus to cramp and push out the pregnancy tissue). Medications are offered to manage pain and increase relaxation during the aspiration process.

Myth: It involves more bleeding than medication abortion
Fact: Aspiration tends to have much less bleeding than medication abortion. With aspiration, bleeding tends to be less than a period; with a medication abortion bleeding tends to be heavier than a period.

Myth: It makes it harder to have a baby in the future
Fact: Unless there is an extremely rare complication, abortion has no effect at all on future fertility/pregnancies.  The chance of an early surgical abortion affecting future fertility is approximately 1/10,000. Fertility returns very quickly after both kinds of abortion, and it is possible to be pregnant again right away.

Myth: You can’t have an aspiration abortion when a pregnancy is very early
Fact: An aspiration abortion can safely take place just as early as a medication abortion.

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