Knowing the Difference Between Medication Abortions and Surgical Abortions

At Northland Family Planning, we offer both the non-surgical, or abortion pill, and the surgical, or in-clinic, abortion options. It is our goal to make sure our patients have choices and feel a sense of control over their care.

If you are 10 weeks or less into your pregnancy, the abortion pill is available to you. Just like the surgical abortion, you will schedule an appointment and go through all of the same pre-procedure steps. The first pill you are given is called Mifeprex (Mifepristone) and is taken in our office. This pill stops the pregnancy from growing. The second set of medications and pain medication are given to you to take at home. These expel the pregnancy.

Women who choose this option do so for a variety of reasons. Some women feel that it is a more “natural” way to terminate their pregnancy. Others like the idea of being at home with a loved one to support them. It is important to keep in mind that, while the abortion pill sounds “easy,” there can be a significant amount of pain and bleeding that will require management by you at home (with our help, of course). It may also require additional follow-up visits, so we can be sure your pregnancy as passed. You have to be comfortable with the fact that, when you leave the clinic, you will still be pregnant even though you have started the process with the first pill. It is also important to know that the abortion pill experience is different for everyone. Visit our website for more information on the abortion pill.

The surgical abortion, when you are in your first trimester, lasts only 3-5 minutes. You have the option of sedative for pain relief during the abortion. Recovery time in the office is less than an hour. Many women like this option because when they leave the office, they can rest easy knowing that their abortion was complete. Barring any unforeseen complications, there is only one return visit for the follow-up exam.

We can help you decide which option is best for you. Some women have a harder time deciding than others, and that’s ok! Call us—we are here for you and have all the information you need to make an informed choice between abortion procedures.