Medical and Surgical Abortions at a Glance: Which Method Is Right For Me?

The decision on which abortion method to choose should be made once a full education of both options are presented; at Stony Brook Women’s Health we can do just that. Our health care professionals are dedicated to providing a full education on both methods, and answering any questions or concerns that may arise. In order for you to feel confident in your decision no question or concern should be left unaddressed and full support should always be immediately available.

Medical Abortions

The medical abortion method requires taking pills to empty the contents of the uterus. The pills are to be taken over two days, and can be used 63 days after the first day of the last menstrual period. The first series of pills is called mifepristone and are taken in the office. The next set of pills are called misoprostol and will be sent home with the patient to be taken the following day. The pills will stop the growth of the pregnancy overnight and they usually have no side effects. The medication makes the uterus contract to expel the no-longer viable pregnancy. When the uterus contracts, it may feel like slight cramping which can be remedied with ibuprofen. Some slight bleeding may also occur. Medical abortions are around 97% effective.

Surgical Abortions

A surgical abortion can be performed up to the 24th week of pregnancy. Although this is referred to as a surgical abortion, there is no cutting involved in the procedure. The patient chooses to be either awake or asleep, and assumes the position of a pelvic exam or a pap smear. The doctor inserts a sterile suction cup into the cervix which suctions out the uterine contents. This process takes about five minutes. In order to make sure the procedure was successful, the doctor will perform a sonogram directly afterwards. After the procedure it is recommended that the patient gets a ride home and relaxes for the rest of the day. Spotting and cramping commonly occur for about two weeks afterwards, and the doctor can prescribe the patient antibiotics and birth control. The procedure is 100% effective.

Which Method Is Right For Me?

This is a decision that you would need to make on your own or with your doctor. Both procedures are effective and have very few side effects. Many people prefer the simplicity of a medical abortion, but others the extra effectiveness of the surgical. Either procedure is safe and doesn’t require much down time at all.

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Remember that the staff of Stony Brook Women’s Health is here to help you decide which option is best for you. We are happy to answer any of your questions and you can contact us anytime.


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