Although PCS Health does not provide or refer for abortion, we do want to offer factual information about the various procedures, side effects, and potential physical and emotional risks.

Your health matters to us. Having an abortion is a big, life-changing decision and deserves to be understood completely. We believe by preparing yourself beforehand, you will know whether this is the best decision for your unplanned pregnancy.

What Are the Types of Abortion?

There are two types of abortion: medication and surgical. How far along you are in your pregnancy (the gestation) determines which type you have.

Medication (also known as the abortion pill method)

Medication abortion uses two drugs to terminate a pregnancy. The FDA approves the use of the first drug, mifepristone, through 10 weeks of gestation only (70 days from the first day of your last menstrual period). The Mayo Clinic recommends not using the drug past 9 weeks (56 days).

Why is there a time limit? Because the farther along you are in your pregnancy, the less effective the drug becomes. This means you may have an incomplete abortion, which can lead to infection. Heavy and prolonged bleeding is also a potential risk.


Abortion providers perform a surgical procedure using a vacuum or suction device during the first trimester (the first 12 weeks). As your pregnancy progresses, the provider adds surgical instruments such as a curette, a sharp spoon-shaped scraping tool. Later pregnancies may require the use of forceps, too.

Surgical abortions often require dilating (opening) the cervix, which leads to the uterus. The provider may use local or general anesthesia for pain purposes. Possible risks include puncturing a hole in your uterus, damage to your cervix, or heavy bleeding.

How Do I Find Out How Far Along I Am?

You may use a period tracking app, keep a physical calendar, or think you know when your period should start. However, discovering the ovulation date (when you are most likely to get pregnant) is different.

Sperm can live for up to five days in the reproductive tract, meaning the exact date of fertilization is difficult to determine.

An ultrasound is the best way to determine how far you are in your pregnancy. Ultrasound not only reveals the number of weeks but also detects if your pregnancy is growing or if you have had a miscarriage.

Plus, ultrasound locates your pregnancy to determine if it is correctly implanted in your uterus. If not, you could have a dangerous ectopic pregnancy.

What’s My Next Step?

Contact PCS Health for free pregnancy testing and a free limited ultrasound. If you are considering abortion, make sure you also get tested for an STI. We provide free testing and treatment for gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia.

Take charge of your health so you can make a confident decision. We’ll get you the information you need. Contact us to schedule an appointment. We’re here for you.

*PCS Health does not perform or refer for abortions.