What are the Types of Abortion: Surgical or Nonsurgical

For a woman, realizing she is pregnant can be life-altering, especially if it’s an unplanned pregnancy. It is important for her to gather information to make the best decision. Here we are going to share the two kinds of abortion.


Hand holding a pillHand holding a pill

Non-surgical abortions, also called medical abortions, are known as the “Abortion Pill” and can be used up to the 11th-week gestation. It involves two medications. Mifepristone is taken first, which blocks the body from producing progesterone, a hormone necessary to provide nutrients. This will stop the pregnancy from growing. Misoprostol will then be taken 24-48 hours later. This medication causes cramping and bleeding to empty the uterus.


Surgical abortions are performed differently depending on the gestational age of the pregnancy. All involve inserting an instrument into a dilated cervix to remove all pregnancy tissue. Then the uterus is scraped to ensure all tissue is removed.

Women on their phonesWomen on their phones

If the pregnancy is beyond the first trimester, a dilation-evacuation (D&E) can be performed. The pregnancy is unable to simply be suctioned from the uterus, a combination of breaking apart the fetal tissue, scraping, and suctioning; will be used to remove all pregnancy tissue from the uterus.


  • Heavy Bleeding

  • Cramping

  • Nausea/Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Headaches

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Fatigue

  • Pelvic Pain

  • Allergic Reaction

  • Infection

As with any procedure, there are risks involved. When using the abortion pill, the woman is typically in her home, without access to medical help. She could begin hemorrhaging or may not be prepared- for the intensity or the cramping that may occur. She is also at risk of infection should any pregnancy tissue be left in the uterus. Additionally, similar to complications listed above, risks of injury to the cervix or uterus can occur with a surgical abortion.

When considering which type of procedure, we recommend contacting Crossroads to confirm pregnancy with a medical-grade pregnancy test, confirm the pregnancy is in the uterus with an ultrasound, and then confirm there is no chlamydia or gonorrhea; which can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).