What You Need To Know About Having A Surgical Abortion

When you need to end a pregnancy, you have a couple of options. In the early weeks of the pregnancy, you may be a candidate for a medical abortion, sometimes known as the "abortion pill". However, a medical abortion is only an option for a short window of time. After that, you'll need to go another route: the surgical abortion. This usually involves terminating the pregnancy via vacuum aspiration. Take a look at some things that you should know about having an early surgical abortion.

Paying for a Surgical Abortion

One of the biggest concerns that many women have about having an abortion is how to pay for it. Not all insurance companies pay for abortions, but some do, so check with your insurance company first. Bring your insurance card with you when you go to the clinic – even if your insurance company doesn't cover the abortion procedure, they may cover some related costs. For example, patients who have a negative blood type will need a shot after the procedure, and most insurance companies will cover that.

Although federal funds can't be used to cover abortion costs, some state-funded Medicaid plans do cover the procedure, so check the rules in your state. If you don't have insurance or Medicaid that will cover the costs and you can't afford the whole cost of the procedure yourself, there are abortion funding organizations that exist to help low-income women afford abortions.

Preparing for Your Abortion

Preparing for a surgical abortion is similar to preparing for any other minor, same-day surgery. Your doctor will probably advise you to avoid eating or taking any over the counter medications for several hours prior to the procedure. If you take prescription medications, be sure to discuss those with the doctor before the procedure – they'll let you know whether to take your medications as usual or hold off on the day of the procedure.

In many cases, patients undergo some form of sedation during the procedure. If you're going to be sedated, you should plan to bring an escort who can drive you home or assist you on public transportation. Dress comfortably on the day of the procedure, and clear your schedule for the day – the procedure shouldn't take long, but you'll probably want to relax and rest for at least the rest of the day.

After the Abortion

Abortion is a controversial topic, and because people have strong opinions about it, the public discussion about it can be somewhat fraught. It's commonly thought that women who have abortions feel very sad or guilty after the procedure. However, this is not always the case. Many women feel relieved after having an abortion. Some women feel happy. Some women have no strong feelings about their abortion at all. And some women do feel upset or conflicted afterward.

Whatever you feel after your abortion is fine and normal for you. Many abortion clinics offer counseling services or referrals to counselors as well, which can be helpful if you want to talk to someone about your feelings.

Be sure to keep your follow-up appointment after the abortion so that your doctor can check to make sure that the procedure was successful and that your body is recovering normally.