Comparing Medical vs Surgical abortion by Heritage Clinic for Women Heritage Clinic for Women abortion clinic in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Comparing Medical vs Surgical Abortion

For those who are 5 to 10 weeks LMP

Advantages and Disadvantages (Medical vs Surgical Abortion)

Medical abortion is simply another alternative to a suction aspiration procedure (surgical abortion). One procedure is not better than the other, they are just two different ways of experiencing an abortion. The perceived advantages and disadvantages with each option will vary depending on individual circumstances and perspectives. We have learned much about the Medical abortion experience from our patients who have chosen that option. Patients have made their decision during discussions with our counseling staff and have shared what the process was like with our medical staff during their follow up.

The following table will outline a number of the perceived advantages and disadvantages that previous patients have shared with us. The chart below displays Medical vs Surgical Abortion.

Please use it to gain insight into which process seems to fit you best.

Please consider your feelings about your choice; what will work best with your work and home schedule; the level of support you feel you will need to carry out each option and whether you have that level of support available to you; the level of comfort you feel with your body in relation to inserting medication vaginally or having a surgical procedure; whether you’d feel most comfortable leaving the clinic having the procedure done and going home to recover versus having started the process at the clinic and going home to privately pass the pregnancy.


You will have ample opportunity during your appointment to have both procedures explained in person by one of our counselors and to have all your questions answered.

Come prepared financially for the most you expect you will need (please contact the clinic for current fees) and we will see what the ultrasound indicates you will qualify for.

Advantages The medical abortion is more of a process that may feel more comforting and natural for some people. The appointment may be scheduled as soon as one day after a missed period. The surgical procedure is required to complete the process in less than 2 % of cases. The abortion may occur in the privacy and comfort of the patient’s home. The person has the freedom to be alone or have a supportive friend, partner, or family member with them. Avoiding use of instruments eliminates the risks of perforation or laceration of the cervix or uterus. The surgical abortion is more of an event that may feel more secure and resolved for some people. The procedure is brief (3 to 5 minutes). The clinic staff is present and immediately available to provide medical and emotional support. Cramping and bleeding is rarely severe and often mild. A deeper sedative requiring monitoring by medical staff is provided. The appointment requires one visit for the procedure and an optional follow-up visit which may be done at the clinic or with the patient’s own doctor. The procedure is more than 99.5% completely successful.
Disadvantages Patients must be no more than 70 days pregnant. The time it may take to complete the abortion process is unpredictable. The patient is required to return to the clinic for a repeat ultrasound and has a 5% chance that additional visits may be necessary if the abortion process is incomplete. It is possible to experience prolonged or heavy bleeding with hard cramping. The process may be harder to schedule due to the increased responsibilities and time commitment involved with inserting the Cytotec at home. A person must be at least 4 weeks 6 days from their last menstrual period to qualify. Instruments are used to remove the pregnancy that creates the rare but possible risks of perforation or laceration of the cervix or uterus. Clinic staff is present; therefore, the abortion experience is less private.
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           To obtain a copy of your medical record, please contact our records custodian at:

Morgan Records Management: Medical Record

Online:>Patient Records Requests>Request My Medical Records


Phone: 833-888-0061

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