Bay Area Pregnancy Services

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If you have just found out that you are pregnant, and this isn’t a part of your plans right now, you may be feeling afraid and alone. You may have a hard time admitting that you have become pregnant. Eventually, you'll need to decide what you will do.

You owe it to yourself to become acquainted with all your options. This is one of the biggest decisions you may make in your life. Before you choose, carefully weigh your choices based on information rather than just emotion. Use your head to guide your heart.

Abortion carries consequences. We encourage you to resist the pressure to make a quick decision. Take a few days to be sure that you understand the consequences of abortion. Help is always available at Bay Area Pregnancy Services in the form of friendship, support, love and understanding.  Our pre & post abortion counseling is for women who are contemplatingan abortion or who have experienced an abortion and need special care.

Although abortion is legal, no one can force you to have an abortion--not your parents, boyfriend, school counselor or doctor. You are not alone. If you are pregnant, it is important to talk through your feelings. It is important to get all the facts before you make your decision. If you can't talk to your parents, please talk to us. If your partner is too stressed to give you the support you need, please talk to us.

"If only I had known. If only one person had told me..." Millions of women have had abortions. Some claim no regrets. However, many experience remorse when they face the finality of their abortion decision.

If you're considering an abortion, you need to know how far along you are because there are different procedures depending upon the stage of pregnancy. Also, you want to make sure that you have a viable, uterine pregnancy. If your pregnancy isn't viable, it means you will probably end up having a miscarriage soon, and there is no point in going through with a surgical or chemical abortion, especially considering the cost and risks involved. If you don't have a uterine pregnancy, you could have an "ectopic" pregnancy (in the fallopian tube) which would need to be surgically removed (an abortion isn't going to remove it).
Types of Abortion
Before 14 weeks

Morning After Pill

The "Morning After" Pill contains a high dosage of the hormone progestin and when it is used as directed, it prevents or ends pregnancy. It is marketed as an "emergency contraceptive". Plan B is a brand name.
The pill is supposed to be taken in two doses. The first dose must be taken within 72 hours after intercourse, followed by the second pill 12 hours later.

Side effects may include:

    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Irregular and unpredictable menstrual cycles
    • Breast tenderness
    • Fatigue
    • Headache

Also, the cramping and abdominal pain resulting may mask thesymptoms of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, a potentially life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus.

If an egg has been fertilized and you take emergency contraception, the pill will work to prevent implantation of the embryo. If this happens, a very early abortion will occur.

Suction Aspiration:

For this procedure you lie on your back with your feet in stirrups, and the doctor applies a shot of anesthetic to your cervix to reduce pain. Your cervical muscle is stretched with cone-shaped rods until the opening is wide enough to allow the abortion tools to pass into your uterus. Then the doctor guides the suction device through the cervix and into your uterus.

When the suction machine is turned on, you would feel the strong force of the vacuum, which is used to pull the placenta and fetus into parts small enough to pass out of your body through the suction tube. During this surgery the doctor detaches the fetus from the wall of the uterus with the powerful suction tip.

Dilation and Curettage (D & C):

The doctor opens your cervix, as described above, but in this case the abortion is done with a loop-shaped knife which he uses to scrape the wall of your uterus, cutting the fetus and placenta into smaller parts and pulling them out of your body through the cervix.

After 14 weeks

Dilation and Evacuation (D & E):

Because the bones of the fetus are larger and stronger by this time, the doctor uses a medical instrument resembling pliers to pull the fetus into smaller parts and removes those parts from your body through the cervix. This procedure requires that your cervix be opened wider than with Suction or D & C methods, and there is greater risk of harm to your reproductive organs.

After 16 weeks

Saline or Prostaglandin

Saline or Prostaglandin is injected into the amniotic fluid, which surrounds the fetus in your uterus. To do this, the doctor inserts a long needle into your abdomen until the tip of the needle penetrates the uterus. He then injects one of these substances into the amniotic fluid. Saline is poisonous to the fetus. Prostaglandin causes the muscle tissue of the mother to push the fetus out of the uterus. Both saline and Prostaglandin methods would require you to "give birth" to the dead fetus. The labor, which precedes the expulsion of the fetus, is often long and painful.

Late Term Abortions

Dilation and Extraction: (partial birth abortion)

Laminaria (a type of seaweed that expands when moist) is used to dilate the cervix over a two-day period. On the third day, the membranes are ruptured. An ultrasound is used to locate the lower extremities. The doctor then uses large forceps to grasp a leg, and pull it down into the vagina. After the body is delivered, the skull is lodged at the cervical opening. The doctor makes an incision in the base of the fetal skull, inserts a suction catheter and evacuates the skull. This technique may be safer than a D & E abortion because the fetus is not dismembered in the uterus. However, damage may occur due to extensive stretching of the cervix during the procedure


Side Effects of Abortion