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Abortion Services

At Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health we offer three abortion methods to women. Depending on whether or not you’re in the first trimester or early second trimesters of pregnancy we’ll assist you in your decision making of which methods suits your needs best.

A medical abortion is a non-surgical option available to women who are no more than (9) weeks into the pregnancy dating from the first day of the last normal menstrual period (LMP). It is a safe and effective method of ending pregnancy using a combination of medications.

A surgical abortion is available in the first trimester (6 to 11.6 weeks) or second trimester  (12 to 16 weeks) into the pregnancy.

Which is best for me? — Medical Abortion vs. Surgical Abortion | view chart below or print [PDF]

Medical Abortion vs. Surgical Abortion Chart

Medical Abortion
(Mifeprex and Misoprostol medications)
Surgical Abortion
(Vacuum Aspiration)
How is it done? You take one pill by mouth that stops the development of the pregnancy. At home, 24-48 hours later, you insert 4 tablets into your mouth buccally (placed between the gum and cheek). Most women expel the pregnancy at home, within a couple of days, by bleeding and passing blood clots. Surgical abortion is generally a 5-10 minute procedure in which the doctor uses medical instruments to remove the pregnancy. The cervix is opened slightly, a small tube is inserted into the uterus, and a light suction removes the pregnancy.
How effective is it? The procedure is 98% effective when used up to 7 weeks 49 days) into the pregnancy. The procedure is 95% effective if used up to 9 weeks (63 days) into the pregnancy. Out of every 100 women, 2-5 will need a vacuum aspiration (similar to a surgical abortion) to complete the abortion. This procedure is over 99% effective. Out of every 500 women, one will need to repeat the vacuum aspiration. The procedure is most effective if the woman is at least
6-7 weeks into the pregnancy.
How long does it take? It can take from two days up to several weeks for the pregnancy to be expelled. This procedure usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes.
How painful is the
procedure?
Most women report moderate to severe cramping and abdominal pain for a few hours up to several days after inserting the suppositories. Prescription strength pain medication helps reduce pain. Some mild to moderate cramping may occur off and on for a couple of days. Most women experience mild to moderate pain and cramping during the procedure. Some mild to moderate cramping may occur off and on for a couple of weeks. Ibuprofen and/or prescription pain medication helps reduce discomfort.
How much bleeding
will I have? Will I pass blood clots?
Bleeding usually lasts from 9-16 days, but may occur off and on for up to 4-5 weeks. Bleeding is usually heavier than that of a normal menstrual period. One out of every 1000 women require a blood transfusion due to hemorrhage.Most women pass blood clots and tissue as part of the medical abortion procedure. Blood clots may range in size from small to the size of golf balls or oranges. Pregnancy tissue may be visible. Bleeding usually lasts 5-7 days, but may occur off and on for up to 3 weeks after the abortion. Usually, the heaviest bleeding is no heavier than that of a normal menstrual period. Bleeding may be heaviest 3-5 days after the abortion. Some women do not bleed at all. Sometimes women will pass blood clots.
Will I miss work or
school?
After taking the Mifeprex pill, most women are able to go about their normal activity. However after taking the Misoprostol tablets, women should plan to stay home, with no responsibilities (such as child care), for the next 2 to 3 days. Plan to avoid all strenuous activity and any heavy lifting for ten days. You should plan to rest on the day of the abortion procedure.Most women are able to return to work or school the day after the abortion. Plan to avoid all strenuous activity and heavy lifting for ten days.