(Early abortion FAQ)
We offer the Abortion Pill from 5-9 weeks and the SofTouch procedure from 5-10 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period.
If you choose the SofTouch® method, the abortion will take only one visit to the provider. The procedure takes 3-10 minutes. A follow up visit is scheduled only as needed. If you choose the abortion pill, it's approximately 2 visits to our office. You take one pill when you’re in the office. After that, you usually don’t feel any different. You take another set of pills at home. Those pills cause you to have an early miscarriage. This usually happens within hours of taking the second pills, but sometimes it can take longer. You must come back for a follow-up visit a week later.
If you choose the SofTouch procedure, there is no intense pain but rather discomfort. The pain is compared to strong period cramps. You will experience 1-2 minutes of strong cramping. If you choose to take the abortion pill, you’ll likely experience some cramping and bleeding that is heavier than a period for several hours. Usually by the next day your bleeding is like a heavy period. The bleeding is usually heavier than a period for the first few hours; then becomes like a period, then stops and starts. The spotting or irregular bleeding can last for weeks to months and is normal.
The Abortion Pill and SofTouch® are equally safe and effective. It’s more a matter of your own personality. Many women choose the Abortion Pill because they feel like it’s more natural. They don’t mind the extra visits. On the other hand, many women choose the SofTouch® procedure because they want to have it be done that day. Surgical abortion is a very safe procedure. However, in early pregnancy, surgical abortion can be overly invasive by using tools like an electric vacuum and a “curette”-an instrument used to scrape the walls of the uterus. Most women are happy with whichever method they choose. Unfortunately, for many women in the United States, only the surgical abortion method will be offered.
If you are early enough to take the Abortion Pill (under 9 weeks since the first day of your last menstrual period,) there is no visible embryo. At this stage, the pregnancy consists of a heavy period, a tiny bubble of fluid, and invisible cells. You will see blood, that looks like your period. You may see some of the pregnancy lining that looks like a wet paper towel material. You may pass small or large clots.
Because the pregnancy itself has not developed, there is very little tissue that has to be removed in early abortion. Many women feel that ending a pregnancy early is simpler to navigate emotionally. Early pregnancy termination is also gentler on your body if you choose the right abortion method. Here, we only offer natural, noninvasive methods such as the Abortion Pill and SofTouch®.
Early Options® was founded by Harvard-trained physician, Dr. Joan Fleischman, to provide women with natural, safe abortion options. That’s why we offer the Abortion Pill, and the SofTouch® method – designed specifically for ending an early pregnancy.
Unfortunately, many abortion clinics will perform an invasive, surgical abortion to terminate an early pregnancy, even though it carries unnecessary risks.
But it’s not just our team of physicians who recommend gentler, safe abortion methods for ending an early pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) endorses manual aspiration abortion and the Abortion Pill as the safest abortion methods. SofTouch® is the safest type of aspiration abortion available.
The WHO has stated in its Technical Guidelines on Safe Abortion: “Aspiration and medical abortion are preferred methods for abortion in the first trimester. Both these methods are safe, effective, and suitable for the primary level of care and should be available at levels of care with greater capacity and in many private clinical settings.”
Ipas, an international organization dedicated to safe abortion care, adds: Regrettably, many health facilities still use the sharp curettage or dilation and curettage (D&C) method. The WHO guidelines state that because women’s risk of complications is substantially higher with sharp curettage than with vacuum aspiration or medical abortion, this method should be used only when vacuum aspiration and medical abortion are unavailable.