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Considering Abortion? : Abortion Questions Answered

Gestational Age

Gestational age is calculated by counting the number of days and weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period.

If your periods usually come 28 days apart and you have a positive pregnancy test on the day you would be expecting your period, you would be four weeks pregnant that day — four weeks since the first day of your last menstrual period. If your periods don’t come regularly, an ultrasound is the best way to determine the age of your pregnancy.

Gestational age will help determine the type of abortion procedure that is used, which also influences the cost of the abortion.

There are many different abortions procedures depending on the gestational age of your pregnancy. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced counselors about whether you are eligible to receive one of our ultrasound appointments. 

Up to 10 weeks along

Up to 10 weeks along
  • Medication Abortion:  This is more commonly known as the abortion pill. The procedure is FDA approved up to 10 weeks gestation. Many women prefer this option, but it’s very important to verify the gestational age of your pregnancy to ensure that you are eligible for this procedure. (Read more about the abortion pill.)
  • Surgical Abortion: Traditional surgical abortions are performed with a suction device and sometimes assisted by a curette (a loop-shaped scraping tool). Surgical procedures are offered up to 13 weeks. Many women prefer the surgical procedure because it allows them time to research all their options.

Between 10 and 13 weeks

Between 10 and 13 weeks
  • Suction Curettage: The suction curettage abortion, a surgical procedure, is used for pregnancies that are 7 to 13 weeks gestation. This procedure typically takes just one day. (Read more about surgical abortions.)

After 13 weeks

After 13 weeks
  • Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): Dilation and Evacuation is used for the majority of second trimmest abortions. This is a surgical procedure, which is typically performed in one day with just one appointment prior to the procedure to start dilating the cervix.
  • Late Term Methods: Terminating a pregnancy over 24 weeks gestation requires special precautions. This procedure typically takes 2 to 3 days and is associated with increased risk to the life and health of the patient. In Illinois, this procedure is required to be performed in a hospital with two doctors present. (Read more about the requirements for late term abortions.)

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