What are the Types of Abortion Procedures?

Maybe you’re considering abortion after finding out about an unexpected pregnancy. There are two main types of abortion: surgical and medication abortion. Each works towards terminating an existing pregnancy through two very different procedures.

Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortion is for women farther into pregnancy, normally over 11 weeks pregnant. The surgical abortion process is quite invasive and requires anesthesia, dilation of the cervix, and medical instruments. 

Once anesthesia is given, the doctor will dilate the cervix. A D&C (dilation and curettage) abortion procedure is done between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy, which uses a vacuum to remove the pregnancy. 

A D & E (dilation and evacuation) is done between 13 and 15 weeks. This procedure involves a doctor using a vacuum and medical instruments to scrape the lining of the uterus to make sure all pregnancy tissue is removed. These are the most common types of surgical abortions.

Medication Abortion

Medication abortion, also known as the abortion pill method, terminates pregnancy using two different drugs, taken within a 24-48 hour period. 

Mifepristone, the first drug in a medication abortion, thins the lining of the uterus, preventing the pregnancy from growing. Misoprostol, the second drug, causes the uterus to contract to expel the pregnancy. Medication abortion is only for women 10 weeks pregnant and under.

What are the Risks of Abortion?

Abortion is not an easy process, as it comes with many serious risks and side effects. The Mayo Clinic shares these potential risks of surgical abortion:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Cramping

The Mayo Clinic shares these potential risks of medical abortion:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Am I Eligible for Abortion?

Find out if you’re eligible for abortion by first confirming your pregnancy with our free and confidential pregnancy testing and an ultrasound. An ultrasound is necessary to reveal how far along you are, which determines which type of abortion you may be eligible for. Also, find out with an ultrasound if you have any complications and the location of your pregnancy (if it’s within the uterus).

Schedule your appointment today to talk more about abortion.