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4 Different Types of Abortion

Abortion means termination of pregnancy. What type of abortion a female undergoes depends on the duration of pregnancy. It is observed that about half of unplanned pregnancies end in abortion.(1) Abortion is a legal process throughout the United States and many other countries.

4 Different Types of Abortion

Types of Abortion

  1. Medical Abortion

    Medical abortion involves taking two medications at a gap of 48 hours. It should be noted that the gap should not be more than it. The role of one medication is to stop pregnancy while the other one triggers uterine contractions that begin 1-4 hours after taking the 2nd pill. There is cramping and bleeding and an unusually heavy period. Some females have more severe cramping than others. It can take 4-5 hours for the pregnancy tissue to pass from the body, but it may take longer too.(1)

    The advantages of medical abortion are:

    • Does not involve surgery
    • Can be done in 1st trimester
    • No anesthesia is required.

    The disadvantages of medical abortion are:

    • Cannot be done in 2nd trimester
    • Involves painful cramping
    • Sometimes it is not effective

    It is a good idea to have someone, a partner, or a close friend near while the tissue is passing out.

    Medical abortion involves bleeding and spotting that may last for several weeks. It is important to check with a doctor to monitor recovery. Some females experience side effects of the medication and those include:

  2. Vacuum Aspiration

    Vacuum aspiration is a surgical process that involves using gentle suction to terminate the pregnancy. It is also used in the 1st trimester of pregnancy. To begin with, a speculum is inserted in the female’s vagina. Then medication is applied to numb the area. Thin rods also known as dilators are then used to open the cervix and a tube is inserted into the uterus. Then a mechanical or manual suction tube is used to empty the uterus.

    The advantage of vacuum includes the following:

    • It can be done in the 12th week of pregnancy
    • Its a quick procedure and takes only 5-10 minutes
    • It is a pain-free experience
    • No general anesthesia is required

    There is no major disadvantage of vacuum aspiration. The recovery from this procedure involves resting for 1 hour, taking antibiotics, and avoiding sex for 1-week post-treatment.

    Some females experience cramping and bleeding for a few days following the procedure and in some, it may last for several weeks. Bleeding and infection are the main complications of vacuum aspiration. It is always a good idea to consult a doctor in such a case.

  3. Dilation and Evacuation

    Dilation and evacuation is the procedure that is used by the doctor in the 2nd trimester.

    During the procedure, general anesthesia is given. It is to ensure that the person does not feel anything while the procedure is going on. A speculum is inserted into the vagina and dilators are used to open it. Then the pregnancy tissue is removed with small forceps. Then suction is done to remove any remaining tissue.

    Advantages of dilation and evacuation include the following:

    • Can be done in the 2nd trimester
    • It is considered as a safe and effective way to end pregnancy
    • The only disadvantage of Dilation and evacuation is that general anesthesia is required.
    • The recovery involves resting. There may be mild cramping for a few days and bleeding for up to 2 weeks.
    • Risks involved with dilation and evacuation are infection, heavy bleeding, and injury to the uterus.
  4. Labor Induced Abortion

    Labor-induced abortion is the method used in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. It is a rare method and is only used when a female’s life is in danger.

    It is performed by using medication to start labor. This can cause the uterus to empty over a period of 12-24 hours. The medications are given to the female either by mouth or are placed in the vagina by the doctor. As there is intense cramping, the doctors either give anesthesia or pain medication. A female is supposed to remain in the clinic for a few hours to 1-2 days.

    The medication used to induce labor can cause side effects including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also lead to hemorrhage, infection, cervical injury, rupture of the uterus, or incomplete release of pregnancy.

    Abortion is the ending of pregnancy and can be done in any of the above ways. A healthcare professional can help in determining what will work the best.

Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 24, 2022

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