When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, there are three options: parenting, abortion, and adoption. It is important to educate yourself about your options, so that you can make an evidence-based decision regarding the future of your pregnancy. Below are a few things to consider about abortion.
What Types of Abortions are There?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 73 million induced abortions occur worldwide each year. In addition, six out of ten of all unintended pregnancies end in induced abortion. Despite these numbers, many women are not aware that there are different types of abortions, which is why we want to help provide clarity.
First-trimester options (conception to week 12):
- Medical abortion
- Vacuum aspiration
A medical abortion is also called “the abortion pill” and “RU- 486.” A woman can usually access medical abortion until about ten weeks after her last period. The later the abortion pill is taken, the less effective it is.
The abortion pill is two different types of medicine taken at separate times. The two medications are mifepristone and misoprostol. Given under the instruction of a physician, the second medication is taken 24-28 hours after the first. Mifepristone causes death of the fetus. Misoprostol triggers the uterus to empty. Bleeding and cramping will begin 1–4 hours after taking the second pill.
A woman will experience cramping and bleeding as the uterus empties.Some women feel more severe cramping than others. Approximately 4–5 hours after taking the second pill, the fetus and pregnancy tissue will likely have passed from the body. Depending on how far your pregnancy is, you may notice the fetus in your bodily discharge. Bleeding could continue several weeks after the medical abortion. A woman’s hormone levels will also take several weeks to get back to normal. Additionally, scheduling a follow-up appointment is important to ensure the abortion was complete.
The surgical option in the first trimester is vacuum aspiration. Vacuum aspiration is a surgical abortion that uses suction to end a pregnancy.
Hours before or the day before a vacuum aspiration procedure, a cervical (osmotic) dilator may be placed in the cervix to open (dilate) it slowly. Just before, antibiotics are usually given to prevent infection. In addition, a medicine may be needed to soften the cervix before the procedure. Next, the doctor will use either a manual or mechanical suction device to empty the uterus of the fetus. Vacuum aspiration usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes. Again, bleeding may occur for several weeks after this procedure. You may continue to experience elevated hormone levels as well.
Second-trimester options (13 weeks to 28 weeks):
- Dilation and Evacuation
- Labor Induction Abortion
Dilation and evacuation
Dilation and evacuation is another surgical abortion that doctors commonly use during the second trimester. A doctor may give a general anesthetic before performing a dilation and evacuation. This type of anesthetic is provided so that the woman does not feel anything during the procedure.
The doctor will insert a speculum into the woman’s vagina. After, the doctor uses dilators to open the cervix. Next, the doctor will dismember and remove the fetus with forceps. To conclude, they suction inside the woman’s uterus to remove any remaining tissue. Bleeding and elevated hormones levels could persist for several weeks following this procedure.
Labor induction abortion
Labor induction abortion is a late-term abortion procedure that ends a pregnancy in the second or third trimester. This type of abortion is rare.
Labor induction involves using medications to bring about labor and cause death of the fetus before birth. This causes the uterus to empty over a period of around 12–24 hours. A woman can take these medications by mouth, or the doctor may place them into the vagina or inject them into the uterus. Doctors typically administer pain relief medication or a local anesthetic. Intense cramping occurs during this type of abortion. Bleeding and elevated hormones will also be a side effects of this procedure.
Because each woman is different, listening to your body’s needs is important. This means physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you experience excessive bleeding, pain, vomiting, fever, or other concerning symptoms following an abortion, seek emergent medical care. It is not uncommon for a woman to experience mental and emotional distress after having an abortion. Whatever your needs may be, we suggest finding the right people to help, whether a doctor, a therapist or a counselor.
If you’re wondering if you’re pregnant and would like to discuss all your pregnancy options, why not contact us at Alternative Medical Clinic? We have undergone a rigorous third-party survey process to ensure you will receive top-of-the-line health care. We provide excellent healthcare accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.
We have caring and compassionate healthcare professionals who will help you understand your health choices from a medical standpoint. Although we do not perform or refer for abortion, we can help you navigate this uncertain time by providing you with the medical information you need to make an informed, medical-based, and evidence-based decision.
What are the Different Types of Abortion? [Internet] Medical News Today [June 27th, 2019] Available from:
Vacuum Aspiration for Abortion [Internet] UWHealth [Accessed March 2022] Available from: https://patient.uwhealth.org/healthwise/article/en-us/tw1078
Dilation and Evacuation [Internet] C.S Mott’s Children’s Hospital University of Michigan Health [October 8th, 2020] Available from: https://www.mottchildren.org/health-library/tw2462