What is induced abortion?
An induced abortion is a medical procedure available to women who have decided to terminate their pregnancy. Abortion is a big decision, so it is important to get support and accurate information before going forward.
Are there different types of abortion?
There are several different types of abortion procedures, some involve medication and other involve surgery. the type of abortion selection depends on a woman’s health and choice, where the abortion is preformed and the length of the pregnancy.
Medical abortions are only available to women who are very early on in their pregnancy, no more than 9 weeks. Typically, this procedure does not require surgery or anesthesia, but multiple visits to the doctor are needed. Sometimes the drugs can be taken at home. There are currently four different variations of the medical abortion procedure. One common type involves the use of Mifepristone and Misoprostol pills.
First Visit: The Mifepristone pill is taken. The pill begins to thin the lining of the uterus. If the lining becomes thin, the fertilized egg, or embryo, will not be able to implant.
Second Visit: The Misprostol pill is taken. This pill causes the uterus to contract which expels the embryo from the vagina.
Third Visit: A follow-up exam is required to make sure that the abortion was completed. If the abortion was not completed, a surgical procedure will be done.
The drugs used in medical abortions will cause bleeding and cramping. They may also cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. A doctor will explain these side effects and any more serious side effects to watch for.
Surgical abortions are available to women at various stages throughout their pregnancy.
Menstrual Aspiration: Menstrual aspiration can be done within 1-3 weeks after a missed period. With this method, a syringe is used to remove the pregnancy from the lining of the uterus.
Suction Curettage: Suction curettage is the most common type of abortion. The contents of the uterus are removed by a suction device that is inserted into the uterus. It can be done up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. After that time, the procedure may be called dilation and evacuation. Just before the procedure, local anesthesia is applied around the cervix to numb it. Sometimes sedatives or general anesthesia are used. For the procedure, a speculum is inserted into the vagina to hold it open. The cervix is then dilated so that a suction device can be inserted to remove the pregnancy. A doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection. Soreness or cramping may occur for a day or two after the procedure is complete and bleeding may last up to two weeks.