We want to keep you informed. In 2019, there approximately 50 million abortions took place worldwide. Approximately 850,000 of those were in the United States. So, what kinds of abortions are there and when can they be performed? Below is a list of some of the common types of abortions.

First-trimester options:

Conception to week 12

  • Medical abortion
  • Vacuum aspiration


Medical abortion

A woman can usually access medical abortion until about 10 weeks after her last period. A medical abortion requires a woman to take different types of medicine pills at separate times. The two medications are mifepristone and misoprostol.


Mifepristone stunts the growth of the fetus. A doctor or nurse will advise about the timing, but a woman should take the second medication, misoprostol, no more than 48 hours after taking the first, mifepristone. Misoprostol triggers the uterus to empty. Bleeding and cramping will begin 1–4 hours after taking the pill. If you’re having doubts at this point with your abortion, there is an abortion reversal pill available.


A woman will experience cramping and bleeding as the uterus empties. Which may feel like having an unusually heavy period, or a miscarriage. Some women feel more severe cramping than others. Within around 4–5 hours, the pregnancy tissue will likely have passed from the body. Depending on how far along your pregnancy is, you may notice the fetus in your bodily discharge. Bleeding could continue several weeks after medical abortion. A woman’s hormone levels will also take several weeks to get back to a normal (non-pregnant) state.



Vacuum aspiration

Surgical options, such as vacuum aspiration and dilation and evacuation, are more common after 10 weeks. Vacuum aspiration is a surgical abortion that uses suction to end a pregnancy. Most Doctors recommend this during the first trimester.


Hours before or the day before a vacuum aspiration procedure, a cervical (osmotic) dilator may be placed in the cervix to slowly open (dilate) it. Just before, antibiotics are given to prevent infection. A medicine called misoprostol may be given to soften the cervix before the procedure. Next, the doctor will use either a manual or mechanic 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 as well as elevated hormone levels.



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 given 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 remove the pregnancy tissue with small forceps. To conclude, they suction out the woman’s uterus to remove any remaining tissue. Bleeding and elevated hormone levels could persist for several weeks following this procedure.


Labor induction abortion

Labor induction abortion is a late-term method of ending a pregnancy in the second or third trimester. This type of abortion is rare, and a doctor may recommend it if a woman’s life is in danger.


Labor induction involves using medications to bring about labor. This causes the uterus to empty over a period of around 12–24 hours. A woman can take these medications by mouth. 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 effect of this procedure.


Abortion is rare during the third trimester. Sometimes a doctor may perform it after 29 weeks of pregnancy if a woman’s life is in danger. Keep in mind, they may use the same methods that are used during the second trimester.


Recovery Process:

Because each woman is different, it is important to listen to your body’s needs. This means physically, mentally and emotionally. It is not uncommon for a woman to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after having an abortion. Whatever your needs may be, we suggest finding the right people to help whether that is a doctor, a therapist, or a counselor. Come see us today! We will point in the right direction for the help you need.






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