If a woman has made the admittedly difficult decision of going through with an abortion, she is then confronted with various questions about how does an abortion work?

She is likely to be assailed with all sorts of doubts and questions regarding methods of abortion, cost of abortion, recovery times, possible problems and complications. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about how does an abortion work and their answers in simple terms –

A medication abortion or a surgical procedure

how does an abortion work

It is best to make this decision after all the circumstances have been considered by the health care professional – how far along is a pregnancy; and many other factors.

Within the first 7 to 9 weeks of gestation (calculated from the first day of the last monthly period and depending upon the protocol used), a non surgical procedure can be performed.

Though most surgical abortions use the process called Suction Aspiration, a surgical procedure called “menstrual extraction” is also possible in the very early stages of a pregnancy.

After 15 weeks of pregnancy up until the 26th week of pregnancy, Dilation and Evacuation is the method of abortion used. It is important for a woman to understand how does an abortion work in each of these cases – procedures used, the extent to which they are invasive, the amount of time taken for recovery, and so on.

How does an abortion work (medical abortion)

This kind of abortion is possible in the first 9 weeks of pregnancy. Two doses of certain medications (methotrexate or mifepristone) are administered to a woman under medical supervision.

She is not required to stay in hospital for this, however a day or two later, she will be administered another dose of medication of prostaglandin (either misoprostol or gemeprost). This will cause contractions in the uterus as the contents are expelled along with blood. Bleeding that follows this will last for a couple of weeks followed by a couple of more weeks of light bleeding and discharge.

How does an abortion work (surgical abortion)

Depending upon the type of abortion that is deemed suitable for the circumstances, a woman will undergo a physical exam after which pain medication is given and sedation may be administered. Local anesthesia will be administered after which the cervix is dilated. A tube is then inserted into the uterus through the vagina and the cervix. Then a suction device (either manual or electrically operated), will then use vacuum to clear empty the uterus of its contents.

After this kind of procedure as well there can be bleeding for up to 6 weeks which starts out heavy and becomes light and which may even be intermittent. In some cases there may be little or no bleeding; it depends upon a particular woman and set of circumstances.

How does an abortion work in terms of safety and recovery time?

Modern abortion procedures are very safe and according to studies are statistically safer than carrying a baby to term. Cramps and some amount of pain – like menstrual cramps and more severe in some cases usually follows and a woman should take it easy for a while.