Abortion is a medical process of terminating a pregnancy before the fetus develops outside the uterus to survive.
Abortion procedures are of two types: medical abortion and surgical abortion.
To have an abortion, you need to confirm your pregnancy and it can be done through home pregnancy tests or the tests recommended or performed by your doctor.
Once the pregnancy is confirmed, your doctor determines the stage or trimester of the pregnancy and the type of abortion procedure.
Acupuncture refers to the weeks of a pregnancy. A pregnancy is divided into three periods or trimesters. Week 1 to week 12 refers to first trimester, week 13 to week 26 refers to second trimester and week 27 to end of pregnancy refers to third trimester.
However, the abortion procedure depends on the trimester or stage of your pregnancy as well as your personal preference.
During the first trimester of your pregnancy, abortion can be done through medical or surgical abortion procedure. Remember that medical abortion works efficiently only up to nine weeks of your pregnancy.
The medical abortion procedure is performed using drugs such as misoprostol alone, methotrexate and misoprostol, mifepristone and misoprostol.
The medical abortion procedure using the combination of methotrexate and misoprostol is generally prescribed till the first seven weeks of pregnancy.
However, the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol are prescribed till the seven to nine weeks of pregnancy. The medical abortion is 95% effective in terminating a pregnancy.
On the other hand, a surgical abortion procedure called Suction Aspiration, also known as vacuum aspiration, is used to empty the uterus during the first trimester of your pregnancy.
During second trimester, medical abortion procedure is ineffective to end your pregnancy.
Surgical abortion such as Dilation and Curettage (D&C), Dilation and Evacuation (D&E), and Induction Abortion are used during the second trimester. It is to be noted that surgical abortion procedure is usually done under local anesthesia.
Dilation and Curettage is also known as suction curettage. It is generally preferred between 13-15 weeks of pregnancy.
Dilation and Evacuation is also known as D&E. It is used to empty the uterus between 15-21 weeks of your pregnancy.
Induction Abortion is a rare surgical abortion procedure, which makes use of substances such as salt water (saline), urea, or potassium chloride to inject into the amniotic sac to start uterine contractions and terminate pregnancy.
Prostaglandins are introduced into the vagina for uterine contractions and to empty the uterus. On the other hand, Oxytocin (pitocin) is injected intravenously (in to the veins) to empty the uterus.
Medical abortion procedures are not used during third trimester. However, surgical abortion procedures such as Induction Abortion, Dilation and Extraction are used for terminating your pregnancy.
As said earlier, Induction Abortion terminates your pregnancy through medications. The medications make uterine contractions and eject the uterine contents through the cervix.
Dilation and Extraction (D&X), also known as partial birth abortion, is a third trimester surgical abortion procedure in which the fetus is removed from the uterus through the cervix. It is preferred between 24-36 weeks of pregnancy.
Know about the above facts of abortion and select the safe procedure.