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What are the methods of Abortion

Abortion Methods

What is abortion?

The termination of human pregnancy or aborting the fetus developed inside mother’s womb is known as abortion or sometimes called termination of pregnancy.

There are two types of abortion:

  • Medical abortion
  • Surgical abortion

Both these treatments are considered safe only when conducted under the supervision of a medical professional. The type of abortion method is decided by seeing how many weeks the pregnancy has passed. However, most women are offered to choose between a medical or surgical abortion procedure. Most women opt for medical abortion method, only when the pregnancy has crossed week 9 then doctors decide to go for a surgical abortion method.

What is medical abortion?

Medical abortion is only effective and works when the pregnancy reaches week 9. Here are three main types of medical procedures listed according to their efficiency:

Methotrexate & Misoprostol (MTX):

This type of medical abortion is advised when the pregnancy is in its first seven weeks. This combination of medication is not very common in the United States nowadays as other medical combinations such as mifepristone is widely used.

Mifepristone and Misoprostol:  

This type of medical procedure is considered more effective and can be used up to seven to nine weeks of pregnancy. The pill is also known as mifeprex and RU-486.

Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA):

A procedure used as early as 3 -12 weeks since the last period. Considered less invasive with only a local anesthesia being used on the cervix.

Aspiration: a surgical abortion procedure used to terminate pregnancy up to 16 weeks from the last period. It can also be referred to as suction curettage, dilation, and curettage (D & C) or vacuum aspiration.

Surgical abortion:

The type of clinical procedure performed to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The type of surgical abortion procedure used depends on the woman’s stage of pregnancy.

A sonogram is performed before seeking a surgical abortion to determine if the pregnancy is viable (non-ectopic, uterine pregnancy) and to for accurate pregnancy date.

There are different types of surgical procedures are in practice, such as:

  • Aspiration
  • Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)
  • Dilation and Extraction


Aspiration or suction aspiration, vacuum aspiration or suction curettage.  Aspiration is performed when the pregnancy is in its first 6 to 16 weeks old.

The abortion consultant will provide you medication for pain and most probably sedate you. You need to lie on your back, and your vagina is opened using a speculate.

Afterward, a local anesthetic is used to numb your cervix. Then a tenaculum is used to hold cervix; then it is dilated by using absorbent rods that vary in sizes. Then a long plastic tube further connected to a suction device is inserted into the uterus to such out the fetus and placenta.

The procedure hardly takes 10-15 minutes, but recovery may take several hours. The doctor may suggest a course of antibiotics help prevent any infection.

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E):

A surgical abortion procedure that is conducted when the pregnancy is 16 weeks old.

The procedure may take 15-30 minutes. After performing the procedure, the fetal remains are observed that they are completely removed. The doctor prescribes a course of antibiotics to avoid any infection.

Dilation and Extraction:

The dilation and extraction are a surgical abortion procedure used when the pregnancy is 21 weeks old. The procedure is known as D & X, Intrauterine Cranial Decompression, and Partial Birth abortion.

The procedure involves the rotation of fetus; then forceps are used to grasp and pull the legs, arms, shoulders through the birth canal.

This type of surgical abortion procedure conducted in the third trimester is based on the laws of states, the health condition of the mother.

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