Types Of Abortion
If you plan to visit an abortion clinic, it’s important to remember that abortion is a medical procedure. What type will you have? What are the risks? The Eden Clinic will help you answer these and other questions you may have about abortion. Our medical clinic provides confidential health services and information to help you make the decision that’s right for you. You owe it to yourself to learn the facts.
Different abortion methods are used at different stages of pregnancy. You deserve to fully understand each abortion procedure and its risks. The Eden Clinic provides medically accurate information on the types of abortions available and what you will experience during each procedure
Abortion Pill: RU486, Mifepristone Within 10 weeks after LMP
Medical (or non-surgical) abortion uses RU486 or other types of abortion pills to terminate pregnancy. This drug is only approved for use in women up to the 70th day after their last menstrual period (LMP). The procedure usually requires three office visits. On the first visit, the woman is given pills to cause the death of the fetus. Two days later, if the abortion (expulsion) has not occurred, she is given a second drug that causes cramps to expel the fetus. The last visit is a follow up limited ultrasound to determine if the procedure has been completed.
RU486 will not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, which is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the fetus lodges outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. If not diagnosed early, the tube may burst, causing internal bleeding and in some cases, the death of the woman.
Manual Vacuum Aspiration: up to 7 weeks after LMP
This surgical abortion is done early in the pregnancy, up until 7 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period. A long, thin tube is inserted into the uterus. A large syringe is attached to the tube and the fetus is suctioned out.
Suction Curettage: 6 to 14 weeks after LMP
This is the most common surgical abortion procedure. Because the baby is larger, the doctor must first stretch open the cervix using metal rods. Opening the cervix may be painful, so local or general anesthesia is typically needed. After the cervix is stretched open, the doctor inserts a hard plastic tube into the uterus, and then connects this tube to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus’ body apart and out of the uterus. The doctor may also use a sharp, loop-shaped tool called a curette to scrape the fetus and fetal parts out of the uterus. (The doctor may refer to the fetus and fetal parts as the “products of conception”).
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): 13 to 24 weeks after LMP
This surgical abortion is done during the second trimester of pregnancy. At this point in pregnancy, the fetus is too large to be broken up by suction alone and will not pass through the suction tubing. In this procedure, the cervix must be opened wider than in a first trimester abortion. This is done by inserting numerous thin rods made of seaweed a day or two before the abortion. Once the cervix is stretched open the doctor pulls out the fetal parts with forceps. The fetus’ skull is crushed to ease removal. A sharp, loop-shaped tool called a curette is also used to scrape out the contents of the uterus, removing any remaining tissue.