What are the Different Types of Abortions?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 18 January 2020
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There are many types of abortions, but the best method depends on the stage of pregnancy and the size of the fetus. The different types of abortions can be placed into two categories: medical and surgical. Medical surgeries are performed by consuming a prescription drug that causes the pregnant woman to have a miscarriage. This type of abortion is normally used when the patient had her last menstrual period less than seven weeks before. Surgical abortions are more common and must be performed when the pregnancy is too far along to effectively and safely use a prescription abortion drug.

Abortion drugs are primarily used for early pregnancies and not considered effective for late-term ones. These pills are generally not legally available over the counter, but a prescription can often be acquired from women’s health clinics and regular doctor’s offices. To successfully terminate a pregnancy with an abortion pill, the woman must usually make several follow-up appointments for a different drug to complete the abortion and a checkup to confirm that the pregnancy ended completely. Failing to follow up might result in a continuing pregnancy, and waiting too long can make invasive surgery necessary to terminate the pregnancy.

Surgical abortions are types of abortions necessary for pregnancies that are two months along or further. A frequently used method is suction aspiration, and it is less invasive than some other methods. The woman’s cervix is dilated, and then a doctor suctions the contents of her uterus out to end the pregnancy. This surgical procedure is also used after a miscarriage. The woman is normally partially sedated during this process, and some do not remember the procedure at all once they come to completely.

More invasive surgeries are also among the different types of abortions. For example, dilation and extraction is used on pregnancies that have reached the second trimester, which begins at 13 weeks and ends at 24 weeks. Like suction abortions, the cervix is dilated at the beginning of the procedure. Once done, the contents of the uterus are removed with medical tools, such as a pump and forceps. The patient might be given a shot to the abdomen to kill the fetus before it is removed.

While abortion can be performed at any stage of a pregnancy, the legality of this differs from region to region. Some countries do not allow abortion at all, while others allow it up until a certain number of weeks. The procedure, whether or not it should be performed, and when it is too late to perform it, remain a very controversial subject across the world.

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