What is an Induced Abortion?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2019
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An induced abortion refers to a procedure that prematurely terminates a pregnancy. This is done by removing or causing removal of a fetus from the womb, using one of several induced abortion methods. Before an induced abortion can be performed, a pregnancy test is generally conducted. This is done even if a woman has received a positive result from a home pregnancy test.

There are several induced abortion methods. One of the factors that determines which method best suits a woman is the age of the fetus. It is generally important to confirm how many weeks into a pregnancy a woman is before a procedure is planned.

If a woman chooses to have such a procedure done late in her pregnancy, a doctor may suggest a labor induced abortion. This usually involves a doctor administering drugs that will cause a woman to go into labor. This is one of the slower abortion methods. It can take up to 24 hours for the abortion to be completed.

Suction curettage is one of the most common types of abortion. The name is derived from the fact that a suction machine is used. A hose is attached to the machine and inserted into a woman. The unborn child, the placenta, and amniotic fluid are removed by suction. Remaining contents may need to be removed using other medical instruments. If a woman is more than 12 weeks pregnant, this option is generally unavailable to her.

Mental aspiration also removes the fetus using suction. In this procedure, however, a syringe is used instead of a machine. This procedure is limited to women who are no more than three weeks pregnant.

If an induced abortion is performed by a trained medical professional in a clean and properly equipped facility, the procedure is generally low risk. Following an induced abortion, a woman will generally bleed. She may also experience side effects including cramping and nausea. There is also a possibility that an infection can develop as a result of bacteria invading the uterus following the surgery.

Induced abortions are commonly executed procedures in many countries. Some women, however, regret their decision to undergo the procedure. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG) advises women to talk to their partners, families, or friends before getting an induced abortion. This increases the chances of a woman giving the procedure more thorough consideration. It can also establish a means of support for those women who choose to go through with it.

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