We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a First Trimester Abortion?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A first trimester abortion is a procedure that terminates a pregnancy within the first three months of the egg being fertilized. A pregnancy is broken down into three trimesters, or sets of three months, that make up the entire nine month pregnancy. Some abortion methods are illegal after the first trimester, so many women who are seeking this procedure are encouraged to do a first trimester abortion to avoid complications and legal issues. In many cases, an abortion can be done by taking pills or medications to terminate the pregnancy, thereby avoiding an invasive surgery.

The three most common methods of first trimester abortion include ingestion of a regimen of pills, injection with a needle, or the use of vacuum aspiration to remove the fetus. The pills are taken orally for several days to weeks, and the medication releases chemicals that eat away at the uterine lining. This causes the pregnancy to detach from the uterus and evacuate naturally. Sometimes other pills are necessary to help control vaginal contractions as well. This method is highly effective and allows a woman to avoid surgery in most cases. Bleeding will occur for several days or weeks after the pregnancy detaches, though risk of complications is fairly low.

An injection works very similarly to the pill method, but the medication is delivered through a needle. Several doses of the medication will probably be necessary to complete the first trimester abortion, and a woman is likely to need several trips to the doctor for regular monitoring. Like the pill method, the injection method is likely to lead to a prolonged period of vaginal bleeding that may last longer than the bleeding associated with a surgery, though this method helps the woman avoid a surgery as well as risk of damage to the cervix.

A vacuum aspiration is a type of first trimester abortion in which a vacuum-like tool is used to essentially suck out the fetus. This method is more invasive than the other methods, as the instruments will need to be inserted into the uterus through the vagina. The process does not take long, and usually only one doctor's visit is necessary. The woman can be sedated during the procedure to lessen the pain, and once the procedure is finished, the woman is quickly ready to leave the doctor's office. This procedure offers an extremely high success rate, though it will require some recovery time once the procedure is finished.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By burcidi — On Sep 22, 2013

Sometimes a first trimester abortion is not by choice, but necessary. My sister had a miscarriage during her first trimester and had to have a type of abortion called dilation and curettage. It's a procedure where the cervix is dilated and uterine tissue are removed.

If the uterine tissue and fetus are not expelled by the body naturally after a miscarriage, an abortion has to happen because the rotting fetus can poison the mother.

By fBoyle — On Sep 22, 2013

@alisha-- I've never had a surgical abortion, but I have taken abortion pills.

Abortion pills are not like surgical abortion, you cannot use them at any time in the first trimester. Abortion pills cannot be used if it has been more than 49 days since your last period. So it can only be used in the first month of pregnancy. If you are more than one month pregnant, you have to get surgical abortion.

Abortion pills work well but they have a lot of side effects. I had cramping and bleeding for days. It was very painful. I've heard that surgical abortion in the first trimester causes less bleeding.

By discographer — On Sep 21, 2013

I will have to get a first trimester abortion. I'm undecided about how I should have it done. What is the best method -- the abortion pill or surgical abortion?

Does anyone here have experience with either? Which method is less painful and causes the least amount of side effects?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.