An abortion is when the pregnancy is ended so that it does not result in the birth of a child. Sometimes this is called termination of pregnancy. The pregnancy is removed from the womb, either by taking pills which involves taking medicines to cause a miscarriage or by surgery where the pregnancy is removed from the womb. Most abortions can be provided on a day care basis which means you do not need to stay at a clinic overnight.
Abortion: What Abortion Procedures Are Used During The First Trimester?
In most cases, you will have a choice between medical or surgical abortion procedures during the first trimester. Medical abortions are only available up through nine weeks gestation. The types of abortion procedures performed during the first trimester are listed below.
Methotrexate & Misoprostol (MTX):
MTX is a medical abortion procedure used up to the first seven weeks of pregnancy. This medication combination is not as commonly used in the U.S. with the availability of mifepristone, which works more effectively for this use.
Mifepristone and Misoprostol:
It is a medical abortion procedure used up to the first seven to nine weeks of pregnancy. It can also be referred to as RU-486, the abortion pill and Mifeprex.
Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA):
It is 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.
It is 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.
What Abortion Procedures Are Used During The Second Trimester?
Medication based abortion procedures are not an option during the second trimester. The types of abortion procedures performed during the second trimester are listed below.
Dilation & Curettage (D & C):
D & C is a surgical abortion procedure used to terminate a pregnancy up to 16 weeks gestation. It is also referred to as suction curettage or vacuum aspiration.
Dilation & Evacuation (D & E):
D & E is a surgical abortion procedure used to terminate a pregnancy after 16 weeks gestation.
It is a rarely performed surgical procedure where salt water, urea, or potassium chloride is injected into the amniotic sac; prostaglandins are inserted into the vagina and pitocin is injected intravenously.
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