There are 2 basic types of abortion- Medical and Surgical.
A medical abortion (also called the Abortion Pill) is a non-surgical procedure in which the woman takes a series of two types of medications. The first medicine, mifepristone (RU 486) ends the pregnancy. The second, misoprostol, induces contractions that expel the pregnancy from the woman’s body. The abortion pill can be given up to 10 weeks after the last menstrual period. (LMP)
Surgical abortions can be one of several types of procedures that involve surgery to physically remove the pregnancy from the uterus. The type of surgical abortion depends on how far along the woman is.
For pregnancies less than 16 weeks LMP, the most common abortion is a vacuum aspiration. This abortion involves inserting a plastic tube through the vagina and into the uterus. The contents of the uterus are removed through by vacuum. The practitioner may or may not use an instrument to help empty the uterus.
For pregnancies more than 16 weeks LMP, the procedure is called a dilation and evacuation. (D&E) This procedure includes additional steps. An injection is given through the abdomen to stop the fetal heartbeat. The dilation process can take several days. During the abortion procedure, the practitioner will use suction and instruments to remove the pregnancy from the uterus.
Because the types of abortions available depend on how far along your are in your pregnancy, it is important to get a pregnancy evaluation that includes an ultrasound. Ultrasound can tell you whether you are actually pregnant and how far along you are.
In all cases, but especially with surgical abortions, it is important to know if you have an STI (sexually transmitted infection) before having an abortion because an active infection significantly increases the potential for complications like pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancies, and future infertility.
Harmony Women’s Care Center offers a pregnancy evaluation in a free, confidential, one hour appointment. Call 1-401-941-4357 or Click HERE to book an appointment.