If you don’t want to have a baby, or if you can’t have one for various reasons, during your doctor’s appointment, you should be able to have abortion options. Speak to the doctor about different methods for abortion, and ask him to recommend what he feels will be the best procedure for you.
Your doctor and her team will advise you of the risks, complications, and what you should and shouldn’t do. Here, we list some of the different abortion procedures, based on the week of pregnancy.
Early Abortion: Around 9 Weeks:
Early abortion is medically induced, and you have to take two separate medications, around 36-48 hours apart. The effects of the medicine are rather similar to a natural miscarriage (mild bleeding and pain). The first medication is an abortion pill, which inhibits a specific hormone, which creates a womb lining for the fertilized egg. The second medicine kicks in within 4 to 6 hours of ingestion. It breaks the lining in the womb and destroys the embryo, which bleeds out the vagina. It is as painful as it sounds, but at least you have a painkiller for your condition. A medical abortion, can also lead to nausea or diarrhea.
Abortion at 7 to 15 weeks:
At this point, you will have to opt forvacuum aspiration or a suction termination procedure. The procedure involves using gentle suction to remove the fetus from the womb. It’s a fairly short procedure (5-10 minutes) and doctors use a local or general anaesthesia for the procedure. Here’s how it works: the cervix is widened so that doctors can access the womb easier. To help with the widening, doctors may insert a tablet into the vagina, as it will soften the cervix. Some hours later, a small suction will be inserted into the womb, so that the doctors can remove the fetus and the surrounding tissue. Consequently, you need to remember that the bleeding will last for around 21 days. If you’re lucky, it can even stop in a handful of days. You will also experience cramps, but again, painkillers will help.
Abortion at 9 to 20 weeks:
You can use medicines, such as in early abortion, although this is a longer process and it’s like going through a late miscarriage. You need more than one dose of medicine. In rare cases, the placenta does not pass through; and you may need to go for a small operation to remove it.
Abortion at 15 weeks:
At this stage, a procedure called evacuation and surgical dilation now comes into play. Doctors typically stretch and dilate the cervix using forceps and use a suction tube to remove the fetus from the womb. The procedure normally lasts for 10 to 20 minutes. If you are healthy, you might be discharged the same day. Again, the bleeding may last for 21 days.
Late Abortion- At 20 to 24 Weeks:
Right now, you have two options for a late abortion, and both require you to stay a night in the hospital.
Option 1 – Two-stage surgical abortion:
- Stage 1 helps stop the fetus’ heartbeat, and helps soften the cervix.
- Stage 2 occurs the next day. This is when the fetus and surrounding issue is removed.
Option 2 – Medically induced abortion:
The process uses a specific medication. Doctors inject the medicine into the womb. It causes strong contractions (like in labour) that last up to 6 to 12 hours. For this, you will have to be awake, although you will have painkillers. After this surgical dilation and evacuation may be needed to ensure that your womb is empty.
Some of this information may be hard to swallow, but remember – no one’s judging you and it’s always good to know your options.