Be informed before you make a decission. Learn about the different types of abortion here. Medical abortions, where medicine induces abortion, are performed in the first trimester. Surgical abortions — a more involved procedure — occur in the first, second, or third trimester.
First Trimester Medical Abortions
Medical abortions during the first trimester (6-12 weeks) are performed with drugs rather than surgery.
Abortion Pill and Mifepristone
The procedure usually requires three office visits. Do not start taking these drugs if you cannot return to your doctor for all follow-up visits. On the first visit, the woman is given pills that cause the death of the embryo. Two days later, if the abortion has not occurred, she is given a second drug which induces something similar to contractions, causing the body to expel the embryo. The last visit is to determine if the procedure has been completed. The abortion pill will not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the embryo lodges outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. If not diagnosed early, the tube may burst, causing internal bleeding and in some cases, the death of the woman. Unfortunately, many women are being instructed to use the abortion pill in a manner not approved by the FDA. This includes using it beyond 49 days of pregnancy and using it vaginally. A number of women who have used the abortion pill have died due to sepsis (full body infection).
First Trimester Surgical Abortions
First trimester surgical abortions are performed between 6 and 12 weeks. As opposed to a medical abortion performed with drugs, a surgical abortion requires a surgical procedure.
This procedure is generally used in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
This is the most common surgical abortion procedure. Because the fetus is larger, the doctor must first stretch open the cervix using metal rods. Opening the cervix may be painful, so local or general anesthesia is typically needed. After the cervix is stretched open, the doctor inserts a hard plastic tube into the uterus, and then connects this tube to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus’ body apart and out of the uterus. The doctor may also use a loop-shaped knife called a curette to scrape the fetus and fetal parts out of the uterus. The doctor may refer to the fetus and fetal parts as the “products of conception.”
Second Trimester Surgical Abortions
Dilation and Evacation (D&E)
This procedure is generally used after 12 weeks of pregnancy
This procedure will generally be done on an outpatient basis but may sometimes require hospitalization. The physician will often use ultrasound to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy. The procedure involves enlarging the cervix. This may be done over a period of several hours by inserting small rods or sponge into the cervix which swells as the sponge absorbs moisture. The doctor may choose to enlarge the cervix right before the abortion by inserting and withdrawing larger and larger smooth metal rods until the cervix has been open to the necessary size. The uterus may be scraped with a sharp, spoon-like instrument called a curette. The fetus and placenta are extracted, using forceps or other instruments.
Third Trimester Surgical Abortions
Late Term Abortion
This procedure will generally be done 24 weeks after pregnancy
This procedure generally takes three days. Day one the physician inject into the fetal heart at which time will cause the fetus to die. If the fetus does not die, another injection may need to be done. Day two the physician inserts rods called laminaria into the cervix to gradually open up the uterus. Day three the dead fetus will be delivered. If the baby does not come out whole, then a D & E will be done to remove the fetus in pieces.
Before You Decide
If you have had sex there is always a chance you will become pregnant. If you think you are pregnant contact us.
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