Abortion Procedures

Abortion Procedures

Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy and will result in the death of the embryo or fetus. When choosing abortion, you should be 100% certain of your decision before proceeding.

Medication-induced Abortion (Mifepristone and Misoprostol)

A non-surgical abortion procedure using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol may be used by women who are in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. This procedure usually allows a woman to have the abortion at home. An ultrasound is done before the procedure. Then, a dose of mifepristone is given at the clinic to take by mouth. The woman is then given misoprostol tablets take as prescribed anytime between 24 and 48 hours later at home. Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract, bleed, and expel the pregnancy. A follow-up ultrasound may be necessary to determine if the abortion is complete. In cases where the abortion is incomplete, vacuum aspiration (see below) is recommended because of the possibility of birth defects should the woman complete her pregnancy.

Research indicates mifepristone alone is not always effective in ending a pregnancy. You may still have a viable pregnancy after taking mifepristone. In 30-50% of women who take mifepristone alone, the pregnancy will continue. Observations have suggested that women who take mifepristone, but not yet misoprostol, might reverse the effects of mifepristone by taking the medication progesterone. Successful pregnancies have been observed after taking mifepristone alone and then progesterone. At present, there is insufficient evidence to prove that progesterone is an effective treatment. The outcomes may be the same with or without “rescue” progesterone. Progesterone treatment remains a low-risk option for women who have taken mifepristone and not misoprostol and who change their mind regarding abortion. Mifepristone is not known to cause birth defects. If you have taken mifepristone but have not yet taken misoprostol and have questions regarding the health of your fetus, or are questioning your decision to terminate your pregnancy, you should consult a physician immediately. To locate a doctor in your area who is knowledgeable about mifepristone reversal, the Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline can be reached at 1-877-558-0333 or go to www.abortionpillreversal.com for more information.

If you would like to see a video describing this procedure, click below:

Vacuum Aspiration (Suction Curettage)

Vacuum aspiration, sometimes referred to as suction curettage, is a surgical abortion that is performed during the first trimester (first three months of pregnancy). An ultrasound is done before the procedure. In a vacuum aspiration abortion, the cervix, or opening of the uterus, is dilated or stretched. This allows the physician to insert a small plastic tube, called a cannula, into the uterus. The cannula is attached to suction. As the cannula is moved throughout the uterus, it removes by suction the soft and flexible embryo or fetus, along with the placenta and other tissues and fluids of pregnancy. Vacuum aspiration is performed in a clinic under local, oral or intravenous anesthesia.

If you would like to see a video describing this procedure, click below:

Dilation & Evacuation (D & E)

Dilation & Evacuation procedures are the most common surgical abortion performed in the second trimester of pregnancy (months four to six). An ultrasound is done before the procedure. With a D & E procedure, the cervix must be dilated before the procedure. This can be done with either medication alone, a substance inserted into the cervix that slowly widens the cervix as it swells with moisture, or a combination of the two. Sometimes cervical preparation is started one or two days before the D & E procedure. When the opening of the cervix is sufficient, a cannula (suction tube) is inserted into the uterus. The suction tube or cannula removes the amniotic fluid, placenta, and other pregnancy tissues. Forceps are then used to remove the fetus in parts. The procedure is carried out using ultrasound guidance for safety. D&E is performed using intravenous and local anesthesia.

If you would like to see a video describing this procedure, click below: