There are currently two ways to have an abortion.  One is by taking medication, and the other is by a surgical procedure.   Let’s take a closer look at the two types of abortions that are routinely done.

Medical Abortion

The first is a medical abortion. This is done up until 10 weeks since the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP)1.  A medication called mifepristone, sometimes called Mifeprex, is initially given. Another medication called misoprotosol, sometimes called Cytotec, is then taken 24-48 hours later. Cramping and bleeding will occur and is likely to be heavier than a normal period. Bleeding will last 9-16 days on average and may last for up to 30 days1.

Surgical Abortion

The second type of abortion is a surgical procedure, either a Vacuum Aspiration Abortion or a Dilation and Curettage.  These procedures are done up until 14 weeks after a woman’s last period3.  A physician will ask the woman’s medical history, get bloodwork, and perform an ultrasound.  For the Vacuum Aspiration Abortion, a local anesthetic is applied or injected into the cervix.  Conscious sedation and/or general anesthesia are commonly used. The opening of the cervix is stretched, and then a tube is inserted into the womb and attached to a suction system to remove the fetus3. A follow up appointment should be made with the doctor who performs the procedures.   There are some side effects and risks associated with these procedures.

It is helpful to talk with a medical provider who is familiar with abortion procedures and is available to answer all your questions! Call or click to request your appointment today.


Keely Darnell, BSN, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner




This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. If you have any concerns, please speak with a healthcare provider.