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.
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.
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.
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.