There are numerous options if you choose to go further with the procedure, however, the options will depend on your gestational age (duration of pregnancy) amongst other factors.
We will explore in this article, what abortion method is best for you depending on your gestational age. Other factors to keep in mind when choosing the best abortion method for you is your country’s legislation, availability of the abortion method in the locale that you are living, your budget and the preferences that suit your particular situation.
Information about Types of Abortion:
1. Abortion with Pills (also known as a Medical Abortion)
In this type of abortion method, a woman uses pills at home to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. It is usually 99% safe when the correct regimen is followed.
There are two safe regimens for an Abortion with Pills:
- Using Mifepristone in combination with Misoprostol this method is very effective (95%) to end a pregnancy that is 13 weeks or less, counted from the first day of your last menstrual period.
- Using Misoprostol alone. This method is also very effective (80-85%) to end a pregnancy that is 13 weeks or less, counted from the first day of your last menstrual period.
Medical Abortions are safe for majority of women. There are however a few medical conditions that are contraindications for using these abortion pills. Women using blood thinners such as Heparin or Warfarin, if you have a bleeding disorder such as Porphyria, if you have chronic adrenal failure, you are allergic to both Mifepristone or Misoprostol (you would know if you have used them before), or if you have an ectopic pregnancy, then the Abortion with Pills method using Mifepristone in combination with Misoprostol is not recommended for you.
If you have been using long term steroids (such as Prednisone or Dexamethasone). Mifepristone is not recommended however, you can have an abortion with Misoprostol only.
Advantages of a Medical Abortion:
- It is 95% effective
- You don’t need an ultrasound
- Can be done privately, where the woman feels the most comfortable
- You can start a contraceptive method immediately after a medical abortion
Disadvantages of a Medical Abortion:
- The time to completion of the abortion with pills can be a few days to a few weeks.
- Bleeding may be on and off for about 2 weeks or more.
- Cramping may be on and off for about 2 weeks.
- Potential risks include: heavy bleeding, infection, continued pregnancy, and incomplete abortion.
b. Vaccum Aspiration Abortion
A vacuum aspiration is a very safe method of abortion for pregnancies in the first trimester, and/or early second trimester all the way up to 14 weeks of gestation . The gestational age limit for Vacuum Aspiration often depends on the clinic, as well as the healthcare provider performing the procedure.
It is usually performed by a trained provider in a clinic.
During the procedure the clinician uses instruments, including a silent suction device, to remove the pregnancy from the uterus.
A vacuum aspiration abortion may also be known as surgical abortion, aspiration abortion, suction abortion, a manual vacuum aspiration procedure abortion, or in-clinic abortion. Electric Vacuum Aspiration (EVA) is a safe and very similar method to Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA). EVA can be used for pregnancies in the first trimester, and/or early second trimester. EVA is also performed by a trained provider in a clinic.
Advantages of a Vacuum Aspiration Abortion
- It is 99% effective
- Can be safely provided by physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician’s assistants (PAs), and others who are adequately trained
- The time to complete the vacuum aspiration is minutes.
Disadvantages of a Vacuum Aspiration Abortion
- More costly than a medical abortion
- Bleeding may last from 1 to 2 weeks.
- Cramping may be on and off for up to 1-2 weeks.
- Physical exam is required, and ultrasound may be required depending on the clinic.
Ultimately, the right abortion method for you is the method you choose after considering your personal circumstances. There are lots of online abortion counselling options that may support you to make your decision incase you are not sure which option is right for you.
Safe2choose.org has abortion counselors who will provide you with support to help you make your decision. They provide email counselling and live chat counselling.
How Abortion Information helps to reduce stigma
Sometimes, reading other women’s experiences helps to destigmatize abortion. Remember abortions are normal and around half of unintended pregnancies in the world end in an abortion.There are numerous accounts of brave women around the world who are sharing their stories in the hope that the stigma that has been widely associated with abortion will continue to be irrelevant. Here are some examples; My abortion story, Explore Abortion Stories with safe2choose.org.
Also Read: How to Live a Healthier Life
An abortion is a medical means to end a pregnancy. The most common types of Abortion include:
- Abortion with Pills (also known as a medical abortion)
- Vacuum Aspiration Abortion (also known as Manual Vacuum Aspiration)
You may consider the legal context where you live, your gestational age, your budget and your personal preferences that will determine the best choice for you.
Michell Mor, eHealth Content Specialist at Women First Digital, an organization helping women about contraception and sexual health.