What are the Different Types of Abortion?

Are you interested in learning about the different types of abortion? 

In today’s blog, we will be discussing medical abortion, also known as “the abortion pill,” and the various forms of surgical abortions. We will also go over the risks and side effects associated with the procedures and steps to take before making a pregnancy decision. 

Medical Abortion

For women still in the first 70 days of gestation, the abortion pill can be used to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The medical abortion process is a chemical procedure using the drugs Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

Mifepristone is administered first and prevents the body from absorbing the hormone called progesterone. Progesterone is essential in supporting the growing fetus and without it, the pregnancy will end. 

Once the pregnancy has been terminated (usually within 24 to 48 hours of taking Mifepristone), Misoprostol is taken to cause contractions and expel the fetal tissue from the body.

While the medical abortion process is typically started in a medical setting, the process is completed at home. Women should expect to experience heavy bleeding and cramping as the pregnancy tissue is passed in the form of large blood clots. 

You are in control and have the choice to change your path at any point in time. If you would like to talk with someone further about your choice, please give our office a call at 541-345-3683.

Surgical Abortion Procedures

Surgical abortions are available to women throughout the various stages of pregnancy and unlike a medical abortion, require some form of surgery.  

First-Trimester Surgical Abortions

Women seeking a surgical abortion in their first trimester of pregnancy will either undergo a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) abortion procedure or a Suction Curettage abortion procedure.

D&C procedures are available within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In this abortion procedure, the abortion provider will dilate the cervix and scrape the pregnancy tissue from the uterus using a curette, a small scoop-like tool.

Suction Curettage abortions are available in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Once the cervix is dilated, the abortion provider will use a suctioning device to pull apart the fetal tissue and empty the uterus. After the majority of the tissue is removed, the abortion provider will use a curette to ensure all tissue has been removed from the womb. Failure to remove all of the tissue can result in infection, sepsis, or hemorrhaging. 

Second-Trimester Surgical Abortions

Second-trimester abortions require a more invasive procedure due to the developed stage of the pregnancy.

For the pregnancy tissue to be small enough to pass through the cervix, a Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) abortion involves dilating the cervix and breaking apart the fetus using a tool. Once the pregnancy tissue is small enough, the abortion provider will remove it from the uterus using a scraping technique. In some cases, forceps will need to be used to grasp, break apart, and remove larger bones and tissue. 

What Are the Side Effects and Risks Related to Abortion? 


Like most medical procedures, abortion can be accompanied by side effects and health risks.

In addition to the expected bleeding and cramping, the abortion pill may be accompanied by nausea, fever, chills, dizziness, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, and headaches. More severe complications to the abortion pill include infection, sepsis, and hemorrhaging.

Surgical abortion procedures might be accompanied by similar side effects as the abortion pill and can also involve health risks such as perforation of the uterus and other internal organs, infection, sepsis, and hemorrhaging. 

What Should I Do Before Getting an Abortion? 

Before scheduling an abortion, you may find it helpful to schedule free pregnancy testing, an ultrasound exam, and STI testing. It can be helpful to have information about your pregnancy such as the location if there is heartbeat activity, and how far along you are. 

Dove Medical provides free pregnancy diagnosis services to help you make an informed choice about your pregnancy.

Schedule your free appointment today!