How does Abortion Work: 4 Important Points

How Does Abortion Work

How does abortion work? In simple words, a tube is inserted in the uterus through the vagina to suck out the growing embryo to terminate the pregnancy. It totally depends on which type of instrument and what procedure the will doctor use to terminate the pregnancy after observing the size of the fetus. 

In this article, we will cover all the aspects of surgical abortion, medical abortion, abortion pills, first-trimester abortion, and many more related concepts. 


Abortion is the procedure of removing the unmatured fetus through a surgical procedure. Abortion is of many types and it depends on the condition and type of procedure used.

  • Medical Abortion
  • Surgical Abortion

In medical abortions, abortion pills are a precursor for the menstrual period. Normally abortion is safe but in some cases, it also has some health risks usually when it is done in the second trimester.

Abortion pills are one of the major things taken in used by doctors in medical abortions. It is advised that medical abortion performed by an expert doctor is a must for the health of the mother. 

Although medical abortion and surgical abortion both are painless, it is observed that in some cases pain is noticeable. In that situation, pain relief medications are given.

How does Abortion Work

Pregnancy is the process when the ova get fertilized from the sperm and convert into an embryo, which after attaching to the uterus lining converts into the fetus this is called pregnancy. In humans, the gestation period is 9 months.

In some cases terminating the pregnancy become essential due to various complication and the medical history of the female. At that time abortion techniques come to play.

Abortion is the removal of a growing and developing embryo from the uterus through the cervix. For this removal, various techniques are used and this depends on the size of the fetus that which technique is suitable. Usually, within 12 weeks the abortion is performed. And after 12 weeks abortion is a little bit risky task.

Now let us discuss the different techniques used in abortion.

1. First Trimester Surgical Abortions

This abortion is usually performed between 6 to 12 weeks pregnant. Surgical abortion needs surgical equipment called a curette. 

1.01. Curettage And Dilitation

This surgical abortion is usually performed at the start of the pregnancy options, generally in the first trimester. 

In this procedure the cervix is first dilated, then the curettage tool is inserted into the female body and the developing fetus is scraped out. General anesthesia is given to the patient – only if the patient demands that.

1.02. Suction Abortion

This surgical abortion is among the most common surgical abortion types. The procedure is usually performed in the second trimester, so the fetus size in this is a little bit larger.

First general anesthetic patient’s cervix is stretched with the help of a metal rod, after that, a very hard plastic tube is interested into the cervix, then this plastic rod is connected to the suction machine.

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The suction force pulls out the fetus from the uterus. In this, if some parts of the fetus remain inside, then the curettage is used to scapple those remaining parts of the fetus.

2. First-Trimester Medical Abortions

Couples who do not want children at a particular time can use birth control pills which help in preventing the female to get pregnant.

But if the pregnancy is not planned parenthood then usually couples go first for medical abortion. Medical abortion also includes various methods.

Abortion pill

This procedure requires a follow-up appointment at the doctor’s office. This type of abortion is the most common abortion. This is generally done when the pregnancy is up to 49 days only.

  • A least three checkup is required for this technique. On the first visit to the doctor’s office, the doctor gives medicines that kill the embryo.
  • After two days if abortion is not done then again some medications which cause high contraction in the body are given which helps in the explanation of the embryo. At this time, sometimes strong period cramps medicines are also given.
  • The third and final visit is for the measurement that the abortion happened or not. Note that this procedure is not suitable for ectopic pregnancy.
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Ectopic pregnancy is a type of pregnancy where the embryo starts developing in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. If an ectopic pregnancy is undetected for a long period of time then it may burst the fallopian tube, which ultimately causes severe complications in the female and even death in severe cases.

That is why after starting any procedure the normal activities, amniotic sac position, and healthcare of the women are monitored properly.

3. 2nd Trimester Surgical Abortions

The procedure used in the 2nd trimester is the same as taken in use in the first trimester including evacuation and dilation. The only difference is the time duration of the abortion done in 1st trimester is within 12 weeks and in the 2nd-trimester abortion is done within 24 weeks.

4. 2nd Trimester Medical Abortions

This procedure is applied or taken care of when the pregnancy is 14 to 23 weeks ago. After three days medicines are given to the female to abort the child and finally, the last appointment is to make sure that the abortion is done.

Side Effects of Abortion

Heavy bleeding, pain in the cervix after surgery, and pain in the vagina are often observed after an abortion. However, things become normal after several hours. 

The doctor will check and advise for some extra tests to make sure the abortion is successful or not. It will also give some extra medications for surety. Some common side effects after abortion also include diarrhea and feeling of sickness.

If a medical abortion is performed with you then general anesthetic side effects can be observed for a few hours. Bleeding and pain in the uterus are common no need to worry about that.

In several cases, bleeding starts immediately after the medical abortion and can last for one or two days. In some rare cases, this bleeding can also last for 12 weeks or for a month.

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In that case, the doctor will advise heating pad treatment in the recovery area to avoid any infection. Healthcare professionals recommend a regular change of sanitary pads.

Things that Women can do after the Abortion

Some precautions which women must take care to avoid any further complications. 

  • Women can take painkillers to avoid extreme pain in the uterus or in the area which is stretched open.
  • Medications including ibuprofen and paracetamol can be taken to fall fully asleep.
  • The use of sanitary pads in place of tampons is preferred and advised by doctors to avoid any chances of infection.
  • Healthcare professionals also allow having sex as soon as the women feel comfortable.
  • A healthy lifestyle along with some yoga and regular exercises is a must to avoid any future complications.

Final Note

The abortion process is not in the first few weeks pregnant lady, and it must be performed in the clinic for a better and safe result. With the help of various techniques medication and machines, the growing and developing embryo is detached from the uterus and is removed from the female body through the cervix.

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I am a biotechnologist working on different parameters of diseases and disorders. I am keenly interested in writing about illness and condition niches. I dabble at researching the disease, disorders, microbes and lifestyle-related content. Through my writing, I help people understand more about diseases and the process taking place inside them in detail.
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