Abortion is a procedure that ends a pregnancy. There are two types of abortion: medical and surgical. Medical abortions use medicine to end a pregnancy. Surgical abortions use surgery to end a pregnancy. During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, you can usually have a surgical abortion. There are two surgical abortion procedures. They both take place in an abortion clinic or hospital. The doctor will explain how the procedure will be done and you can ask questions at that time. Dilation and curettage (D&C): A D&C for abortion is major surgery. Dilation and evacuation (also called D&E): A D&E for abortion is major surgery
Surgical abortions use surgery to end a pregnancy. Surgical abortions are more invasive and expensive than medical abortions, and they can be done up to 13 weeks of pregnancy. However, they are less effective than medical abortions after the first trimester—and sometimes even after six weeks of pregnancy.
Surgical abortion procedures include:
Suction aspiration (also known as vacuum aspiration): A long tube is inserted into your uterus through the vagina, and then suctioned out with your contents inside
Dilation and curettage (also known as D&C): A surgical instrument is used to scrape out any remaining tissue in your uterus
Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a surgical procedure that requires anesthesia. It is performed under general anesthesia in an operating room. A D&C for abortion is major surgery, and it should only be done by a trained, licensed professional. This includes gynecologists, other specialists who specialize in female reproductive anatomy, and doctors who have obtained additional training to perform abortions.
A woman’s cervix must be dilated so that the doctor can insert instruments into her uterus through the vagina (without having to cut through abdominal tissue). This allows him or her to collect tissue samples from inside her uterus before removing them completely at the end of the procedure.
Pain and heavy bleeding are common side effects of a D&E.
You will need to stay in the hospital overnight, and it can take several days to fully recover from the procedure.
D&E is a major surgical procedure that carries some of the same risks as other surgeries, including infection and blood clots in your legs or lungs.
If you have an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy where the embryo implants outside the uterus), your doctor may recommend removing it via D&E.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a surgical abortion procedure. Your doctor or nurse will be able to help you decide which procedure is best for your situation. You can choose:
the type of abortion you want, including medication abortion or aspiration (suction) abortion
how far along you are in your pregnancy
whether or not to have anesthesia during the procedure
There are many things that you can do to make sure you get through your abortion. You can talk to someone who has gone through it before, like a friend or family member. You can also talk to professionals at clinics or hospitals who provide abortions.