Types of Abortion and What to Expect During Each Trimester

Types of Abortion and What to Expect During Each Trimester

Abortion is the act of terminating a pregnancy before the embryo or fetus reaches the viable stage. This is done by its removal or expulsion from the womb. In humans, the stage of viability is usually reached by the 20th week of gestation. However, different institutions, at times, define abortion differently, and also the laws for the same often vary nation-wise. For this reason, and also because around 45% of all abortions are unsafe — which cause 4.7% to 13.2% of maternal deaths every year, — it is advised that a proper medical consultation be looked out for before moving ahead with terminating an unwanted pregnancy.

Even before that, what’s rather more important is that you’re sure about the termination. It is a necessary question one should ask themselves since this is a road of no return. However, once you are, it is better to understand closely what pregnancy termination — or abortion — is.

Why and Exactly When to Go for an Abortion?

Having a baby can be a difficult decision, and so can be having an abortion. But there can be many reasons, most common among which is an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. As it is, in the most recent decades, over 40 percent of pregnancies have been unintended, around 55 percent of which end in abortion in both developed and developing regions.

The question that matters the most, perhaps, is whether your baby deserves it or not — an uncertain future is worse than a bad future; and, so, an abortion can also be a kindness. For this very reason, most countries in the world have legalized them —

  • Over 60 nations — including most of Europe, — have no restrictions regarding having an abortion.
  • Most other nations follow a few restrictions, which majorly relate to the mother’s health conditions.
  • A handful of countries — around 25, — however, have strictly banned abortions without any exceptions.

How to Have an Abortion?

Essentially, there are two types of abortion, and the type you can opt for is mostly decided by your duration of pregnancy. A medical abortion, or the one with pills, is considered safe for up to nine or eleven weeks (64-76 days), after which it is the in-clinic abortion that is safer and, therefore, preferred.

An in-clinic abortion can consist of different procedures — including vacuum aspiration (up to 16 weeks) and even dilation and evacuation (after 14 weeks) — and is often mechanical, increasing the risk of any kind, as opposed to a medical abortion, which is also more than 95 percent efficient.

How to Go for a Medical Abortion?

In a good number of cases, when the pregnancy is found out about soon enough, the decision should be an easier one. Up to the first 10 weeks, to terminate a pregnancy, an MTP Kit, or a “medical termination of pregnancy kit”, is used, the application of which can be both clinic-based and home-based. The effectiveness of the kit was found to be in the range of 86-97% in home-based abortion and 80-99% in clinic-based according to a study from the year 2010.

To understand better, an MTP Kit is simply a combination of two different tablets that are used complimentarily to guarantee a pregnancy termination. The two tablets included in this kit are RU-486 (mifepristone 200 mg) and Misoprostol 200 mcg. Taken orally, with water, and with a period of around 12-48 hours between their intake, these induce medical abortion by blocking the action of the hormone progesterone and, then, by inducing contractions in the uterus.

Mifepristone, which is present in RU486, blocks the progesterone receptors present in the body and, thus, puts a check on the activity of the hormone progesterone, which causes the uterine lining to thicken and develop accordingly to get ready for a pregnancy.

Misoprostol, on the other hand, works on uterine contractions, which removes the fetus from the womb in its entirety. This guarantees that there is no chance of reimplantation and, therefore, the abortion is complete. The latter bit, however, tends to involve considerable bleeding and it’s good to have someone to take care of you.

Issues with a Medical Abortion

Since it involves bringing about some changes to bodily hormonal interactions and a fully developed womb is made to recede, abortion can sometimes end up with unexpected conclusions. For this reason, a consultation from a trained professional is advised. As it is, a doctor might recommend you another procedure instead of medical abortion in case:

  • your pregnancy is ectopic (implanted outside of the uterus)
  • you’re allergic to misoprostol or mifepristone
  • you take blood thinners or suffer from a bleeding disorder
  • you have any severe kidney, liver, or lung disease
  • you use an IUD (intrauterine device)
  • you’ve been on corticosteroid drugs for a considerable amount of time

Any particular condition that relates to issues with blood circulation, medical abortion can be a mistake considering the unchecked blood flow that it concludes with. Having a doctor’s word is the smartest thing to do in such times.


While choosing abortion can be difficult, it’s good to understand that doing the right thing is the best thing to do. And while some states even allow abortions up to 27 weeks, the sooner the better is the key to safety. The assurance of reliability that the MTP Kit provides us, thus, is a guarantee of the safety of the procedure more often than not. Considering this, it is both widely used, and even the WHO recommends medically induced abortion with oral mifepristone followed by misoprostol. With proper guidance and care, its sharp effectiveness and convenience can make hard times better.

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