Abortion is a procedure that is underwent to terminate or end a pregnancy.


  • Medical Abortion: It involves taking an abortion pill with a time interval of either 24 hours or 48 hours to cause abortion.
  • Surgical Abortion: It involves going to a hospital or clinic for the abortion procedure.

Different types of procedures are followed for abortion depending on how many months a woman is into her pregnancy.


The doctor may recommend fasting for the night since the abortions at clinics are considered as surgeries. Certain tests are done before getting into the surgery like blood tests, pregnancy test as well as an ultrasound, to know the trimester. Doctors also check the placenta and foetus for any abnormalities and the woman for STIs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases).

To manage the pain, the woman is given local anaesthesia or Ibuprofen in certain amounts depending on whether to make her lightly sedated while still keeping her awake or to sleep throughout the procedure.


  • Vacuum Aspiration: It is also called suction abortion. The procedure is performed within the first trimester i.e. 12 to 13 weeks of pregnancy. Before 10 weeks, the cervix does not need to be prepped or dilated as well. It takes a short time, usually minutes to complete this procedure. However, after the procedure, the doctor puts the patient under observation for around 30 minutes.
  • Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): This procedure is performed in the second trimester i.e. 13 weeks to 28 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure takes about 10-15 minutes. The body is prepared overnight to undergo the procedure. A dose of misoprostol is also administered. After the abortion, the patient is kept under observation for 30 minutes.
  • Dilation and Extraction (D&X): It is also called late-term abortion. This procedure is only performed by specialised medical professionals. It is performed only when there are major disabilities in the foetus or medical complications with the mother that can be fatal. A general IV anaesthesia is administered to the patient.

There are also a few other procedures that can be performed to terminate a pregnancy but, since they are riskier, they are avoided as long as they are not necessary. These procedures include hysterectomy and labour induction.


  • Take the prescribed antibiotics.
  • Do not panic if you experience cramping or light bleeding for around 2 weeks following the procedure.
  • Rest for a few days after the abortion.
  • Do not lift anything heavy for weeks.
  • Ask your doctor when you can resume your sexual life and use tampons again.


Mostly the procedure is completely safe and there are no complications but at times, there can be a few problems that may arise. Some of them are:

  • Damage to the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Cervical infection
  • Remaining pregnancy
  • Excessive bleeding