Understanding Different Types of Abortions–Part Two

In our last blog we talked about Chemical abortions and Plan B, the morning-after pill. In this blog we will talk about the two types of surgical abortions.

First Trimester–Surgical Abortion

The suction/aspiration method is the type of abortion done in the first trimester. Pain control is usually a local anesthetic. This means they numb parts of your body so you don’t feel any pain, but you will be awake.

If you are four to seven weeks since your last period, they will insert a long, thin tube into the uterus. The embryo is then suctioned out. Note that viability of your pregnancy can’t usually be confirmed until you are six weeks, one day from your period. So if you have an abortion earlier, it may be done on a pregnancy that isn’t viable. About 30% of early pregnancies will naturally miscarry.

After seven weeks from your last period, the cervix needs to be opened wider to accommodate a larger fetus. This is done either by putting medication in the vagina or using laminaria the day before the abortion. Laminaria are bundles of seaweed or kelp placed inside the cervical canal causing the cervix to dialate.

Once the cervix is widened, a plastic tube is inserted into the uterus and suction is used to pull the body of the fetus apart and out of the uterus. A curette (loop-shaped tool) may be needed to scrape out any remaining fetal parts.

Second Trimester–Surgical Abortion

Dilation and Evacuation is the method usually used in the second trimester (after 13 weeks from your last period). The cervix is softened and widened using either laminaria or medication the day before. The procedure is similar to the first trimester method, but a forceps may also be needed to scrape out any remaining fetal parts. A forceps is a grasping tool.

Get Your Pre-Testing Done Free at Your First Look

You can get your pre-testing done for free at Your First Look Women’s Center. We offer lab-quality pregnancy tests. You can also get an obstetrical ultrasound done by a sonographer to confirm that your pregnancy is viable. This is important to know before you schedule an abortion clinic appointment. We will also do STD testing for Chalmydia and Gonorrhea. Having an STD when you have an abortion can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which can cause lifelong reproductive health problems. Call 419-720-3338 to schedule your visit.

Your First Look Women’s Center provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds to confirm viability, and information on all your options—abortion, adoption, and parenting. We do not provide or refer for abortion services. All services are free and confidential.