The Decision to Have an Abortion

3 Options For Abortions

If you think you might be pregnant, having a test to find out whether you are actually pregnant should be done sooner rather than later. The earlier you can confirm a pregnancy, the more options you have if you determine an abortion is right for you.


Medication abortions are an option if it has been less than 12 weeks since your last menstrual period (LMP). Taking a pill is often the preferred method for women who would rather have the abortion in the comfort of their home, but the process takes longer than in-office procedures. The earlier you are in your pregnancy, the more effective the pill will be. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to take your pills. Typically, you are given one or more medications to take at your appointment and a second pill to take a day later. Within a matter of hours you may begin cramping and bleeding, which is a normal part of the process. Typically the process is completed within a day, but you may continue to experience spotting.

Vacuum Aspiration

Vacuum aspiration is another form of abortion that is typically an option before 15 weeks since your LMP. The procedure is done in-office and involves using gentle suction to empty the contents of the uterus and complete the abortion. Before the procedure, you will be given medications to reduce pain and make the procedure more comfortable. Since you will be given pain medications you should have someone go with you to the appointment that can drive you home. After the procedure, the doctor will check the uterus again to be confident the abortion is complete before sending you home to recover. You should expect some amount of spotting, bleeding, and cramping in the days after the procedure.

Dilation And Evacuation

Dilation and evacuation (D&E) is the last abortion option and is typically used in the second trimester. The procedure is similar to a vacuum aspiration, but after the contents of the uterus are removed through suction, a curette is used to scrape away any remaining tissue that lines the uterus. The availability of D&E is less than other forms of abortion, with few providers offering abortions during the second trimester. Making the decision as early as possible will give you more options should you choose to have an abortion.

Making the decision to have an abortion is not easy for some women, but it is the right choice for their needs and lifestyle. The earlier the decision to have an abortion, the more choices you have on whether you want to use medication or an in-office procedure. You might try visiting websites for early surgical abortion clinics to learn more