Your abortion options depends on the length of the pregnancy. Abortion is a medical procedure for terminating a pregnancy. Around half of all reported unplanned pregnancies in the world ends in abortion. Abortion is legal in most of the United States, as well as many other countries. Continue reading this article to learn about various abortion options by trimester, as well as their benefits and drawbacks.

When can a woman undergo an abortion?

Abortions are most commonly performed near the end of the first trimester. When abortion is permitted in the United States, doctors usually perform it during the first trimester or the early stage of second trimester. The first trimester of pregnancy lasts from conception to week 12. Weeks 13 through 28 make up the second trimester. In some states, abortion is permitted in the latter part of second trimester. Abortion options in the first trimester often include:

  • Medical abortion
  • Vacuum aspiration

Medical abortion option is normally available until about 13 weeks after a woman’s last period. It entails the administration of two different medications. After 13 weeks, surgical options like vacuum aspiration and dilation and evacuation become increasingly popular.

During the second trimester, a woman may undergo the following:

  • Dilation and evacuation
  • Labor induction abortion

Abortion is uncommon in the third trimester, but if a woman’s life is in danger, a doctor may perform one after 29 weeks of pregnancy. They might employ the same techniques used in the second trimester.

Medical abortion option

A medical abortion entails the administration of two drugs that prevent the pregnancy from progressing. Mifepristone and Misoprostol are two drugs used in this type of abortion. The time will be determined by a doctor or nurse, but the second medication, Misoprostol, should be taken no more than 48 hours after the first, mifepristone. Mifepristone prevents a pregnancy from forming. Misoprostol causes the uterus to empty, which occurs 1–4 hours after the tablet is taken.

As the pregnancy passes, a woman will suffer cramps and bleeding, which may feel like a heavy menstruation. Cramping can be more acute in some women than in others. The pregnant tissue will most likely pass within 4–5 hours, although it may take longer.


Medical abortion has a number of advantages which include:

  • It does not necessitate the use of anaesthetics.
  • It does not require surgery.
  • It is offered during the first trimester of pregnancy.


The following are some of the drawbacks of a medical abortion:

  • While the tissue is passing, it’s a good idea to have a companion or friend around for support.
  • Only part of the treatment takes place in a clinic.
  • It has the potential to produce cramps.

Vacuum aspiration Abortion option

Vacuum aspiration is a method of surgical abortion that involves ending a pregnancy with the use of mild suction. This is something that most doctors prescribe throughout the first trimester. A speculum is inserted into the woman’s vagina to begin the vacuum aspiration operation. They then numb the region with medicines or an injection. The cervix is then opened with small rods called dilators, and a tube is inserted into the uterus. The uterus is then emptied using a manual or mechanical suction device.


Vacuum aspiration has the following advantages:

  • It does not necessitate the use of a general anaesthetic.
  • Although it is typically painless, some women may experience cramping, perspiration, nausea, or a combination of these symptoms.
  • It is quick, requiring approximately 5–10 minutes to complete.
  • It is offered during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.


The biggest disadvantage of vacuum aspiration is that it is unavailable in the second trimester.

Dilation and evacuation abortion option

During the second trimester, surgeons routinely utilise dilation and evacuation as a sort of surgical abortion. Before performing a dilation and evacuation, a doctor may administer a general anaesthesia. This sort of anaesthesia ensures that the patient is completely unconscious throughout the treatment. The doctor starts by placing a speculum into the vaginal canal of the woman. The cervix is then opened with dilators. They next use little forceps to remove the pregnant tissue. Finally, they remove any residual tissue with suction.


The following are some of the benefits of dilatation and evacuation:

  • It is a safe and effective method of putting an end to a pregnancy.
  • In the second trimester, it is available.


The drawback of dilation and evacuation is that it may necessitate a general anaesthetic.

Labor induction abortion option

Labor induction abortion is a method of terminating a pregnancy in the second or third trimester that is performed late in the pregnancy. This is a rare type of abortion that a doctor may suggest if a woman’s life is at risk.

Labour induction is the process of starting labour with drugs that force the uterus to empty over a period of 12–24 hours. These pills can be taken by mouth, or they can be placed in the vaginal canal or injected into the uterus by a doctor. Due to the extreme cramping that happens during this form of abortion, doctors usually provide pain relievers or a local anaesthetic.