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What Are the Two Most Common Types of Abortion?

If you’re considering an abortion for your unexpected pregnancy, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of abortion information on the internet. In this blog, we break down the two most common types of abortion, when you can have them, and what you should do before getting an abortion.

Avenue Women’s Center provides free services and support to women facing unexpected pregnancies. Receive accurate abortion information in a confidential, nonjudgmental environment. We’re here to address your individual questions and concerns.

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Two Most Common Types of Abortion

Most abortions occur during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, according to data from the CDC.

Very early pregnancy termination often happens via the abortion pill. Abortions between 10-13 weeks require a surgical procedure called vacuum aspiration.

The Abortion Pill

The abortion pill, or medication abortion, is FDA-approved during the first nine weeks of pregnancy, or the first 70 days.

It is composed of two drugs. The first, Mifepristone, is often taken at the abortion clinic or doctor’s office where the abortion is prescribed. It blocks your body’s production of progesterone, causing the lining of your uterus to thin. This discontinues the growth of the pregnancy.

The second drug, Misoprostol, is typically taken at least 24 hours later at home. It causes cramping and contractions, expelling the contents of your uterus.

Vacuum Aspiration

The second most common type of abortion is vacuum aspiration. This surgical abortion method occurs during the first 5-12 weeks of pregnancy. Vacuum aspiration is more invasive than medication abortion but takes less time to complete.

Before your abortion procedure, a dilation device may be inserted into your cervix to slowly open it. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. They may also give a local anesthetic.

The abortion is performed by inserting a long tube attached to a suction device into your uterus. This removes all fetal tissue from the uterus and completes the abortion.

Before Your Abortion

Before scheduling your medication or surgical abortion, there are a few helpful next steps.

Get an Ultrasound

An ultrasound is important because it helps date the pregnancy. These two abortion procedures can only take place during the early weeks of pregnancy. So, accurate timing is essential. An ultrasound will also reveal whether the pregnancy is located in the uterus or not. If not, the pregnancy is non-viable and will require a different procedure.

Learn About All Your Options

Before making any medical decision that may have a lasting impact, you should take the time to carefully consider all options. You owe it to yourself to know you made the best decision for both now and the future.

We offer no-cost, confidential ultrasounds and options consultations to help you prepare for your next steps. Gather the information you need to make an informed and empowered decision about your unplanned pregnancy.

Schedule your appointment with us today!



Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.