Everything To Know About Early Pregnancy Termination

It can be difficult to decide to terminate a pregnancy, but it is often the best decision for the mother and the child. This blog post will explore everything you need to know about early pregnancy termination, from the medical procedures involved to the emotional support you may need. We hope this post will give you the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family.

What is an Early Abortion?

An early abortion is a pregnancy termination within the first trimester of pregnancy. Early abortions can be performed either surgically or medically.

Early surgical abortions are typically done in a clinic or hospital setting and involve using instruments to remove the pregnancy tissue from the uterus. [1] Medically induced early abortions, on the other hand, use medication to induce contractions and expel the pregnancy tissue. [2] 

Both types of early abortion are safe and effective methods of terminating a pregnancy. Most women who have an early abortion experience little to no complications. [1], [3] 

Suppose you are considering having an early abortion. In that case, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to discuss your options and ensure that you are making the best decision for your situation.

How is an Early Abortion Performed?

There are two types of early abortion: medical and surgical.

  1. Medical abortion
  2. Surgical abortion

Getting Ready for a Medical Abortion

If you’re considering medical abortion, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. 

  • First, you’ll need to ensure that you’re eligible for the procedure. To be eligible, you must be less than ten weeks pregnant. 
  • You will also need to have a reliable form of transportation to and from the clinic, as well as someone who can stay with you for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Once you’ve confirmed you’re eligible, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with a provider offering medical abortions. 
  • You may be able to find a provider through your regular OB-GYN or family doctor, but there are also stand-alone clinics that specialize in abortion care.

When you go in for your appointment, the provider will go over the risks and benefits of the procedure with you, as well as answer any questions you have. They will also likely do an ultrasound to confirm how far along you are in your pregnancy. If everything looks good, and you’re still interested in proceeding, they will give you a prescription for the medication needed for the abortion.

What Happens During a Medical Abortion?

Medical abortion is a procedure that uses medication to end a pregnancy. It is also sometimes called an early termination or an induced abortion. Medical abortions are usually done up to 10 weeks of pregnancy but can be done up to 12 weeks in some cases. [4] The sooner the pregnancy is done, the more likely it is to be successful and have fewer side effects.

The medication used in medical abortion is called mifepristone. It works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is needed for a pregnancy to continue. Without progesterone, the lining of the uterus breaks down, and the pregnancy cannot continue. Mifepristone is taken as a pill by mouth. [5] 

A second medication, misoprostol, is then taken 24 to 48 hours later. Misoprostol causes contractions of the uterus and leads to the expulsion of the pregnancy tissue. [6] 

It is normal to experience cramping and bleeding during this process. The process usually takes about 4-6 hours, but it can vary from person to person.

After taking the medication, it is important to rest and take it easy for the rest of the day. You should also have someone with you who can help you if you need it. It is also important to follow up with your provider within two weeks to ensure that the abortion was successful and that there are no complications.

Follow-up after medical abortion.

Once you have had an abortion, you must follow up with your healthcare provider. This is to ensure that the abortion was successful and that there are no complications. You can do it on a phone call or visit your doctor’s clinic. [7] 

You will likely need to return for a follow-up visit 1-2 weeks after the procedure. At this visit, your healthcare provider will check to ensure that the abortion was successful and that you are healing well. They may also do a pelvic exam and take blood and urine samples.

If everything appears to be normal, you will be able to resume your normal activities. However, it is important to avoid strenuous activity for at least a week after the procedure. You should also avoid sexual intercourse for two weeks after the abortion.

If you have any concerns or questions following your abortion, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Who Should Not Have a Medical Abortion? 

One should not have a medical abortion if one:

  • Have a false positive pregnancy test and are unsure about your pregnancy, you shouldn’t take medical abortion pills. 
  • Are further along in your pregnancy (beyond 13 weeks); medical abortion is not an effective option. 
  • Have an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus); medical abortion is not an option and could be dangerous.
  • Are allergic to either mifepristone or misoprostol, you can have an anaphylactic shock due to the pills.
  • Has an IUD (Intrauterine device) is inserted, medical abortion is not right for you. You would need to have the IUD removed first.

Surgical Procedure for Early Pregnancy Termination

A few different surgical procedures can be used for early pregnancy termination. The most common is called aspiration abortion. This involves dilating the cervix and then using a suction device to remove the contents of the uterus. [8] 

Other surgical options include Dilation and Curettage or D&C. It uses a handheld syringe to remove the contents of the uterus, and hysteroscopy involves inserting a thin telescope-like device into the uterus to remove the pregnancy tissue. [9] 

Risks Involved With Early Pregnancy Termination

There are several risks involved with early pregnancy termination, including:

  • Bleeding: You may experience heavy bleeding and cramping after the procedure. This is normal and should resolve within a few days. However, you should contact your doctor if you experience heavy bleeding that lasts for more than a week or if you develop severe abdominal pain.
  • Infection: There is a small risk of infection after the procedure. Symptoms of infection include fever, chills, and increased pain or bleeding. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
  • Abdominal cramps can be severe during the first day of abortion and will become mild after a few days. You can take over-the-counter available pain medications to relieve cramps. 
  • Emotional side effects: Some women may experience emotional side effects after an early pregnancy termination, such as sadness, guilt, or anxiety. If these feelings persist or interfere with your daily life, you should talk to your doctor or mental health professional.

How will I feel emotionally after a medication abortion?

The decision to have an abortion is never easy, and it can be a very emotional experience. After a medication abortion, you may feel various emotions, including relief, sadness, regret, or guilt. It is important to give yourself time to process these emotions and to talk to someone who can support you through this experience.

How Much Does an Abortion Cost? 

The cost of an abortion can vary depending on several factors, including the type of procedure, the stage of pregnancy, and the location. However, on average, early pregnancy termination abortion costs are as follows: 

  • Medical abortion: $300 to $750
  • Aspiration abortion: $460 to $600
  • Dilation and Curettage (D&C): $1000 to $3000

Will early pregnancy termination affect my fertility?

It is unlikely that early pregnancy termination will affect your fertility. Less than 1% of women who have an early pregnancy termination experience problems with their fertility. However, you should speak to your doctor if you are concerned about your fertility.


There are many things to consider when deciding to terminate a pregnancy. This article has hopefully provided you with some solid information to help you make an informed decision. Remember, there is no wrong or right answer here, and whatever you decide should be based on what is best for you and your unique situation. If you have questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your doctor or another medical professional you trust.

(Written by Dr. Ebad Khan)