What Is The Early Pregnancy Termination Procedure? Cost, Efficacy, And Facts

Early pregnancy termination is performed during the early stages of pregnancy. Many women may choose this procedure, but the most common reason is to end an unwanted or unhealthy pregnancy. This article will discuss different early pregnancy termination procedures, their cost, efficacy, safety, and facts of early pregnancy termination. 

What Is Early Pregnancy Termination?

Early pregnancy termination (EPT) is a procedure that is used to end a pregnancy before it has reached full term. This can be done for various reasons, including if the mother’s health is at risk or if the fetus has a severe medical condition. EPT can be performed using medication or surgery, and the choice of method will depend on factors such as how far along the pregnancy is and the preferences of the pregnant person. [1] 

If you are considering early pregnancy termination, consult with your doctor or another medical professional to discuss your options and make sure that you are making the best decision for your circumstances.

The Different Types of Early Pregnancy Termination Procedures

Several methods can be used for early pregnancy termination, and the exact procedure will vary depending on the chosen method. The most common methods include medication abortion, vacuum aspiration, dilation, and evacuation.

Medical Abortion Procedure for Early Pregnancy Termination

Medical abortion is a non-surgical way to end a pregnancy. [2] It involves taking two different medications: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Medical abortions are very effective. About 95 out of 100 women who have a medical abortion will not be pregnant within two weeks after taking the misoprostol.

Suction Aspiration Procedure for Early Pregnancy Termination

Vacuum aspiration abortion is a safe and common procedure to terminate a pregnancy. The procedure is usually performed in the first trimester, before 12 weeks gestation. [7] 

  • First, the woman will be given medication to help her relax. She may also be given pain medication. 
  • The woman will lie on her back on an exam table with her legs in stirrups. 
  • A speculum will be inserted into the vagina to help hold it open. 
  • The cervix will be numbed using local anesthesia or sedative.
  • A suction device will then be inserted into the vagina and connected to a vacuum pump. 
  • The suction will gently pull the pregnancy tissue from the uterus through the cervix and out of the body.

The entire procedure usually takes less than 10 minutes to perform. Afterward, the woman will rest in a recovery room for a short time before being discharged home.

Dilation and Evacuation Procedure for Early Pregnancy Termination

Dilation and evacuation (D&E) is a two-day procedure. It can be done up to 21 weeks after the last menstrual period. [8] 

  • First, the cervix is dilated. This is done using osmotic dilators (rods that absorb water and swell) or laminaria (sticks made of seaweed that absorb water and expand).
  • The dilators stay in place for several hours or overnight to open the cervix.
  • Next, the pregnancy is removed with suction and forceps. Forceps are used to grab the fetus and remove it from the uterus. Suction may also be used to remove any remaining tissue.
  • After the pregnancy has been removed, the cervix is checked for bleeding. 

A D&E usually takes 10 to 15 minutes, but it may take longer if the pregnancy is further along or if there are complications. You will likely have cramping during the procedure. You may also have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. These symptoms are typical and should go away within a day or two.

Early surgical abortion is safe and effective when performed by a trained medical professional. Complications from early pregnancy termination procedures are rare but can include infection, bleeding, or incomplete abortion.

The Cost Of Early Pregnancy Termination

In general, medical abortions tend to be less expensive than surgical abortions. However, many factors can affect the price of an abortion, such as the fetus’s gestational age, insurance coverage, and whether or not you have insurance. If you do not have insurance, many organizations can help you pay for the procedure, such as the National Abortion Federation or Planned Parenthood. 

  • Medication abortions, which can be performed up to 10 weeks after the last menstrual period, typically cost between $350 and $750 (depending on the type of medication used and how far the pregnancy is). 
  • Surgical abortions cost varies depending on the facility but typically range from $100 to $3,000 (depending on the procedure used and how far along the pregnancy is).
  1. Manual vacuum aspiration can be performed up to 16 weeks after the last menstrual period and typically costs between $300 and $700.
  2. Dilation and evacuation can be performed up to 24 weeks after the last menstrual period and typically costs between $1,000 and $2,000.

Regardless of the type of early pregnancy termination, remember that this decision should not be taken lightly. There are many factors to consider when making this decision.

The Efficacy Of Early Pregnancy Termination

There are many reasons why a woman may choose to have an early pregnancy termination. The most common reason is that the woman is not ready to become a parent. Other possibilities include the following:

  • The pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
  • A woman’s health is at risk if she continues the pregnancy.
  • The fetus has a severe congenital disability.

Early pregnancy termination is generally very effective, with a success rate of over 95%. It is one of the safest medical procedures available. However, it is essential to note that early pregnancy termination is not 100% effective, and there is a slight chance that the procedure will not work and the pregnancy will continue. If this happens, additional treatment may be needed.

Most women who have an early pregnancy termination do not experience any serious complications.

The Safety Of Early Pregnancy Termination

There is no single answer to the question of how safe early pregnancy termination (EPT) is. The procedure’s safety depends on many factors, including the method used, the provider’s experience, and the woman’s overall health.

  • A small percentage of women who take mifepristone will experience serious side effects, such as bleeding or infection. However, these side effects are rare and usually treatable.
  • Surgical EPTR is generally very safe. The most common complication from surgical EPT is an infection, which can usually be treated with antibiotics. Other potential complications from surgical EPTR include bleeding and scarring of the uterus. However, these complications are also rare and can generally be treated effectively.

EPT is generally safe, but some risks are involved with any medical procedure. The chances of EPT will depend on the method used and how far along the pregnancy is. Some common side effects of EPT include:

  • Bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

These side effects are usually mild and resolve independently within a few days. However, more severe complications, such as infection or uterine damage, can occur in rare cases. If you have any concerns about the safety of EPT, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider before having the procedure.

How do I know if early pregnancy termination is suitable for me?

There is no easy answer to this question, as the decision to have early pregnancy termination is a personal one that depends on many factors. However, some things you may want to consider when deciding to include your reasons for wanting to end the pregnancy are your feelings about abortion and your overall health and well-being. If you are unsure whether EPT is right for you, talking with a trusted healthcare provider or counselor can be helpful.


If you’re considering early pregnancy termination, it’s important to be as informed as possible about the procedure, its cost, efficacy, and safety. We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of all these factors so that you can make the best decision for yourself. Remember, there is no wrong choice regarding early pregnancy termination — ultimately, the decision is yours to make.

(Written by Dr. Ebad Khan) 


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