Abortion

Jagdish Kathwate
MD Pediatrics. Assistant Professor, Government Medical College, Aurangabad, India.
First Created: 08/01/2015  Last Updated: 08/01/2015

Patient Education

What is an Abortion?

An abortion is when the pregnancy is ended so that it does not result in the birth of a child. This is also called a termination of pregnancy.

The pregnancy is removed from the womb, either by taking pills (medical abortion) which involves taking medicines to cause a miscarriage, or by surgery (surgical abortion) where the pregnancy is removed from the womb.

What Kinds of Abortion are available in India?

There are broadly two types of abortion treatment, the abortion pill (also called medical abortion) and surgical abortion. The abortion pill involves taking medicines to end the pregnancy. Surgical abortion involves a minor operation either awake or asleep.

The Abortion Pill (Medical Abortion)

  • Abortion Pill up to 9 weeks
    • Up to 9 weeks of pregnancy
    • Involves taking medicines to cause an early miscarriage (it can feel like having a heavy and more painful period)
    • At least 2 visits to the clinic are required
    • No surgery or anesthetic involved

  • Abortion Pill after 9 weeks
    • 9 to 20 weeks of pregnancy
    • Involves taking medicines to cause the womb to contract and push out the pregnancy
    • From 20 weeks an injection to the womb is also required
    • 2 visits to the clinic are required
    • In some cases, an overnight visit may be required at the second visit

  • Surgical Abortion
    • Vacuum Aspiration
    • Up to 15 weeks
    • Involves removing the pregnancy by gentle suction
    • One visit to the clinic, going home the same day
    • Can be done awake or asleep (under local or general anaesthetic)

  • Dilatation & Evacuation
    • Between 15-20 weeks of pregnancy
    • A doctor will remove the pregnancy using narrow forceps passed through the neck of the womb
    • Carried out under general anesthetic (asleep)
    • One visit to the clinic, usually returning home the same day for abortions up to 20 weeks
    • Over 20 weeks may require more than one visit or a local overnight stay

Is Abortion Legal?

Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy as long as two doctors agree under the terms of the 1974 MTP Act agreed by the Government.

Is Abortion Safe?

Yes. The abortion procedures used are simple and very safe. Complications are rare. However, all procedures do have risks. Surgical abortion requires a simple operation and one of the most common risks is infection. The risk of infection is higher if you have a sexually transmitted infection such as Chlamydia.


Abortion Abortion Abortion 08/01/2015
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