Abortion

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy before the fetus or the embryo can live independently. This is a voluntary procedure that ends a pregnancy before the fetus is viable. Abortion Abortion

About 1 million abortions have been performed in the United States each year, with 1 in 4 of all pregnancies terminated. Women chose to terminate pregnancy for a number of different medical, economic, social and moral reasons. Other reasons why women decide to have abortion done are due to age, career or educational reasons, emotional stability and health.

There are several types of pregnancy terminations. If a pregnancy occurs between 5 and 13 weeks after the beginning of the last menstrual period, the doctor can perform a surgery in which the cervix is widened and the contents of the uterus are removed. The procedure is called menstrual extraction or miniabortion and is usually performed in a doctor’s office by a gynecologist. The entire procedure takes a few minutes and requires no anesthesia. A flexible plastic tube about 4mm in diameter is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. After that, the contents of the uterus are suctioned out by the vacuum power. Menstrual extraction is considered a safer abortion method than later abortions. Another surgery procedure is named dilation and evacuation. This procedure is performed in women that are 6-7 weeks into pregnancy.

This surgery involves widening the cervix, following by suction evacuation of the contents of the uterus. This procedure is always a one-day outpatient procedure. The opening of the cervix is painful so sedation is given to help reduce anxiety. Another non-surgical abortion method that is available is with a drug called Mifepristone which is marketed as RU-486, the only FDA approved drug used to terminate normal pregnancy. It works by blocking the effects of progesterone, a hormone necessary for the fertilized egg to implant and develop in the uterus.

More than 95% of abortions are performed in the first trimester (first 13 weeks of pregnancy), a period when they are relatively easy and safe.

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