Safest Abortion Options
What are the safest abortion methods?
The safest time to complete an abortion is under 8-9 weeks of pregnancy. There are two non-surgical early abortion methods. Aspiration Abortion (Manual Vacuum Aspiration) with local anesthesia is the safest abortion method. The Abortion Pill is also considered one of the safest abortion methods. Aspiration abortion and the Abortion Pill can avoid or eliminate health risks of surgical abortion because these methods do not use sharp instruments, general sedation, or electric suction.
Sharp curettage (D&C abortion) is not recommended for termination of early pregnancy because it carries additional risk for uterine perforation, and scar tissue (Asherman’s syndrome). Sharp curettage is also painful, requiring heavier sedation, which carries its own risks. D&C abortion may be appropriate for the termination of pregnancies over twelve weeks, but is not necessary for early terminations.
The World Health Organization endorses Manual Aspiration Abortion and the Abortion Pill as the safest Abortion Methods.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated in its Technical Guidelines on Safe Abortion: aspiration and medical abortion are preferred methods for abortion in the first trimester. Both these methods are safe, effective, and suitable for the primary level of care and should be available at levels of care with greater capacity and in many private clinical settings.
IPAS, an international organization dedicated to safe abortion care adds: Regrettably, many health facilities still use the sharp curettage or dilation and curettage (D&C) method. The WHO guidelines state that because women’s risk of complications is substantially higher with sharp curettage than with vacuum aspiration or medication abortion, this method should be used only when vacuum aspiration and medication abortion are unavailable. Ipas.org/topics/abortion_technologies.aspx.
What can you do to ensure the safest abortion?
- End the pregnancy under 8-9 weeks
- Choose the Aspiration Abortion Procedure or the Abortion Pill as the safest abortion methods if available.
- Avoid uterine scraping or the use of a “curette.” Scraping is unnecessary in first trimester abortion. Surgical abortion can be completed without scraping. It is called a “suction curettage” procedure. In other words, the suction cannula replaces the use of a sharp curette.
- Avoid general sedation. Local anesthesia is the safest choice. Twilight anesthesia is safer than general anesthesia.
- Evaluate the credentials and experience of the abortion doctor.
- Seek care immediately if you have signs of an infection.