Medical Abortion Vs. Surgical Abortion

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Unplanned pregnancies are in fact quite common that research says that 1 in 3 women are likely to have an abortion before the age of 35. There are two widely accepted methods chosen for abortion and they are Medical abortion and Surgical Abortion. The choice of these methods is entirely based upon the woman’s preferences, circumstances, physical conditions and most importantly on how far along in their pregnancy they may be. Both procedures though have been deemed safe and efficient in terminating unwanted pregnancies. Let’s briefly look at what each of these procedures could entail.

The Medical Abortion procedure is most suited for cases when the pregnancy age is less than 8 weeks. The rate of effectiveness of the pills taken is dependent on this as well. During the medical abortion procedure, two pills methotrexate & misoprostol are prescribed by the doctor to be taken in the comfort of your home and the instructions for taking this should be followed strictly as well for these to work. Once the pills are taken, the abortion will start within 1 to 12 hours with the onset of heavy bleeding for around 4 to 8 hours. Medical abortion has been found to have more side effects when compared to the surgical method but this again varies from person to person. Cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, dizziness, low-grade fever, chills are some of the side effects of the pills. But this method is a lot easier as the women tend to feel like they are having a spontaneous miscarriage when undergoing the abortion pill procedure in early pregnancy.

The success rate of medical abortion when compared with surgical abortion is being pegged at 89 to 95 % with a failure rate of 2 to 11 %. Intense pain can last for a few days after and bleeding could go on for around 9 to 16 days or even more. There are no surgical risks associated with this like injury to cervix or uterus as this is a non-invasive procedure. It might take longer for the entire process to be complete and may also require a couple of hospital visits too. Few days or weeks or even a month will be required by some and if the pill has not been effective you will need to other methods like vacuum aspiration or Dilation and evacuation (D&E) or even surgical abortion.

Surgical abortion has a much higher success rate when compared to medical abortion as the whole procedure is completely supervised by trained medical staff and hence effectiveness is definitely more. This method is recommended when the gestation age is more than 14 weeks. A single visit to the hospital will suffice with surgical abortion and the procedure is much faster and could take just 15 minutes or less to perform. This method does not require follow-up visits like in the case of medical abortion. The bleeding and cramps after a surgical abortion is much lesser than that with a medical abortion. The chance of some complications arising is also lesser in this method though there could be minimal scarring in the uterus or cervix from the surgical instruments used.

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