What abortion is and how it is done. Know more about the subject

Abortion is the early (spontaneous or induced) termination of pregnancy, with the expulsion of an embryo or fetus before the end of its development.

A pregnancy can be terminated, either spontaneously or by induction, for various causes and reasons, and this issue is still very controversial, as the issue involves moral, ethical, legal and religious aspects.

Types of abortion

When performed by trained and hygienic professionals, abortion is a safe procedure. However, when performed improperly, it results in serious complications and even in the woman’s death. There are two types of abortions: spontaneous and induced.

Spontaneous abortion

Spontaneous abortion arises when the pregnancy is terminated involuntarily, that is, without the woman’s will. In this case, involuntary, casual and unintended expulsion of an embryo or fetus occurs before 20 to 22 weeks of gestation.

It can happen for several biological, psychological and social factors, including the advanced age of the pregnant woman, the history of previous spontaneous abortions, the chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus or embryo, vascular diseases, hormonal problems, infections, uterine abnormalities, accidental or intentional trauma and intoxications chemical.

Induced abortion

Also called induced abortion, induced abortion is a procedure used to deliberately terminate a pregnancy, for medical reasons admitted by the legislation in force or clandestinely by lay people, which constitutes a crime.


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Induced abortion can happen when there are congenital malformations, when pregnancy is the result of a crime against sexual freedom and self-determination, when pregnancy puts the woman’s life and health at risk or at the option of the woman. It is a legal procedure when the termination of pregnancy is carried out in accordance with the laws and, when done early by experienced doctors and in adequate conditions, it has a very high level of safety. When illegal and unsafe, abortion is a cause of maternal mortality and morbidity.

How is abortion done?

The procedure can be done by surgical or pharmacological methods. Medications are only viable in the first trimester of pregnancy, interrupting pregnancy and promoting expulsion of the embryo.

Abortions performed by doctors can be performed by suction (a suction device is attached to the woman’s uterus), dilation of the cervix and subsequent mechanical extraction of the fetus, curettage (scraping of the uterine contents by an instrument called a curette) and saline injection (the injection is delivered into the amniotic bag).

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