In medicine, abortion refers to the termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is able to survive outside the uterus. There are several methods of abortion, including medical and surgical procedures.
Medical abortion involves the use of medications to induce the termination of a pregnancy. The most commonly used medication is a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol, which is effective up to 10 weeks after the last menstrual period. This medication works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for the development and maintenance of a pregnancy. Misoprostol is taken several hours or days later to cause the uterus to contract and expel the contents.
Surgical abortion involves the use of instruments to remove the contents of the uterus. There are several types of surgical abortion procedures, including vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage (D&C), and dilation and evacuation (D&E). These procedures are typically performed under local anesthesia or conscious sedation, depending on the method used and the preference of the patient.
Abortion is a highly controversial topic, with proponents and opponents arguing about its legality and morality. The legality of abortion varies widely by country and region, with some places allowing abortion on request and others restricting or prohibiting it entirely.
While abortion is generally considered safe, it does carry a risk of complications, such as bleeding, infection, and damage to the uterus or other organs. It is important for anyone considering an abortion to consult with a healthcare provider and carefully consider the risks and benefits of the procedure.
In addition to its use in terminating unwanted pregnancies, abortion may also be performed in cases where a pregnancy poses a risk to the life or health of the mother or when a fetus is diagnosed with a severe medical condition that is incompatible with life.