In medicine, induced abortion refers to the intentional termination of a pregnancy through medical or surgical means. This is typically done before the fetus is able to survive outside the uterus, which is typically before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Induced abortion may be performed for various reasons, including social, economic, or personal reasons, or due to medical concerns for the mother or fetus. It is generally considered a safe procedure when performed by trained healthcare providers in appropriate medical settings.
There are two main methods of induced abortion: medical and surgical.
Medical abortion involves the use of medications, typically a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol, to end the pregnancy. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone, which is necessary for the pregnancy to continue, while misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the contents. This method is typically used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.
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.
Induced abortion is a controversial topic, with opinions varying widely on the morality and legality of the procedure. In many countries, laws regulating induced abortion are in place, with some countries allowing abortion on request and others only allowing it under certain circumstances.
It is important to note that induced abortion is generally considered safe, but like any medical procedure, it carries some risks, such as bleeding, infection, or damage to the uterus. It is important for individuals considering induced abortion to consult with a healthcare provider and carefully consider the risks and benefits of the procedure.