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Which is better? A Surgical abortion or Abortion pill pack?


Facing unplanned pregnancy and deciding to abort it is challenging. Different types of abortion processes can add confusion to decision making. However, understanding the options available for abortion, and choosing the best one is up to the patient. There are two types of abortion processes - surgical abortion and medical abortion. Medical abortion involves the usage of the abortion pill pack. Patient's pregnancy conditions and complication is involved in choosing the process. 

Surgical abortion can be performed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy and not beyond. In the first trimester, surgical abortion is carried out under twilight sedation. The method involves inserting a small tube in the uterus and through a suction process fetus and uterus lining is extracted. Thus this method is also known as a "suction curette'". The whole process takes 10 minutes; however visiting the clinic, preparation of the surgery, recovery from anaesthesia altogether takes 4 hours. Surgical abortion for pregnancy beyond 14 weeks is a complicated and long process.  

Medical Abortion or the abortion pill pack is available for pregnancy up to 9 weeks, not beyond. It involves two sets of pills and can be carried out at home. The abortion pill pack contains Mifepristone and Misoprostol tablets, together they terminate the pregnancy. First Mifepristone is taken and after 24-48 hours, Misoprostol is taken. Within 2 hours of taking Misoprostol, heavy bleeding, and cramping occurs for 8-72 hours. The fetus is expelled from the vagina; uterus lining and remaining tissues are passed with bleeding. The patient must visit the clinic after 2 weeks to confirm the abortion.  

Why choose surgical abortion?

  • Surgical abortion can be performed in the later stages of the pregnancy up to 24 weeks. 
  • The whole process takes 10-15 minutes.
  • In one visit to the clinic, the whole process is completed.
  • The patient has less bleeding and cramping when compared to medical abortion. 
  • Under twilight sedation, the whole process is less painful. 
  • The patient will be under medical observation with medical staff support through the process. 
  • The complication rate is less and the abortion success rate is high. 

Why choose medical abortion?

If the patient is under 9 weeks of pregnancy and doesn't want to visit a clinic or have a surgical abortion, then she can choose for an abortion pill pack. Other benefits of choosing medical abortions are:

  • The whole process has greater privacy and can be done at home. The whole process is non-invasive.
  • No need for anaesthesia, or worry about surgical risk.
  • The process is more natural like the menstrual cycle with heavy bleeding. 

Which is better surgical abortion or abortion pill pack?

If one has a pregnancy below 9 weeks, she can talk to the doctor and opt for an abortion pill pack. Medical abortion is less expensive and gives the patient privacy. However, if the patient is more than 9 weeks pregnant, or has complications like ectopic pregnancy it is recommended to go for surgical abortion.  

The decision to choose a surgical abortion or medical abortion involves one's circumstances, medical history, and personal choices. In any case, one must visit the clinic and talk to the doctor about abortion.