Medical vs. Surgical Abortion: 9 Crucial Questions Answered 

It is tough to decide whether you really want to go for an abortion or not. What is even tougher and trickier to decide is whether you should opt for medical abortion or have a surgical abortion. Different methods work differently for women, and they both have specific advantages and disadvantages. It is important to compare medical vs surgical abortionand then select the right option considering your unique circumstances.

Medical vs. Surgical Abortion: What Are They?

It is important to learn more about medical and surgical abortion to decide which method suits you more. Whatever the choice is, you need to keep in mind that neither of the two methods affects future pregnancies unless, of course, some serious complications occur.

What Is Medical Abortion?

Also referred to as non-surgical abortion, Mifeprex abortion or abortion using a pill, medical abortion is a good choice for someone who is afraid of undergoing a surgical procedure. You will have to take abortion medications to end a pregnancy. Different pills may work differently with some taking a few weeks to end your pregnancy completely. Your doctor, however, may opt for mifepristone followed by misoprostol or they choose to give you methotrexateusually followed by misoprostol.

What Is Surgical Abortion?

A surgical abortion, or also known as vacuum aspiration, involves removing a pregnancy from the uterus through a surgical procedure. Your doctor will first numb your cervix and then dilate it a bit to insert a tube inside your cervix to remove the pregnancy through suction. For early pregnancies, the method takes only five minutes or so and is usually quite safe. Surgical abortions have a high success rate and have a low risk of infection.

Medical vs. Surgical Abortion: What Is the Difference?

Many people give various abortion pill reviews and opinons on surgical abortion. Then how much abortion pill pain will you feel? Which abortion methods fits your condition best? Now let's find out by compare their differences.

1. Successful Rate

  • Medical abortion: The success rate is up to 98% when you don't exceed 7 weeks mark. If you're 9 weeks pregnant, the success rate of medical abortion may go down to 95%.
  • Surgical abortion: It has the success rate around 99% and becomes a preferred choice when you're at least 7 weeks pregnant.

2. How Painful Is It?

  • Medical abortion: You may experience moderate cramping as well as abdominal pain after this procedure and it may continue for a few hours to a few days. Several strength pain medications are available for relief.
  • Surgical abortion: You may feel moderate pain as well as some cramping during the procedure, and the cramps may continue to cause discomfort after a couple of weeks of the surgery. Ibuprofen works well to relieve pain.

3. How Much Will I Bleed?

  • Medical abortion: You may bleed for 9 to 16 days after your abortion, but it may suddenly come back up to 5 weeks. The bleeding will be heavier as compared to what you experience during your normal menstrual period.
  • Surgical abortion: The bleeding may continue for up to 7 days after the procedure, but it may hit you on and off for 3 weeks after your surgical abortion. The bleeding is not that heavy and is usually similar to what you notice during your regular menstrual period.

4. Do I Need Home Rest?

  • Medical abortion: You can continue with your normal activity even after taking the Mifeprex pill. It is a good idea to stay home for a couple of days after you take the misoprostol tablets.
  • Surgical abortion: It is a good idea to take some rest the day you come for your abortion. In most cases, you can return to work the next day of your surgical abortion. But you may have to avoid heavy lifting for a few days though.

5. What Are the Advantages?

  • Medical abortion: It feels more natural and doesn't require anesthesia, shots, or any vacuum aspirator medication. Through medical vs. surgical abortion comparison, you can end your pregnancy early on. Above all, you don't have to go out of your home and tell others about your pregnancy.
  • Surgical abortion: It works quickly with procedure taking a few minutes only. It has high success rate with medical staff available to deal with any complications.

6. What Are the Disadvantages?

  • Medical abortion: It requires days or even weeks to recover and the success rate is not that high in special cases. Bleeding and cramping can be severe, and you may need to see your doctor as well.
  • Surgical abortion: It involves inserting instruments inside your uterus, which may not sound that pleasant. You will require drugs and anesthetics during the procedure, but you may still end up dealing with complications – though the chances are rare. You will have almost no control over your abortion. Above all, you cannot opt for surgical abortion early in the pregnancy.

7. Are There Any Side Effects or Complications?

  • Medical abortion: You don't usually have to worry a lot about side effects because both misoprostol and methotrexate are safe to use. The most common complications are cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, headache, bleeding, chills, fever and dizziness. You may have to deal with anemia in rare cases. Since the success rate is not that high, you may end up going for a surgical abortion anyway.
  • Surgical abortion: It is usually safe, especially if you choose an experienced practitioner. There are fewer chances of hurting your uterus in the first trimester and you don't usually have to worry about excessive bleeding either. Infections may occur, but in only 1% of cases. Common complications include bleeding, cramping, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.

8. Who Should Avoid this Method?

Medical abortion: You may not want to go for a medical abortion if you're currently on blood thinners, if it's been 7 weeks from your last period, if you may also be allergic to the medications, or if you have active liver disease, blood clotting problems or severe anemia.

Surgical abortion: It is usually safe for all, but you will need to be in a good hospital setting if you have allergies or specific medical conditions.