Surgical versus Non-Surgical Abortion: Which Is Right for Me?

Depending on your situation, you may be able to choose whether to have a surgical abortion in the clinic at Eve Medical of Miami or to have a non-surgical abortion by taking medication. There are several elements to consider as you make the decision, and this post may help you understand the choice a little more clearly. 

Surgical abortion

Choosing to have a surgical abortion has a few positive aspects. First trimester abortions — from week 5 to week 14 — are performed in one visit and only take four to eight minutes. The procedure is very low risk and is performed by a highly trained and qualified physician.

A dilation and curettage (D&C) may be appropriate for certain situations, such as bleeding after menopause, to remove tissue after an incomplete miscarriage, or to treat growths in the uterus such as fibroids or polyps.

At 13-16 weeks, a second trimester abortion is necessary. It’s similar to a first trimester abortion, but your cervix needs to be dilated for the tissue to be removed. Later abortions, from week 17 to 24, require lengthier visits over the course of two days so that your cervix can be adequately dilated on the first day, and you can be under anesthesia on the second day.

A surgical abortion happens all in one place, and you’re monitored by trained medical personnel throughout the procedure. It’s also 98-99% effective, and it’s usually quicker than a non-surgical abortion. 

You can be sedated during the procedure. If you choose not to be sedated, you only feel pain for about 5-10 minutes.

Other considerations include the fact that you can’t have anyone with you during the procedure. You will need someone to help you get home, particularly if you choose to be sedated during the procedure. You’ll be at the clinic for a longer period of time than if you choose a non-surgical abortion. 

Non-surgical abortion

Sometimes a non-surgical abortion is called a medical abortion. It’s accomplished either by taking a pill or getting an injection. If you take a pill, it will contain two drugs: mifeprex and mifepristone. 

When you take mifeprex, you can do so at home or a place of your choice, and whoever you want can be with you. It’s 87-98% effective, depending on how advanced your pregnancy is. You also have scheduling flexibility since you’re not restricted by clinic hours. 

You can also opt to have an injection of a medication, methotrexate, a drug originally developed to treat breast cancer and also used to treat psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s the best choice for women who have an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. You should only use methotrexate if you agree to have a surgical procedure if the shot fails, because methotrexate causes severe birth defects.

Non-surgical abortions take longer than a surgical procedure, and it may be more painful, as the discomfort and cramping can last several hours. There’s no option to be sedated.

Get advice

If you’re still not sure which option is best for you, schedule a consultation by calling or using our online scheduler at our office in Miami, Florida. Our staff is happy to discuss your options and to answer your questions.

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