How Long Does An Abortion Take

How long does an abortion take?

Abortion isn’t an easy topic to tackle. Even the internet is full of conflicting opinions on this subject and a lot of debates in almost all countries have surfaced because of it. Therefore, to know “how long does an abortion take” isn’t an easy question to answer, and before we get to know how long it really takes, we have to first look into the different types of abortion options available.

The availability of these abortion options rests on the length of time the woman has been pregnant. The earlier in the pregnancy the woman is, the more the abortion options she has available to her. Pregnancy is divided into trimesters. The first trimester spans the 1st day of conception to the 12th week, the second trimester covers the 13th week up to the 27th week, and the third is from the 28th week up to the 40th week. While abortion is legal in some countries, various laws have been put into order to ensure up to how long into the pregnancy a woman can be and still legally have an abortion. To date, most laws allow a woman in up to her 27th week of pregnancy to undergo abortion.

The two types of abortion procedures available are the medical abortion and surgical abortion. It is with knowing what type of abortion a woman will take that will help answer “how long does an abortion take.”

Medical Abortion

Available for women who haven’t reached their ninth week of pregnancy, the medical abortion, or abortion pill involves having to take two types of medication. This alternative to surgical abortion is most advised by doctors as it’s the easiest and most uncomplicated one. It simply involves orally taking pills and having some pills placed inside the vagina to cause the miscarriage. The procedure is calculated to take around nine hours to finish, with the actual abortion taking place within four to five hours.

Surgical Abortion

From the term, surgical abortions are those types that require pregnant women to undergo surgery. One type is the vacuum aspiration, done for pregnant women between 9 and 15 weeks, which involves the use of a gentle suction to empty the uterus. Another is the surgical dilation and evacuation, done for pregnant women who are past their 15th week and involves dilating the cervix before using the suction to empty the uterus. Both abortion procedures take about 10 to 20 minutes and because it is likely that women will experience discomfort or pain, they are generally given a choice of anesthetic options.

So generally, how long does an abortion take?

From the examples above, the average time for a medical abortion takes roughly 4 to 5 hours and surgical abortion takes about 10 to 20 minutes. As for abortion appointments, women are advised to plan in being at the clinic for 2 to 4 hours because before the procedure is done, a lot of forms are needed to be filled out and once the abortion is complete, a recovery period of 1 to 2 hours is required before the women is allowed to go home.