Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

An abortion is the end of a pregnancy by removing the embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in its death. The approximate number of induced abortions performed worldwide in 2003 was 42 million, which declined from nearly 46 million in 1995.

Types Of Abortion
An abortion can occur either spontaneously because of some  complications during pregnancy or can be induced. The term  abortion refers to induced abortion, while spontaneous abortions refers to miscarriages.

  • Spontaneous abortion

Removal of an embryo or fetus due to some accidental trauma or natural causes. Most of the miscarriages are because of incorrect replication of chromosomes. Generally, the fetus or embryo is lost due to natural causes before the 20th week of gestation. Can be caused by infection, immune response, serious systemic disease, accidental trauma, intentional stress.

A pregnancy ending between 20 and 37 weeks of gestation, if results in a live-born infant, then it is known as a "premature birth", but when the fetus dies in utero after about 20 weeks, or during delivery, it is termed "stillborn".

  • Induced abortion

Removing pregnancy intentionally is induced abortion. It can be done in many ways. The technique selected depends upon the gestational age of the embryo or fetus, legality, regional availability and doctor-patient preference for specific procedures.

Abortion Techniques.
Gestational age determines which abortion method is to be used. There are two methods:

Surgical.
In the first 12 weeks, abortion can be done by either:

  • Suction-Aspiration Method.

These techniques are comparable and differ only in the mechanism used to apply suction, how early in pregnancy they can be used, and whether cervical dilation is necessary.

  • Vacuum Aspiration Method. Consists of removing the fetus or embryo by suction using an electric pump, .


  • Manual Vacuum Aspiration Method. Consists of removing the fetus or embryo by suction using a manual syringe; Also known as “mini-suction" and "menstrual extraction"; Used in very early pregnancy and does not require cervical dilation.

  • Dilation And Curettage Method. This is a standard gynecological procedure used for different  reasons, as examination of the uterine lining for possible malignancy, investigation of abnormal bleeding, and abortion. Curettage refers to cleaning the walls of the uterus with a  curette.

  • Other Techniques. For inducing abortion in the second trimester, other techniques have to be implementer.


  • Premature Delivery With Prostaglandin. Done by injecting amniotic fluid with caustic solutions containing saline or urea after the 16th week of gestation; Also called IDX (intrauterine cranial decompression); Surgical decompression of the fetus head is done before evacuation.
  • Hysterotomy Abortion.  Similar to a cesarean section; Performed under general anesthesia, as it is a type of major abdominal surgery; Needs a smaller incision than a cesarean section.

Medical.
The non surgical abortions done in the first trimester of   pregnancy are also called as 'medical abortions'. These include methotrexate or mifepristone, followed by a Prostaglandin (either misoprostol or gemeprost). When taken within 49 days of  gestation, almost 92% of women get aborted without surgical   intervention. Misoprostol can be used alone, but has a lower success rate rather than combinations. If medical abortion has failed, then vacuum or manual aspiration is used to complete the abortion surgically.

Other methods.
  • Herbs.

 There are a number of herbs having abortioning qualities used as medicines as tansy, pennyroyal, black cohosh and now-extinct  silphium (see history of abortion). Use of such herbs may also cause serious — even lethal — side effects, such as multiple organ failure, and is not recommended by physicians.

  • Trauma To Abdomen.
Sometimes abortion also occurs due to the injury caused to the abdomen. The impact if severe, causes serious internal injuries without necessarily succeeding in inducing miscarriage.