Know The Difference between Medical and Surgical Abortion


Don’t want to continue your pregnancy? Then you need to consider either medical abortion or surgical abortion depending on your pregnancy stage. Medical abortion is conducted during the initial weeks of pregnancy, while surgical abortion is carried out when you are not a candidate for medical abortion.

People who want to abort their child should know about the difference between medical and surgical abortion. Below chart indicates the difference between medical and surgical abortion:

  Medical abortion Surgical abortion
Other Names Medical abortion Therapeutic medical abortionInduced abortion

Elective medical abortion

Non-surgical abortion

Surgical abortion Aspiration
Vacuum aspirationSuction aspirationD&A
Who can undergo the procedure 1. If the pregnancy is harmful to the mother’s health

2. If the woman doesn’t want to continue the pregnancy

3. If the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest

1.If the growing baby has birth defects or genetic problems

2.If the pregnancy is harmful to the mother’s health

3. If the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest

Risks 1. Continued bleeding


3. Diarrhea

4. Pain

5.Pregnancy tissues left in the body that make surgery a necessity

6. Vomiting & Nausea


1. Damage to the uterus or cervix

2. Excessive bleeding

3. Scar at the inside of the uterus

4. Infection to the fallopian tubes or to the uterus

5. Uterine perforation

6. Reaction to anesthesia or medications

Success Rate 89-95% Effective More than 98-99% effective
Failure rate 2-11% failure 1-2% failure
Clinical stay More visits required and each with few hours A single visit with few hours. The health care providers will tell you when you can go home.
Procedure performed by Licensed health care provider Licensed health care provider
Post-procedure pain Intense pain and lasts for few days Pain lasts for a very short period
Post-procedure bleeding Heavy bleeding lasts for 9-16 days, but some women can bleed more than 30 days Minimal and light bleeding generally lasts for 1-7 days
Risk of cervical and uterine damage No possibility of injury to your cervix and uterus as there are no instruments involved The possibility of risk, but very rare
Cost Costs more when FDA approved drugs are used Costs vary depending on how long you’ve been pregnant and where you go. Hospitals generally cost more.
Recovery time As no anesthetic is used and no hospital stay is required, so recovery is faster As anesthesia is used, it will take longer for your recovery


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