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Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together a number of answers in their respective categories to the most asked questions on abortion.


  • Surgical abortions involve taking Mifepristone and/ or Misoprostol followed by an anaesthetic to dilate the cervix and then empty the uterus using suction or other surgical instruments
  • The procedure itself takes 5-10 minutes in an early pregnancy. If the pregnancy is advanced, the surgeon must make sure that all parts of the fetus’ body are removed.

In a Vacuum Aspiration (or Suction or Aspiration D&C abortion), after the abortion pills and general anaesthesia to dilate the cervix, a cannula (plastic tube) is inserted through the cervix into the uterus and aspiration/ suction of the fetus out of the uterus happens through the cannula,
If in doubt of a complete abortion, scraping of the uterus is performed to ensure that every part of the fetus, and placenta, has been removed. This is done to avoid the risk of infection and other complications.

Video 1 - click here.
Video 2 - click here.

Since the fetus is larger, the surgeon uses forceps/ clamps to pull the fetus out, (with the help of an ultrasound). A curette and/ or suction instrument are used to empty the uterus of any leftover tissue or blood clots.

Video 1 - click here.
Video 2 - click here.

When a pregnancy is advanced, an Induction or Labour Induction Abortion procedure takes place. This involves taking Mifepristone plus a lethal dose of Digoxin or potassium chloride injected into the uterus or fetus's body/ heart, using a 25-gauge needle, to cause fetal death (using ultrasound guidance). Opening of cervix can take place with medication and Misoprostol may be repeated, to induce labour. The fetus is delivered dead.

Dilation and evacuation of uterus may be required under anaesthetic to remove all products of conception, if delivery is doubtful. Delivery may take between 24 to 36 hours in a hospital unit.

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Video 2 - click here.

Surgical abortions are very effective and work 99 out of 100 times.

All surgical abortion procedures are carried in an operating theatre.

This is usually carried out in the First Trimester, or even a few weeks later.

Often done during and after the Second Trimester

Induction abortions are carried out in the Third Trimester, usually after 23 weeks.

  • Scaring of uterus lining (Asherman syndrome – secondary to over scrapping of the uterus)
  • Perforated uterus (this would need to be treated with care in future pregnancies). Could lead to premature deliveries.

  • An abortion may lead to emotional and psychological impacts. Most women feel guilt and sadness, and PTSD is very common
  • These consequences may appear immediately, weeks, months, or even years after the abortion
  • The consequences may include:
    • Depression
    • Guilt
    • Distressing memories and dreams
    • Suicidal tendencies (higher after abortion than after finishing unwanted pregnancy)
    • Problems in relationships
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Substance abuse
    • Eating disorders.

  • Seek medical help if you experience psychological effects, or
  • Contact LifeLine on 2033 0023. They offer post-abortion trauma counselling.