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Choosing an abortion method

I Decide: Young women's journeys to seek abortion care

Choosing an abortion method


Medical abortion

Surgical abortion

  • Avoids surgery
  • More privacy and autonomy; can be done at home in the first 9 weeks of pregnancy
  • No risk of cervical or uterine injury
  • Quicker
  • Emotionally easier for some women
  • Takes place in a health care centre, clinic or hospital
  • Can cause prolonged bleeding, cramping, nausea, diarrhoea and other side-effects
  • Requires waiting for the abortion to be complete, sometimes with uncertainty
  • Can result in more clinic visits
  • Drugs can be costly
  • Can only be used at home up to 9 weeks. In later pregnancies most regimens require a stay in the hospital or clinic until the abortion is complete
  • Small risk of cervical or uterine injury
  • Risk of infection
  • Less privacy and autonomy
  • Can be costly