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First Trimester Abortion: Procedure, Types, Risks and Recovery

An abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy is safe and effective. If you’re considering terminating your pregnancy in the first trimester, consult with a gynecologist at Pristyn Care. They will suggest to you the best ways to terminate your pregnancy in the first trimester. Reach out to our team to schedule your appointment today.

An abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy is safe and effective. If ... Read More

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    Dr. Sujatha (KrxYr66CFz)

    Dr. Sujatha

    MBBS, MS
    18 Yrs.Exp.


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    location icon Pristyn Care Clinic, Anna Nagar, Chennai
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    Dr. Monika Dubey (L11rBuqCul)

    Dr. Monika Dubey

    MBBS, MS - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
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    14 + Years

    location icon Pristyn Care Clinic, Noida
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    Dr. Nidhi Jhawar

    12 Yrs.Exp.


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    location icon Pristyn Care Clinic, JP Nagar, Bengaluru
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    Dr. Sunitha T (Mighmr1yPz)

    Dr. Sunitha T

    MBBS, MS-Obs & Gyne
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    10 + Years

    location icon Pristyn Care Clinic, Bengaluru
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  • What is First Trimester Abortion?

    A lot of women decide to undergo an abortion in the first trimester of their pregnancy, the reasons for which can be manifold. A first-trimester abortion is an early-term abortion performed within the initial 12 weeks of the pregnancy. Since the mother is still in the initial stage of her pregnancy, an abortion at this point is considered safe with very little chance of complications. Pregnancy termination at this stage can be done using medication or surgical methods (vacuum aspiration or dilation & curettage) depending on the exact duration of the pregnancy. At Pristyn Care, we help women terminate their pregnancies safely while remaining at peace. To consult with a gynecologist at Pristyn Care, contact our team today.

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    First Trimester Abortion Methods

    Medical Abortion

    Women seeking an abortion of first trimester pregnancy up to 6 weeks are suggested a medical abortion, i.e. an abortion done with the help of medication (abortion pills). In a medical abortion, two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, are used for a first-trimester abortion. 

    The two medication suggested for a medical abortion are supposed to be taken at set durations, a few hours apart from each other. Firstly, mifepristone is to be taken, which works by stopping the production of the hormone progesterone required for the pregnancy to continue. Within the next 24 to 48 hours, the woman has to take another pill, misoprostol. Misoprostol induces uterine contractions, leading to the expulsion of the pregnancy.

    In the following days, the woman may experience cramping and bleeding as the pregnancy tissue is discharged from the uterus. The pain and bleeding may resemble a heavy menstrual period. 

    After the tissue is passed, the patient is suggested to see a doctor to get a confirmation on the complete expulsion of the pregnancy tissue. This is necessary as an ‘incomplete abortion’ can cause serious complications.

    In most cases of early first-trimester abortions, surgery is not required. But, if there’s leftover tissue in the uterus, there may be a need for surgery.

    Surgical Abortion

    If a woman chooses to get an abortion in the first trimester but after 6 weeks and before 12 weeks, the doctor may suggest a Dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure. This is a surgical abortion procedure that only takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete. It’s an outpatient procedure, which means the patient can return home the same day. It is performed in the following steps: 

    • The doctors use a speculum to dilate the cervix.
    • A clamp is then used to hold the cervix and help the doctors perform the procedure with ease. 
    • Next, a suction or scraping device called a Curette is used to remove the pregnancy tissue.

    Why are you seeking an Abortion?

    How to Prepare for First Trimester Abortion

    Preparing for an abortion is necessary for averting potential complications and remaining at peace during the procedure. The doctors typically help patients with ways to prepare for the abortion- be it medical or surgical. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your first-trimester pregnancy abortion: 

    • Understand the Procedures Thoroughly: It is very important to understand the procedure thoroughly before going for it. It can help by reducing the anxiety related to the procedure. 
    • Make Sure the Diagnostic Tests are Done: Any diagnostic tests suggested by the doctor before an abortion must be completed. These may include an assessment of the 
    • Ask Questions: It’s natural to have questions about the abortion procedure. So, if you have any questions about the procedure, make sure you get them addressed beforehand. It will help you remain less apprehensive. 
    • Eat a Healthy Diet: Make sure you eat a healthy diet in the days up to the abortion. It is essential for ensuring you’re absolutely fit for the procedure. Make sure your diet is balanced and avoid consuming junk food. Also, avoid smoking and alcohol consumption as well. 
    • Seek Emotional Support: Most women also experience the emotional impacts of an abortion. Therefore, it is important for the patient to seek support from her family and friends. Professional therapy can also help.

    Reasons of Abortion in First Trimester

    There may be several reasons why a woman may decide to undergo an abortion in the first trimester of her pregnancy. The reasons can be manifold and may differ from one woman to another. While some women may choose to get an abortion for personal reasons, others may choose to get it for medically necessary reasons.

    Medically Necessary Reasons for a First Trimester Abortion

    • Fetal anomalies: Fetal anomalies, especially life-threatening abnormalities, may cause a woman to seek a termination of pregnancy. For example, if the baby is born without a brain or skull, it may not be able to survive for long after birth.
    • Risk to the mother’s health: If the doctor suspects a risk to the expectant mother’s health from a pregnancy, or she has a pre-existing condition that may cause hindrance in the pregnancy, the doctor may suggest she abort her pregnancy.
    • Ectopic pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, such as in the fallopian tubes. If the diagnosis shows the respective woman has an ectopic pregnancy, she’ll be asked to abort it.
    • Cancer:  Women who have cancer may be asked to terminate their pregnancy as some types of cancer treatment can impact the fetus. 

    Personal Reasons for a First Trimester Abortion

    • Lack of preparedness: A woman may choose to terminate her pregnancy if she feels she’s not prepared to raise a baby. 
    • Unplanned Pregnancy: If the pregnancy is unplanned and the mother or the couple are unwilling to keep the baby, they may get the pregnancy terminated. 
    • Lack of Financial Support: To raise a child, being financially prepared is essential. If the woman or the couple lacks the funds to raise a child, they can get a first-trimester abortion. 
    • Emotional Unreadiness: Sometimes, the mother or the couple does not feel emotionally connected to the baby or lacks the emotional readiness to raise a child at the moment. This can also be a reason why a couple may choose to abort the pregnancy. 
    • Lack of Resources to Raise a Child: If the individual or couple lacks the resources such as a safe space to raise the baby, lack of amenities to raise the baby healthily, 

    etc., they may get a pregnancy termination and try later when they’re prepared. 

    You should note that in India, women can get a first trimester abortion legally, whether it’s for personal or medically necessary reasons. What’s important is to get the procedure done from a licensed abortion clinic and professional.

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    First Trimester Abortion Cost

    The cost of a first-trimester abortion in India can be different for everyone, depending on the part of the country they’re in. The average cost of abortion in India typically ranges between Rs.5,000 to Rs.35,000. The cost may be on the higher side in the metropolitan cities and comparatively low in other cities. In addition to the location of the patients, several other factors can also impact the cost of first-trimester abortion in India. 

    The type of abortion procedure used, the doctor’s fees, the cost of diagnostic tests, and the cost of any additional medical procedures can also cause the procedure costs to soar. To be financially prepared for the procedure, the patients must get the estimated procedure cost right at the beginning. This can help prevent any financial stress later on.

    Insurance Coverage for First Trimester Abortion

    In India, abortion procedures typically aren’t covered under insurance. The patients have to bear the cost of the procedure on their own, irrespective of the type of abortion procedure. Abortion is typically excluded from insurance coverage as most women choose to get it done for personal reasons and not as a medically necessary procedure. 

    However, in cases where an abortion is necessary for medically necessary reasons, such as there’s a risk to the child and mother’s health or fetal abnormalities are present, the procedure may be covered. It is best to reach out to the insurance provider to obtain clarity on whether or not the abortion in your respective case will be covered under insurance. They will give you clarity on the coverage.

    Know more: Is Abortion Covered under Insurance?

    Recovery after First Trimester Abortion

    Most women experience severe bleeding cramping as the body expels pregnancy tissue after a first-trimester abortion. It is a normal part of the process. When the tissue is fully expelled, typically within a few days, individuals can carry on with their routines but after taking some precautions. After a dilation and curettage procedure, some bleeding and pain might occur and may last a couple of days. Menstrual periods may occur even after a few weeks of the abortion. Listed below are some important post-abortion care tips for women after a pregnancy termination:

    • Do not ignore your doctor’s post-abortion instructions and follow them diligently. Instructions may include taking prescribed medications, using sanitary pads instead of tampons to reduce infection risks, and following activity restrictions such as avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous exercises.
    • Give your body the time to heal by taking it easy and refraining from physically demanding activities. Adequate rest is crucial for a smoother recovery.
    • If necessary, take pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as directed by the doctor, to manage mild cramping and discomfort. If pain continues or becomes worse, discuss it with your healthcare provider.
    • Keep a check on your bleeding, which can be similar to a heavy period and may be present for several days or up to two weeks. If sudden, heavy bleeding or the presence of significant clots occurs, immediate contact with your healthcare provider is necessary. 
    • Seek emotional support from friends, family, or support groups, as abortion can evoke various emotions. Professional counseling or therapy is an option for those struggling to process their feelings or seeking coping strategies.
    • Do not indulge in sexual intercourse for a few weeks after the healthcare provider’s guidance to minimize infection risks and allow the body to heal.
    • Discuss birth control options with your healthcare provider to prevent future unintended pregnancies and ensure reproductive health.
    • Attend follow-up appointments as scheduled to monitor your recovery progress and detect any potential complications.

    Risks and Complications Associated with First Trimester Abortion

    A first-trimester abortion, although safe, also carries a risk of complications. Several complications can occur in both medical and surgical abortions. It is important to understand the complications associated with the procedure for timely and effective management. Find below some risks and complications associated with first-trimester abortions: 

    • Incomplete Abortion: This is a possible risk associated with a first trimester abortion, especially in the case of medical abortions. In cases of incomplete abortions, the doctors have to perform an additional procedure to extract the tissue remaining in the uterus. Symptoms of an incomplete abortion include excessive bleeding and pelvic pain. 
    • A perforation in the uterus: In case of surgical abortions, there’s a risk of accidental perforation or puncturing of the uterus. In case of uterine perforation, the patient may be required to undergo another procedure for repair. 
    • Profuse Bleeding: The risk of excessive bleeding persists in the case of both medical and surgical abortions. While heavy bleeding is normal after an abortion and typically stops in a few days, profuse and prolonged bleeding can be a sign of complication. 
    • Infection: Infections can happen after an abortion, especially if bacteria enters the body during the surgery. Some symptoms of an infection include fever, chills, unusual vaginal discharge, and abdominal pain. If left untreated, infections can lead to serious health issues.
    • Organ damage: Surgical instruments used in D&C procedures might cause damage to the surrounding organs. The organs may include the bladder or intestines. 
    • Anesthesia-Related Complications: Anesthesia is generally used during a surgical abortion. With anesthesia usage, there persists a risk of adverse reactions or complications. These risks are generally low but can vary based on the individual’s health.
    • Blood Clots: Blood clots can form in the uterus after an abortion, leading to cramping, pain, and heavy bleeding. These clots might need medical attention for the prevention of severe complications.
    • Emotional and Psychological Reactions: Abortions can also have an emotional impact on the woman undergoing it.. While they are a normal part of the process for some people, they should be addressed and supported when found. 
    • Issues with fertility: Most women who get an abortion in the first trimester, do not face fertility issues. But, in certain scenarios it may trigger fertility issues. It’s essential for patients to receive proper medical care and follow-up to prevent further issues.

    How to Choose the Best Clinic for Safe Abortion in the First Trimester?

    It is incredibly important for patients considering an abortion to only get it at a clinic that’s licensed and has doctors with the skills and expertise to carry out abortion procedures. With some research, patients can find the best clinic for first trimester abortion and have a safe abortion journey. Here’s how you can look for the best abortion clinic for your first trimester abortion: 

    • Make a list of the clinics you’re considering: You can research the best abortion clinics near you and make a list. 
    • Compare the facilities: Go through the websites of the clinics or call them to understand the services and facilities they provide. Then, compare the facilities offered at these clinics. 
    • Check out the reviews:  A great way to find a good abortion clinic is researching patient reviews. Patient reviews help get personalized accounts of people who have received treatment at the same clinic. Patient reviews are readily available on several websites. 
    • Research their panel of doctors: Check out the doctors who practice at these clinics. Research their panel to understand what kind of doctors they have, and how qualified and experienced they are. 
    • Treatment cost: It’s also good to get an understanding of the cost of abortion at the respective clinics. By doing so, you can ensure you’re paying the right amount for your abortion. 
    • Visit the clinic: Visit the clinic to check out its infrastructure. How well-maintained the clinic will also speaks volumes about the quality of care you’ll most likely receive.

    First Trimester Abortion - What MTP Act Says?

    In India, women reserve the right to get their pregnancy terminated in the first trimester and up to 20 weeks gestation. if the doctor considers them fit for an abortion. However, certain conditions do apply, including: 

    • An abortion can only be performed if there is a risk to the life of the mother or the child is born with severe abnormalities.
    • The consent of the woman or her legal guardian (if the individual is minor or has mental abnormalities) is necessary. 

    Abortion can be done if the pregnancy has resulted due to rape or incest, and if there’s a risk to the physical or mental health of the woman, or if the child is born with severe abnormalities.

    Registered medical practitioners with specific qualifications are allowed to to perform abortions in India. It should be noted that the MTP Act is a federal law. But, individual states may have their own laws regarding abortion. Some states may impose additional restrictions on abortion, such as mandatory counseling, waiting periods, or parental consent.

    It’s important to note that abortion laws are subject to change, and individuals seeking an abortion should consult with a healthcare provider or legal professional for the most latest information on this stance.

    FAQs around First Trimester Abortion

    Is first trimester abortion safe?

    Yes. An abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy is considered safe. The chances of complications are quite low for abortions at this stage and most patients are able to terminate their pregnancies without experiencing any complications.

    How to get an abortion in the first trimester?

    If you wish to abort your pregnancy in the first trimester, you can schedule an appointment with a gynecologist near you. The doctor will assess your condition thoroughly before suggesting the best course of action. Typically, in the early weeks of the first trimester, a pregnancy can be terminated with the help of medication. But, as the patient progresses towards the next trimester, she might require surgery.

    What is the best method of abortion in the first trimester?

    Different abortion methods may work differently for women. While some women may require a medical abortion, for others, a surgical abortion may be necessary. Both procedures are considered safe.

    Is abortion in the first trimester legal in India?

    Yes. A first-trimester abortion done for medical or personal reasons is absolutely legal in India.

    What to eat after a first-trimester abortion for fast recovery?

    After an abortion, it is essential to eat the right foods as it can really help boost recovery.

    Know more: Recovery After Abortion

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    Content Reviewed By
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    Dr. Sujatha
    18 Years Experience Overall
    Last Updated : July 3, 2024

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    • AS



      Way of Suggestions for the treatment is really good

      City : BANGALORE
      Doctor : Dr. Sunitha T
    • RT

      Rupanjali Tendulkar


      Pristyn Care delivers extraordinary services during my surgical abortion. Doctors were professional and compassionate. Everything was nice. You must choose Pristyn Care if you are looking for a healthcare center to get effective and safe treatment at an affordable price. Highly recommended!

      City : LUCKNOW
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      Yashoda Nag


      Pristyn Care provided excellent care and support during my abortion. The doctors were understanding and caring, ensuring a comfortable and safe procedure. Pristyn Care's team guided me through the process and provided the necessary information. Thanks to Pristyn Care, I had a positive experience, and I appreciate their kindness and professionalism.

      City : AHMEDABAD
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      Sunidhi Prajapati


      When faced with an unexpected pregnancy, I turned to Pristyn Care for abortion, and they exceeded my expectations in every way. The medical team was incredibly supportive and non-judgmental, providing me with all the necessary information and counseling. The medical abortion procedure was safe and discreet, and the follow-up care was excellent. Pristyn Care's compassionate approach made an emotionally challenging time easier to navigate. I am grateful to Pristyn Care for their expert abortion medical services and highly recommend them to anyone in need of sensitive and professional care.

      City : DEHRADUN
    • MN

      Manjari Nagar


      Pristyn Care team was professional throughout the abortion procedure. The care coordinators keep me in the loop at each step. As it is a very emotional time for me, the doctors and nurses made me feel comfortable. I am thankful to the entire team of Pristyn Care. Thank you!

      City : LUCKNOW
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      Avanti Dwivedi


      My experience with Pristyn Care was exceptional. They provided comprehensive care in a safe and comfortable environment. The facility followed all safety protocols, and the medical team was well-trained and supportive. They took the time to listen to my concerns and address them with care. Pristyn Care made a challenging situation more manageable, and I'm grateful for their dedication to patient well-being.

      City : NASHIK