Early Abortion Methods and Safety Tips

An unwanted pregnancy can be difficult to deal with. When considering abortion, it is important to take action as quickly as possible because in most states, abortions are only allowed within a certain amount of time in a pregnancy. Early abortion methods can be used anytime during the first trimester of pregnancy and include medical and surgical abortions. If you are wondering “I am 3 weeks pregnant, can I have an abortion”, this article will help you understand how to get rid of pregnancy after 2 weeks, but before the end of your first trimester.

Early Abortion by Medication

If you are wondering how to abort 3 weeks pregnant up to about the 7th week, one option is to use abortion medications. There are two different types of pills that are used within a few days or weeks. They can safely be given up to the 7th week of pregnancy. The medications include:

1. Mifeprex (Mifepristone)

This drug is RU-486 and stops your body from responding to progesterone. This causes the uterine lining to degrade so that the fetus cannot stay attached to the uterine wall.

2. Cytotec (Misoprostol)

About 24 to 48 hours after you take Mifeprex, you will then take a dose of Cytotec to induce contractions and empty the uterus. It causes you to start cramping and bleeding over a couple of hours.

3. Methotrexate

This medication is used when you are allergic to Mifeprex or are unable to obtain it. Methotrexate kills fetal tissue. It is also commonly used for ectopic pregnancies.

Notes of Caution

Abortions by medications are most often safe if done correctly under a doctor’s supervision. However, it can be risky with any medication. Though very rare, there can be complications and some of them are even fatal to the mother. You need to contact your physician immediately if you experience:

  • Severe bleeding (using more than two pads per hour over a two hour period or longer)
  • Passing blood clots more than two hours or large clots
  • Fever and/or chill (over 100.4°F)
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Foul odor from vaginal area
  • Continuing pregnancy symptoms
  • Pain in the abdomen that can’t be relieved with medication

Early Abortion by Surgery

The most common answer to “how to abort 3 weeks pregnant” is usually the medications above. At some point, it may be necessary to assist an abortion with a surgical procedure which helps clean out pregnancy tissue from the uterus.

1. Vacuum Aspiration

This procedure uses a vacuum tube that is inserted into the uterus to remove pregnancy tissue. The tube is connected to a suction machine. This method is usually done up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is also used to clear pregnancy tissue after a miscarriage.

2. Dilation and Curettage (D and C)

When you ask your doctor “I am 3 weeks pregnant, can I have an abortion”, they may recommend D and C to prevent infection and heavy bleeding. This procedure works by inserting curettes into the cervix to dilate it. Then a sharp-edged instrument will be used to remove uterine tissue. The earlier you have this procedure done, the safer you are.

Recovering from Surgical Abortion:

  • You may notice bleeding and spotting for up to 2 weeks after the procedure. Your doctor will recommend that you only use pads during this time.
  • You will feel cramping that are like period cramps. The cramping is the strongest during the first few hours after the procedure and will become milder over the first few days afterwards when your uterus is going back to normal.
  • You may have several mixed emotions after a surgical abortion. These range from relief to grief and guilt. These are also attributed to your hormones changes. When you are considering how to get rid of pregnancy after 2 weeks or even 2 months, also think about how you are going to deal with it emotionally.

Care after Abortion

After learning how to abort 3 weeks pregnant, you need to know that your body is very vulnerable now and needs care and rest: 

1. No Lifting

Avoid lifting objects that weigh over 50 pounds. This may increase bleeding and cause serious complications.

2. Avoid Exercise

Your doctor will give you a time frame to refrain from exercise such as aerobics, biking and running to reduce the risk of complications.

3. Try Heat

If you have severe cramping, you can try a heating pad or hot water bottle on your tummy. This may help relieve pain.

4. Avoid Sexual Intercourse

Your doctor will let you know when it is okay to return to sexual activity. The cervix does not close right away so it is important to avoid sexual intercourse to reduce the risk of infection.

5. Do Not Put Things into Vagina

Do not use tampons, sex toys or anything else that goes into the vagina for up to two weeks.

6. Avoid Tub Bathing

Take showers and avoid tub bathing or swimming for at least two weeks after an abortion.

7. Use Birth Control

To avoid another unplanned pregnancy, discuss birth control methods with your doctor before returning to sexual activity.

8. Have Your Check-up

It is necessary to see your doctor within 4 to 6 weeks after the abortion to make sure you are healing properly.

9. Expect Your Next Period Within Two-Months

After an abortion, you should expect a period within two-months. Contact your doctor if your period does not return after that time frame.