The earlier an abortion is performed the safer it will be because earlier abortions are less complicated. Because of this it is important that a woman who decides to get an abortion do so with as little delay as possible. Around 88 percent of all abortions in the U.S. are obtained within the initial 12-13 weeks after the last menstrual period (LMP). In some cases, however, it may be necessary to obtain abortions at a later date. Besides health conditions, you might consider law regulations for conducting an abortion, so when is the latest time you can get an abortion?
Medical abortions that use pills can only be performed up to week seven. Surgical abortions may be performed upon request after week 5 of pregnancy, and up to 14-18 weeks in a clinic in most cases.
In the United States most abortions are performed during the initial 14 weeks but some states allow abortions up to 24 weeks. If you go to an ultrasound at a clinic and they say you are too far along to receive an abortion you can ask if there is another location that will perform the procedure if you would still like one. In the United States abortions performed after 24 weeks are only performed due to health complications or else the procedure is considered intent to murder. Laws in this case vary from state to state.
Click the following link for an overview of abortion laws in the US to find out the latest time for abortion in different states: http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_OAL.pdf
During a surgical abortion a woman will lie on an examining table so the doctor can see into the vagina to the cervix or the opening to the uterus. The doctor can then use local anesthetic to freeze the cervix or administer a brief general anesthetic to render the woman unconscious.
In order to remove the contents of the uterus the doctor will gradually open the cervix and insert a small tube which is attached to a machine that will gently suction the inside of the uterus. The doctor will then gently check the uterus to ensure there is no remaining tissue.
A surgical abortion takes around 10 minutes to perform. Afterward the woman may experience some bleeding which is similar to a menstrual period. The woman will usually remain at the clinic for 3-4 hours for recovery and counseling following the procedure.
The abortion pill is available up to 8 weeks and 6 days after the start of your last menstrual period. If your last periods was more than 9 weeks ago you will need to learn about in-clinic abortion services.
The abortion pill is available by appointment only. During a visit for a medication abortion you will need to agree to have an in-clinic abortion if the pill does not work. After your visit you will need to maintain access to transportation, a telephone and backup medical care.
You will be provided with antibiotics because there is a risk of infection afterward. There is also a risk that your uterus will perforate but this is rare. Damage to the uterus appears in less than 1 in 1000 medical abortions that are performed within 12-24 weeks of pregnancy or up to 4 for every 1000 abortions. Damage to the cervix occurs in 10 or fewer abortions for every 1000 performed. 1 in 1000 women will experience a hemorrhage or excessive bleeding after an abortion.
You should return to the clinic or your doctor immediately if you see any signs of infection following your abortion which include vaginal discharge, high temperature or abdominal pain that does not improve with pain killers.
There is a slight chance you will require additional treatment if the abortion does not work. If you are still seeing signs of pregnancy you should take another pregnancy test. If it is positive you will need to have a scan to confirm that he termination has failed and you will need another procedure.
Abortion should not affect future pregnancies unless you have recurring late terminations. If there are no problems with your abortion, your chances of becoming pregnant later will not be affected though you may have a slightly higher risk of early birth or miscarriage. Research has not shown a definite link between early labor and previous abortions.
You can get pregnant again immediately after your abortion. Some women get pregnant within 4 weeks of their procedure. You should begin using contraception immediately after the procedure is performed to avoid getting pregnant again.
Watch this video to learn more abortion facts in the US: