Spontaneous, Herbal and Induced are the three general methods of abortion. Although it is not that popular or necessary in this modern era but there is a method known as self-inflicted abortion also. Most of the people do not consider self-inflicted abortion to be among the major methods.
In self-inflicted abortion a a sharp object such as a coat hanger is inserted into the cervix of the expecting mother. This method is known to be extremely dangerous or deadly and is not at all reliable.
One of the oldest method of abortion is herbal abortion which is also not considered very safe. The result of Herbal abortion is sometimes only a sick pregnant woman. It is not much different from the worse self-inflicted abortion. Over hundreds of years, several herbs are used to carry on herbal abortion. These herbs use to be silphium, birthwort, black cohosh, pennyroyal, tansy etc. of which some are now extinct. It also include modern day herbs that some people use daily such as juniper, lavender, parsley, thyme, marjoram and dill. Such herbs are termed as abortifacient or simply the herbs that can cause abortion.
However, surgical methods are the most commonly used abortion methods these days. Doctor may initiate one of the three surgical procedures to initiate abortion at an early term. The three surgical procedures followed for abortion are:
1) Manual Vacuum Aspiration or MVA- In MVA method a syringe is used to suction out tissue which causes abortion
2) Electric Vacuum Aspiration or EVA- In an EVA method an electric pump is used to suction the tissue out.
3) Dilation and Curettage or D&C- Once the cervix of the pregnant woman has been opened, sharp curette is used to clean the uterus walls.
4) Dilation and Evacuation or D&E- In this method the uterus is cleaned by the use of instruments and suction once the cervix of the pregnant woman has been opened.
5) Hysterectomy Abortion- Hysterectomy Abortion is related to the cesarean section to terminate a pregnancy.
6) Controversial Intact Dilation and Extraction or IDX- IDX is also known as Partial Birth Abortion. In this method the cervix is diated by use of forceps to grasp and turn fetus in breech position. Then the fetus is withdrawn and only head of the fetus is left inside cervix. Then the head is collapsed by suction of brain matter from the skull. This is done through the small incision which is made at the base of the skull. IDX or Partial Birth Abortion is a banned abortion method under Partial Birth Abortion Ban law. This law was passed by Congress and came into effect when President George W Bush signed it in 2003. But this law does not provide any information in cases where abortion is necessary for woman’s health and is therefore examined by US Supreme Court for its legal validity.
7) Chemical Methods- Combination of drugs can effectively terminate or end pregnancy. Drugs such as mifepristone or methotrexate are used for abortion which is followed by prostaglandin. Prostaglandin comes in two types and its usage depends on the place where abortion is done. Gemeprost is used in Sweden, UK whereas in US misoprostol is used commonly for abortion.