The development of a fetus or embryo can be interrupted by many circumstances.
Having children is for many people one of their vital goals, many partners looking for the pregnancy to occur actively and voluntarily. However, such development may be impaired or need to be interrupted for various reasons. In addition, in other cases there are unwanted pregnancies in which the person in question does not want to be a mother, does not have resources, does not feel ready yet or is the product of rape.
In some of these cases the person in question may choose to terminate the pregnancy. There can be many circumstances and reasons that can lead to decide to abort or undergo an abortion. That is why we can determine the existence of different types of abortion based on the characteristics that surround it.
What does the concept of abortion imply?
In order to talk about the different types of abortion that exist, it is first necessary to understand what we mean by the term abortion.
Abortion is understood as the process by which the gestation of an embryo is interrupted by different causes. The pregnancy ends abruptly and the fetus dies and is expelled from the body of the pregnant woman.
There are a large number of causes of abortion, both natural and caused by human action. Thus, we can find cases of desired pregnancies that fail for some reason or situations in which an unintended pregnancy occurs and that the person in question does not want to continue.
When it is natural, it generally occurs at twelve fourteen weeks, that is, before the third month of pregnancy is completed. In cases of voluntary interruption, the terms may vary according to the law in force in each country and the assumptions and circumstances surrounding the pregnancy and the decision to interrupt it.
Types of abortion
It is possible to make a classification of different types of abortion based on different criteria, such as whether it is natural or induced, the mechanisms used to interrupt the pregnancy or the reasons that cause it to occur.
It is called spontaneous abortion to that type of abortion or interruption of pregnancy due to natural causes, not being voluntary or provoked. It can be due to chromosomal alterations of the fetus, diseases or malformations of the mother, infections (as in septic abortion). The appearance of this type of abortion usually occurs in the first twelve weeks.
When it occurs very initially, so that we are not yet facing a fetus but an embryo, symptoms may not appear and even the fact of having become pregnant may go unnoticed (it is estimated that a large number of pregnancies end this way without being detected).
However, if the detachment or death of the fetus occurs throughout the development of the fetus, it usually appears together with significant bleeding and pain in the uterus, which opens to make way for the remains. In some cases the remains of the fetus are not completely expelled (especially if they are late abortions), in which case an intervention will be necessary.
2. Abortion by infection or septic
It is a subtype of abortion in which an infection is generated that affects the placenta or fetus and ends with the death of the second. It is also called this way the result of an abortion in which the female reproductive system suffers an infection due to the presence of remains of an abortion or injuries derived from the performance of one.
3. Failed or missed abortion
It is a type of natural abortion in which for some reason the unborn child dies naturally, but remains in the mother’s womb for weeks without being expelled by the woman’s body. The pregnant woman continues to believe she is pregnant and has typical symptoms, but nevertheless the pregnant woman’s heart has stopped beating. It can only be detected by ultrasound. After detection, if the body does not expel the fetus or does not completely, it will be necessary to intervene with drugs or surgically.
4. Induced abortion
This is voluntarily induced abortion, that is, the result of applying certain procedures voluntarily to interrupt the pregnancy. Within this one can be found others such as the therapeutic one, those that are the result of rape or those that are freely decided.
5. Therapeutic abortion
A therapeutic abortion is one that is performed under the assumption that the pregnancy poses a risk to the health and even the survival of the mother. Also called in the same way are those abortions that are performed in the presence of alterations or serious diseases of the fetus that make its survival or its normative development impossible.
6. Legal abortion
In reference to voluntary abortions, legal abortions are considered those that can be performed according to current legislation. Although originally it could only be legally aborted in cases of rape, severe malformation or risk to the life of the pregnant woman, today in many countries it can be legally aborted without the need for these assumptions to be met (although within a specific time that varies by region.
In Spain, abortion is free for up to fourteen weeks and thereafter it can only be legally interrupted in cases of risk to the life of the pregnant woman, serious abnormalities in the fetus and / or incompatible with life or certain diseases or malformations.
7. Illegal abortion
It is about the set of abortions that are carried out outside the law, in hiding. This type of abortion is also a crime, a serious risk to the health of the pregnant woman, since there is no guarantee regarding the procedure and conditions of the intervention to be carried out.
8. Early abortion
It refers to the interruption of pregnancy that occurs before twelve weeks.
9. Late abortion
That abortion in which the interruption occurs after twelve weeks of gestation.
10. Abortion by mechanical / surgical means
It refers to the type of induced abortion in which the method of interruption is mechanical, removing the fetus through procedures such as aspiration, scraping or injecting substances that burn the fetus and cause death.
11. Chemical or pharmacological abortion
Chemical abortion is the type of induced abortion in which certain medications are given to the pregnant woman in order to end the pregnancy. It is usually considered safer than surgical.
12. Complete abortion
It is understood as such that abortion in which all the biological remains of the fetus and placenta are expelled or removed.
13. Incomplete abortion
In incomplete abortion, part of the fetus or the products of gestation remain inside the uterus, leaving remains inside. It can be induced or natural (in the latter it is usually more frequent the more advanced the gestation is before its interruption).
- Pérez D, Planto A. (1995). Epidemiological factors associated with abortion. Gynecology and Obstetrics.
- Pinto A, Gabiatti Y, Motta M, Paiva L, Vergilio M, Silva J. (1991). Some characteristics of abortion in adolescence.
- Schor N, López F. (1990). Adolescence and contraception: study of knowledge and use in internal puerperal women due to childbirth or abortion. Rev. saude Pública.