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To Sam

What is abortion

i know what abortion is but ive never been told how abortion actually works. its portraid in the media differently all the time. is it an injection? a pill? can u get one without an appoitment? is it a surgical operation. i know there is a possibility this is something i may have to go through one. and my freind may also have to one since shes had unsafe sex and has waited weeks to get a test. is there any sites where u can look at other peoples reliable experiences id love to help my freind if this is something she has to go through. id also like to be prepared ( i havent had unsafe sex but i know that might not always be) and better to be educated than not. i dont understand why they dont cover this in sex education.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Abortion means choosing to end a pregnancy. It’s a personal choice for anyone who gets pregnant and there's no right or wrong answer about whether it’s the right thing for you. There's a lot to think about so it's good to be aware of what it involves.

There is a time limit – abortion is legal up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy. But realistically, after 15 weeks it gets a lot more difficult to do. [SJ2] There are a couple of different ways to end a pregnancy and which one is used depends on how far into the pregnancy you are.

Up to 10 weeks the abortion is done using a pill. This can be like having a heavy period and it can be a bit painful with cramps.

The second type of abortion involves medical or surgical procedures, which get more invasive the longer the decision is put off. Up to 15 weeks the pregnancy can be ended by something called vacuum aspiration, where the foetus is sucked out of your vagina. You shouldn't feel any pain and you can go home straight afterwards.

Abortions later than 15 weeks will involve surgery in a hospital or clinic. Doctors tend to avoid doing this wherever possible because it can be more risky.

In the UK you can get confidential advice about abortion and other sexual health issues by talking to your doctor or going to a sexual health clinic.

Of course if you don't want to be pregnant then you should think about using contraception. It's never zero risk but you can get quite close with the proper use of contraceptives.

I hope this has answered your question, if you want to know more you can always come and talk to our counsellors.

Thanks for writing, take care.


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