The health risks of abortion depend principally upon whether the procedure is performed safely or unsafely.The World Health Organization defines unsafe abortions as those performed by unskilled individuals, with hazardous equipment, or in unsanitary facilities.
Dilation and evacuation (D&E) consists of opening the cervix of the uterus and emptying it using surgical instruments and suction.
Complications after second-trimester abortion are similar to those after first-trimester abortion, and depend somewhat on the method chosen.
There is little difference in terms of safety and efficacy between medical abortion using a combined regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol and surgical abortion (vacuum aspiration) in early first trimester abortions up to 9 weeks gestation.
An abortion which occurs spontaneously is also known as a miscarriage.
An abortion may be caused purposely and is then called an induced abortion, or less frequently, "induced miscarriage".
Vacuum aspiration in the first trimester is the safest method of surgical abortion, and can be performed in a primary care office, abortion clinic, or hospital.