What are the Differences Between Vacuum Aspiration and Dilation & Evacuation Abortion (D&E)?

There are a few types of abortions that are done in clinics or hospitals; vacuum aspiration can be done until 15 weeks’ gestation (depending on the provider’s preference) and Dilation & Evacuation (D&E) can be done beyond 15 weeks’ gestation.

The type of abortion you can have depends almost entirely on how far along you are in your pregnancy. If you’re in your first trimester, you’ll likely have a vacuum aspiration. If you’re in your second trimester (meaning that it’s been more than 14 weeks since your last menstrual period), you’ll likely have a D&E. If you’re much further into the pregnancy, you might require an induction abortion.

Both types of surgical abortion require the use of medication to prepare the uterus and cervix; different instruments are also used to remove the pregnancy from the uterus [1].

[1] “Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems.” World Health Organization, second edition, 2012, www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/9789241548434/en/. Accesed November 2020.


*Nothing provided herein should be construed as professional medical advice and no medication / pills should be used without a prescription from a licensed / registered medical practitioner eligible to prescribe such medication in your local jurisdiction.