Surgical abortion by vacuum aspiration or dilatation and curettage has been the method of choice for early pregnancy termination since the 1960s. Medical abortion became an alternative method of first trimester pregnancy termination with the availability of prostaglandins in the early 1970s and anti-progesterones in the 1980s
Vacuum aspiration. Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) is a safe and effective method of uterine evacuation that involves use of a hand-held plastic aspirator providing a vacuum source attached to a cannula (thin tube) and manually activated to suction the uterine contents. Electric vacuum aspiration involves the use of an electric pump or suction machine connected via flexible tubing to a plastic or metal cannula. It typically is used in centralized settings with higher caseloads, and is less appropriate for settings with intermittent electrical supply.
Dilatation and evacuation or Dilatation and curettage are methods used after 15 weeks. This might be if some products of conception have been retained following an earlier MVA or if in a very late pregnancy.