Aspiration abortion is a safe method of ending a pregnancy where a trained healthcare professional inserts a small, sterile tube into the uterus and empties the contents by gentle suction.
Aspiration abortion is one of the safest medical procedures available today. The complication rate is less than one half of one percent (fewer than 1 out of 200 women will experience a complication).
Women may choose an aspiration abortion over a medication abortion because the procedure occurs in one office visit, and when they leave, they know they are no longer pregnant.
The procedure starts with the medical provider doing a pelvic exam to feel the size, shape and position of the uterus. The provider will then place a speculum into the vagina to hold the vaginal walls open.
A numbing medicine is injected into the cervix. The injection may cause a pinching and burning sensation which lasts about 3-5 seconds.
The cervix is then dilated, or gently stretched open with a series of tapered rods called dilators. Once the cervix is open, a small sterile tube is inserted into the uterus and light suction is used to remove the contents of the uterus.
The whole procedure takes less than 10 minutes. Everyone’s experience is different, but most patients feel moderate to intense period-like abdominal cramping while the uterus is emptying.
After the procedure, you rest for 15-20 minutes, or as long as you need to feel comfortable. We give you something to eat and drink, and a hot water bottle for your belly. We review your aftercare instructions with you. Most patients return to work or school the next day.
We will provide you with written instructions along with a 24-hour number where you can reach us if you have any questions or concerns.