first trimester surgical abortion can be completed up to 12 weeks in a pregnancy. The surgical method we use is called vacuum aspiration, which is a quiet, safe and gentle suctioning of the uterus. The cervix, or opening to the uterus, is dilated, or opened, and a small tube attached to the suctioning device is inserted into the uterus to remove the pregnancy. The entire procedure takes between 5 and 15 minutes in duration, and your visit to our Center will last between 2 and 3 hours.
When you arrive at our Center, you will be checked in by our front-desk staff and asked to complete intake forms. You will then meet with a nurse or options counselor who will review your medical history, answer any questions you may have and obtain your consent for the procedure. You will also have an ultrasound and laboratory work (urine pregnancy test and blood draw). You may be given a drug called Misoprostol to help soften the cervix and make dilation easier. In a private room, the physician will do a pelvic exam to determine the size of your pregnancy. The physician will then perform the aspiration procedure. At all times during the pelvic exam and procedure a nurse or medical assistant will also be in the room with you and the physician. You may experience some discomfort and menstrual-like cramping during the procedure and options are available for anesthesia. After surgery, you will be monitored in our Recovery Room by our medical staff until you are medically cleared to return home. You may have some menstrual-like cramping and bleeding after the procedure, which is normal. Before leaving our Center, you will be given detailed after-care instructions.
epending on your individual situation and needs, first and second trimester abortions can be performed with different types of anesthesia. Our medical staff will work with you to determine the best type of anesthesia to ensure your comfort and protect your safety, depending on your individual situation and needs.
- Local anesthesia – To increase relaxation with a local anesthetic, you will be given an anti-anxiety medication to relax you. The physician will inject a numbing agent called lidocaine (similar to novocaine used for dental procedures) into your cervix. This will lessen discomfort but you may experience some cramping and discomfort during the procedure. You will not need a ride for this procedure, you may drive yourself to and from the appointment. Because you are alert during the procedure, you will be able to drive yourself home. Our medical staff assists you during the procedure with breathing and relaxation exercises to help reduce discomfort.