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You may be considering a surgical abortion, but have no idea what is involved or what to expect. Before making this decision it’s important to know the process and potential risks.
WHEN: Up to 14 weeks LMP (last menstrual period)
HOW: For surgical abortions performed while you are 4 to 7 weeks from LMP, a thin plastic tube will be inserted into the uterus and attached to a vacuum that will suction the fetus out. Local anesthesia may be given to help reduce the pain, but sedation may also be given.
For those further along (8 weeks to 14 weeks) wishing to have a surgical abortion, luminaria and/or medication may be given a day or two in advance to soften the cervix in order to get the cervix wider because the fetus is larger. The procedure then consists of a tube inserted into the cervix and into the uterus, then connected to a vacuum device that sucks the baby’s body parts apart and out of the uterus. Scraping may need to be done for any remaining fetal parts and blood clots. For this procedure pain can be great so a local anesthetic will be inserted into the cervix beforehand.
As with in any surgical procedure, there may be risks, such as: