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First Trimester Surgical Abortions



This procedure is performed by administering local anesthesia around the cervix (the opening into the uterus). The cervix is then dilated using dilators (long rods that start small and taper to bigger sizes) to stretch the cervix open. A suction catheter is then inserted and hooked to a suction machine. This process typically only takes about 5-10 minutes. This procedure is offered with and without IV Sedation.

A first trimester abortion is a dilation and aspiration procedure to end a pregnancy within 14 weeks of the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP). First, ultrasound is done, by passing a microphone like instrument over your abdomen which measures the size of your uterus. Sometimes a tube is placed in your vagina to get a clearer picture. This helps to more accurately determine whether there are conditions that may cause complications. The final decision as to whether the abortion may be performed in the clinic will depend on your medical history, the physical exam, laboratory tests and the physician’s evaluation.


The standard method of first trimester abortion is vacuum aspiration (dilation, suction, and curettage):

A local anesthetic is usually injected into or around the cervix (the opening in the uterus). In some cases a tranquilizing medication is administered into the patient’s vein (IV Sedation).

The opening of the cervix is gradually stretched by a series of narrow rods (dilators), each a little wider than the one before. The largest dilator is about as thick as your index finger.

A blunt tipped tube (cannula) is inserted into the uterus. This tube is attached to a suction machine which is then turned on. After the uterus has been emptied by gentle suction, a spoon shaped instrument (curette) may be used to determine that the uterus is completely empty.

When the procedure is complete, you will be shown how to do uterine massage. You will need to do this for one (1) minute every one half (½) hour for the next eight (8) hours.

After this, you will spend as much time as need in the observation room with a patient care technician. When your condition is stable and you are ready to leave, you will receive the necessary prescription medications and follow-up instructions, including what you should do in the event of a complication.

You will need to make an appointment for a check-up visit, usually about six (6) weeks after the abortion. This appointment usually only takes about ten (10) minutes.

Pregnancy tests can read positive for up to six (6) weeks post abortions.

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Birth control: You can become pregnant again right after your pregnancy ends. To avoid any unwanted or unplanned pregnancy start using birth control immediately.

The doctor may also recommend that patients start some form of birth control to help regulate hormones and bleeding to normal at a faster rate.


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