Types Of Surgical Abortions

Different surgical abortions might require dilating (opening) the cervix and passing medical instruments into the uterus to suction, scrape, or pull the fetus out. The fetus’ level of growth determines the exact surgical procedure.

Aspiration or Suction Surgical Abortion

If your pregnancy is up to 13 weeks after the first day of your last menstrual period (1st Trimester), your abortion provider performs suction aspiration. To reduce pain, the doctor offers local anesthesia. Passing a tube inside the uterus, the abortion doctor attaches it to a suction device that pulls the fetus out.

Dilation and Evacuation Surgical Abortion (D & E)

Most 2nd Trimester abortions (13 to 28 weeks) require a D & E. The abortion provider uses local anesthesia, oral or intravenous pain medications, or sedation depending on the length of your pregnancy.

Besides the need to dilate (open) the cervix wider, the main difference between this procedure and a 1st Trimester surgical abortion is the need to use forceps to grasp fetal parts and remove the fetus in pieces. D&E is associated with a much higher risk of complications than a 1st Trimester surgical abortion.

D&E After Viability or Late-Term Surgical Abortion

The procedure used for pregnancies 24 weeks and up typically takes 2–3 days and is associated with increased risk to the life and health of the mother. Your abortion doctor begins with anesthesia a day or two before the procedure.

The abortion doctor may inject drugs into the fetus or the amniotic fluid to stop the fetus’ heart before starting the procedure. The doctor dilates (opens) the cervix, breaks the amniotic sac and sometimes uses forceps to dismember the fetus. The “Intact D&E” pulls the fetus out legs first, then crushes the skull to remove the fetus in one piece.

Risks Of A Surgical Abortion

According to the Mayo Clinic, risks of a surgical abortion include:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scarring on the uterine wall
  • Infection

Before You Schedule An Abortion

If you are considering having an abortion, set up a confidential appointment at one of our Centers for free testing first.

Our Centers do not offer, recommend or refer for abortions or abortifacients.