If you have a viable pregnancy and are considering abortion, please come talk to us before you make your final decision. Let us help you understand the facts; we are here to educate and empower you to make an informed choice.
Surgical abortion procedures
(LMP~last menstrual period)
MANUAL VACUUM ASPIRATION: performed within 7 weeks after LMP
This type abortion involves the insertion of a soft flexible tube through the cervix into the uterus. A hand held syringe is attached to the tube and the embryo is suctioned out.
SUCTION CURETTAGE:performed between 6-14 weeks after LMP
Similar to a Manual Vacuum Aspiration, this type of abortion uses a machine rather than a hand held syringe to create suction. Either local or general anesthetic will be administered to numb the cervix. The cervix is then dilated with a dilator (a metal rod) or laminaria. After the cervix is stretched open, a cannula, which is a long plastic tube connected to a vacuum aspiration machine, is inserted into the uterus to suction out the fetus and placenta.
DILATION & CURETTAGE (D&C):performed within 6 to 14 weeks after LMP
D&C is similar to suction aspiration but with the introduction of a curette. The curette, a loop shaped knife, scrapes the lining, placenta and fetus away from the uterus. A cannula may be inserted for final suctioning.
DILATION & EVACUATION (D&E):performed within 13 to 24 weeks after LMP
This surgical abortion is done during the second trimester of pregnancy. This is a two day procedure that must take place in an approving hospital. Since the fetus has doubled in size and is too large to be broken up by suction and passed through suction tubing, the cervix must be expanded further than in a first trimester abortion. After the cervix has been dilated with laminaria (over the course of 1 to 2 days depending on the necessary dilation), the physician pulls out the fetal parts with forceps to remove the pregnancy. The fetal skull is crushed to ease removal. The final step is suction using the aspirating machine. Additionally, a curette may be used to scrape out the contents of the uterus to ensure all parts of the fetus, uterine lining, and placenta have been removed.
Although rare, possible complications from surgical procedures can occur.
Please contact our center so we can help you understand the facts. Our peer counselors offer accurate information on all pregnancy options.
Our center does not perform nor refer for abortions.
Source: Serving with care and Integrity, Care Net, 2003.