Early Surgical Abortion Option
Pregnancies can be visualized by ultrasound by the 4th week after a last menstrual period (LMP). Very early surgical abortions can be done, and the success rate is similar to a medical abortion, perhaps slightly more effective. The procedure is done, under your choice of anesthesia, with a very tiny suction device that rarely requires much cervical dilatation to place. The procedure takes a few minutes. Most women only have a local injection of an anesthetic, but additional sedation is available. General anesthesia can be used for this procedure. You may be eligible for a medical abortion. Ask about your alternatives with this safe and effective way to have a gentler abortion.
Surgical Abortion: 6 to 9 Weeks
This procedure is very similar to the early surgical option in that it is performed with a hand held suction device and is typically performed with your choice of anesthesia. We will need to obtain your medical history, draw blood to check for anemia and Rh type, perform an ultrasound to date the pregnancy, and have your pregnancy options counseling. If you feel comfortable with your decision, then you may elect to have the procedure. The procedure involves speculum insertion, pelvic examination, taking cervical cultures to test for sexually transmitted diseases, injection of the local anesthesia, adding additional anesthesia if chosen, a dilating process during which the cervix is opened, and finally a suction process. The entire surgery should only take a few minutes to complete. Someone will always talk you through the various surgical steps so that you are aware of what process your body is experiencing. The risks and alternatives of this procedure will be discussed with you during the consent process.
After your procedure, another ultrasound may be done. Occasionally, ultrasound is used during the procedure to aid in working with your individual anatomy.
You will rest in the recovery room for about 30 minutes, or possibly longer, depending upon the type of sedation you were given.
During your rest in the recovery room, you will be monitored by our staff and receive any prescriptions or medications you need, such as a Rho-gam shot if you are RH negative, or a contraceptive shot if you choose, or antibiotic therapy. Sometimes closer monitoring is required, and we may place an oxygen monitor on your finger or measure your heart rate.
Before you leave you will receive an instruction sheet and a letter to give to your regular healthcare provider, should you choose to have your check-up at another office. You are welcome to return here for your post-operative visit. We are a full service gynecological office and welcome the opportunity to assist you with any other healthcare needs. We are able to provide immediate contraception such as IUDs and sterilization at the time of your abortion.
You may be eligible for a medical abortion. Ask about your alternatives with this safe and effective way to have a gentler abortion.
Suction, Dilation, and Curettage: 9 to 15 Weeks
As a woman progresses farther into pregnancy, there is more tissue to evacuate. The cervix needs to be opened further, and often a suction machine is required rather than a hand held syringe to complete the surgical termination. The procedure may require a few hours of cervical preparation, especially if you have never previously been pregnant. The tissue is always inspected for completeness and sent for pathologic confirmation. A pregnancy test will continue to be positive for days to weeks, as your hormone levels can remain high. As with all abortion visits, follow up care helps us to determine completeness of the procedure.
Dilation and Evacuation: 16 to 24 Weeks
This will always require a medical treatment to begin the cervical dilatation process. The procedure will take longer, normally two days. A variety of treatments can be used to begin the process and enhance the safety of the procedure. We have a very experienced staff and our goal is to preserve your cervical, pelvic anatomy and fertility while conducting your procedure in the easiest way for you. D&E procedures require so much cervical dilatation that there is a small chance of cervical injury that could lead to damage of the cervix. Though the risks of a D&E are greater than the D&C, modern medical advances have made this procedure very safe. We feel that an individual assessment of risks is best, and we are happy to answer any questions at your appointment. Most patients feel more comfortable having the procedure under general anesthesia.
Surgical Abortion for Fetal or Maternal Abnormality
The situations that cause abnormalities or life-threatening pregnancies are as varied as the parents who face the decision of whether or not to terminate. If you decide to terminate this pregnancy based on the information you've been given, Women's Health Practice is here for you. We can help with second opinion or genetic testing. Our knowledgeable, compassionate staff is specially trained to help you and your support person through one of the most difficult times of your lives. Special arrangements can be made for any specific remembrances requested.
"Women's Health Practice treated me as if I was family. They respected my choice and made me feel very comfortable. Keep up the great work!"