In a surgical abortion, a woman goes into a clinic and has her pregnancy surgically removed. Depending on the estimated gestational age, a few different surgical options are available.
In the first thirteen weeks of pregnancy, a woman can have a vacuum aspiration (or suction curettage) with a dilation and curettage (D&C). A healthcare provider dilates a woman’s cervix to hold it open before inserting a plastic tube into the uterus. Often, an instrument called a curette is used to remove the contents of the pregnancy, while the plastic tube sucks out the pregnancy products.
After 13 weeks of pregnancy, a dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion is required. A healthcare provider dilates the cervix sometimes a day or two before the abortion. Then, instruments are inserted into the uterus to separate and remove parts of the fetus before using a suction device to remove the pieces.
To terminate a pregnancy after 18 weeks, multiple days of procedures are required in a dilation and extraction (D&X). Typically, the procedures begin by dilating the cervix over a few days, then inserting a needle through the cervix and into the fetus’s heart with a medication that will cause the baby’s heart to stop beating. After a day or two, medications may be administered that causes the uterus to contract. A doctor often then uses forceps to deliver the fetus’s head and to remove the skull.
Contraindications for surgical abortions include allergies to anesthesia and some medical conditions. Any woman considering abortion should know the contraindications and risks of complications.
Alternatives Medical Clinic provides free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds to help you decide whether abortion is an option for you. We do not perform abortions or provide abortion referrals, but we provide education regarding the procedure, contraindications, and possible complications. Our medical team wants to empower you to make an informed decision about your pregnancy.
Request an appointment today or call us at 760-273-3878.