surgical

abortion

aspiration

13 weeks after LMP

1. The cervix is softened by the use of seaweed laminaria or medication.

2. Anesthetic is introduced through the vaginal canal by needle injection into the cervix.

 3. Metal rods are then used to stretch the cervix open.

4. A plastic tube is navigated through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. This tube is connected to a vacuum device that pulls fetal tissues into smaller pieces and removes them from the uterus. Regardless of how far along you are, it is important to suck and/or scrape everything out to keep you from becoming sick later (1).

5. Fetal tissues are then examined to ensure all tissue has been removed.

DILATION & EVACUATION

13 weeks after LMP & up

1. The cervix is softened by the use of seaweed laminaria or medication sometimes 2 days before the procedure is to occur.

2. Anesthetic is introduced through the vaginal canal by needle injection into the cervix. Patients may request general anesthesia for an additional cost.

3. Metal rods are then used to stretch the cervix open wider.

4. Special instruments are used to remove fetal tissues from the uterus. “Depending on the size of the fetus and width of the cervix, the fetus will be removed intact or in pieces. Even is the fetus is intact, instruments are usually used to crush the head since it will not likely fit through the cervix” (2). A vacuum attachment may also be used to ensure nothing is left behind. 

5. Fetal tissues are then examined to ensure all tissue has been removed.

%

Patients Experience Severe Pain

Does Having An Abortion Hurt?

In one study, 48% of the patients rated their pain as severe or distressing during the abortion. Patients that were put to sleep said their pain was greater than those who were awake an hour after the abortion (3).

Surgical Abortion Risks

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks which could include:

$

Perforation of uterus

$

Heavy or prolonged bleeding

$

Infection

$

Infertility or increased odds for miscarriage

$

Allergic reaction to medications

$

Embolism or blood clots

$

Injured bowel

$

Internal organ damage

$

Pelvic scarring

$

Incomplete abortion, retained fetal tissue

$

In extreme cases, maternal death complications due to anesthesia

References

1. Pedersen, W. (2007). Childbirth, abortion and subsequent substance use in young women: a population-based longitudinal study. Addiction, 102 (12), 1971-78.

2. Coleman, P.K. (2005) Induced abortion and increased risk of substance abuse: a review of the evidence. Current Women’s Health Reviews, 1 (21), 21-24.

 3. Curley, M., Johnson, C. (2013). The characteristics and severity of psychological distress after abortion among university students. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, dol: 10.107/s11414-013-9328-0.

    Coleman, P.K. (2010). Late-term elective abortion and susceptibility to posttraumatic stress symptoms. Journal of Pregnancy, Retrieved on July, 20 2014 from http://dx.doi.org/10.115/2010/130519

    Sulliman S, Ericksen T, Labuschgne T, de Wit R, Stein D, Seedat S. (2007). Comparison of pain, cortisol levels and psychological distress in women undergoing surgical termination of pregnancy under local anesthesia versus intravenous sedation. BMC Psychiatry, 7:24 doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-7-24.

4. Gissler, M., et al. (2005). Injury deaths, suicides and homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000. European Journal of Public Health, 15,459-463.

5. Fergusson, D.M., Horwood, J., Ridder, E.M. (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. Journal of Child Pyschology and Psychiatry,47, 16-24. 

6. Franke, L. Bird, The Ambivalence of Abortion (New York: Random House Inc., 1978) p. 63. See also Reardon, Aborted Women, 45.

7. Strahan, T., “Portraits of Post-Abortive Fathers Devastated by the Abortion Experience,” Assoc. for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change, Nov./Dec. 1994.