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Aspiration Abortion (Suction or Vacuum Aspiration)


How far along in the pregnancy can I be?

Up to 12 weeks from the first day of your last period.

What will happen?

The abortion takes place in the office.

  • The actual abortion procedure takes 5 to 10 minutes.

  • The doctor will put special instruments in your vagina and uterus to remove the pregnancy.

  • You may go back to your regular doctor or to the office where you had the abortion 1-2 weeks later, to be sure everything is okay.

How painful is it?

Some women have mild cramps like a period; others have very strong cramps during the abortion (10 minutes).
You can take ibuprofen before the procedure to decrease the pain.
You can also get local anesthesia or general anesthesia (go to sleep).

How much will I bleed?

It is unlikely that you will get anemia or need treatment for the bleeding. Usually light bleeding from 1 to 7 days, but may continue off and on up to 6 weeks.

How much does it cost?

The exact cost depends on where you go for the procedure.

Can the abortion fail?

It is successful over 99% of the time. If it fails, a repeat aspiration is necessary.

Can I still have children afterwards?

Neither type of abortion changes your chances of getting pregnant or staying pregnant in the future.

Is it safe?

Aspiration abortion has been studied for over 25 years. Abortion in the first 12 weeks has a less than 1% complication rate, and is at least 10 times safer than continuing the pregnancy.

What are the advantages?

  • It is highly successful.

  • It is quick and over in a few minutes.

  • There is less bleeding (that the woman sees) than with a medication abortion.

  • Medical staff is present.

  • It can be done further along in the pregnancy than with a medication abortion.

What are the disadvantages?

  • It cannot end an ectopic pregnancy, one that is in the Fallopian tube.

  • A clinician must insert instruments inside the uterus.

  • Anesthesia and drugs to manage pain during the procedure may cause side effects.

  • There are possible complications, although in less than 1% of cases.

  • The woman has less control over the abortion procedure and who is with her.

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