Among the safest surgical procedures in the United States, a surgical abortion is performed by gradually dilating the cervix and then removing the contents of the uterus with a gentle suction and a surgical instrument called a curette. The procedure takes about 5-7 minutes, during which you should expect to feel mild to moderate cramping and pressure. During the procedure, we guide you through the process and gladly answer any questions you may have along the way. We also provide ample time for recovery, allowing you to return to most normal activities the next day.
For Your Comfort
To keep discomfort to a minimum, you can choose any of the many relaxation methods we have available including pre-operative medications to help ease cramping and nitrous oxide gas for a calming effect. The doctor also uses a local anesthesia to lessen the discomfort associated with dilation of the cervix. Additionally, we offer an IV sedation, which encourages a very relaxed feeling that may even make you feel sleepy. You also have the option of receiving Valium, which allows you to feel more comfortable during the procedure. During the procedure, we have a guided relaxation CD for you to listen to, and soothing lighting. Prior to the procedure, you and your counselor will decide on individualized relaxation techniques. Our clinic is unique in that care can be personalized to meet your needs.
Surgical Abortion Follow Up Services
A surgical abortion is a very safe procedure and a routine post-operative exam is rarely necessary. In our experience, problems stemming from an abortion usually manifest within the first 2-5 days. Should you need medical attention, we have licensed board-certified OB/GYN doctors who are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
We do however recommend that you perform a pregnancy test at home or at our office. There is no fee for this service if you return to the office within 30 days from the date of your surgical abortion.
A medical abortion, which terminates pregnancy by using medication, is an option for women whose pregnancy is under 10 weeks. This method uses two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol, over the course of several days. The first medication, mifepristone, is taken in-office, by mouth. Mifepristone stops the growth of the pregnancy and causes it to detach from the lining of the uterus. At this time, you will likely experience heavy bleeding and cramping. We will discuss ways to alleviate the cramping, as well as provide you with a prescription for pain medication. Our staff is committed to assuring you know how to care for yourself throughout the process.
Medical Abortion Follow Up Services
The next step in the Medical Abortion process involves the taking of additional medications 24-48 hours after the administration of mifepristone. Your counselor will also help you schedule an ultrasound 2 weeks following the abortion. At this appointment, the doctor will determine if additional medications or surgery are needed. There is no fee for this service if you return for the ultrasound within 30 days from your abortion appointment.
Should you experience any problems or have concerns during the medical abortion, we encourage you to contact our office to speak with a nurse. Also, our licensed board-certified OB/GYN doctors are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Choosing a Method
Both the surgical and medical abortions are effective and safe forms of terminating a pregnancy. However, the processes for each procedure are very different. Some women choose the surgical abortion because it is relatively quick and requires only one step. Others choose the medical abortion because they feel it gives them more control over the process. Because every woman is different, we invite you to call us and discuss in further detail which option is best for you. We want you to make an informed decision and feel confident in your choice.