Therapeutic Abortion: Surgical
(Abortion; Vacuum Aspiration; Dilation and Curettage; Dilation and Evacuation)
- Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA)
- Dilation and suction curettage ( D&C )
- Dilation and evacuation (D&E)
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Reasons for Procedure
- Preserve the mother’s physical or mental health
- End a pregnancy that tests have shown would result in a child with severe abnormalities
- An incomplete procedure
- Injury to the cervix or other organs
- Reaction to anesthesia
- A missed period
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased sensitivity to odors
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Examine you—to determine the stage of your pregnancy by checking the size of the uterus (womb)
- Do blood and urine tests—to confirm the pregnancy
- Use ultrasound—to give an accurate assessment of the stage of pregnancy
- Give you medicine—to help dilate the cervix
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners
Description of Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
- You may have cramps and bleeding.
- You may also have nausea and diarrhea .
- You should not use vaginal medicines until your doctor allows it.
- Do not have sex for at least one week.
- Baths and showers are okay.
- You should recover within a couple of days.
- Make sure you return to see your doctor for follow-up.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Increasing abdominal pain
- Heavy vaginal bleeding (soaking more than one pad per hour)
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Pain that is not helped by medicine, heat, and rest
- Persistent vomiting
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. http://www.plannedparenthood.org
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Abortion. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated November 9, 2012. Accessed December 17, 2012.
Abortion. Planned Parenthood website. Available at: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/abortion-4260.asp. Accessed on December 17, 2012.
Surgical abortion. The Abortion Clinic Directory website. Available at: http://www.abortionclinic.org/topics/articles/article%5F99.asp. Accessed December 17, 2012.
The Women’s Health Centre: therapeutic abortion. Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region website. Available at: http://www.rqhealth.ca/programs/in%5Fhospital%5Fcare/womens%5Fhealth/therapeutic.shtml. Access December 17, 2012.
1/11/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Robson SC, Kelly T, Deverill M, et al. Randomised preference trial of medical versus surgical termination of pregnancy less than 14 weeks' gestation (TOPS). Health Technol Assess . 2009;13(53):1-124.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 05/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/20/2015 -
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