If you have confirmed your pregnancy, and are considering an abortion, this information is to provide you with a clear education about surgical abortion procedures and risks, the cons of abortion, and your legal rights.

A surgical abortion is a surgical procedure that results in the termination of a pregnancy. Like all surgical procedures, surgical abortion poses certain health risks to the women choosing to undergo it. Therefore, it is important to understand the details about abortion, the range of pregnancy options you have, and answer questions you may have like “what are the pros and cons of abortion?”, so you can make a wise, healthy choice.

While CAPS Pregnancy + Medical Clinics offers education on the types of abortions available, including details about surgical abortion and medical abortion, surgical vs medical abortion differences, and other abortion options. While providing you with this information, we also address a range of questions you may have like, “what are abortion pros and cons, abortion procedures, and abortion risks and side effects to consider?” See several ways to contact us below.

SUCTION ASPIRATION ABORTION PROCEDURE 1

Also called Manual Vacuum Aspiration, this procedure is a surgical abortion generally performed within 7 weeks from the last period. The cervix is stretched open with dilators (metal rods), and a hollow plastic tube is inserted into the uterus. The fetus and the remaining contents of the uterus are removed using a handheld suction device.

DILATION AND CURETTAGE WITH VACUUM ASPIRATION ABORTION PROCEDURE 2,3

Also called Suction Curettage, this procedure is a surgical abortion procedure usually employed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor opens the cervix with dilators (metal rods) and then empties the uterus via a hollow plastic instrument connected by tubing to a suction machine. After suctioning, the doctor may scrape the walls of the uterus with a loop-shaped curette to ensure that the fetus, placenta and contents of the uterus are completely removed.

DILATION AND EVACUATION ABORTION PROCEDURE 4

A surgical abortion procedure generally performed between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor inserts laminaria sticks into the cervix for 1-2 days to start the dilating process; these dried seaweed sticks absorb moisture and expand, causing the cervix to enlarge. On the day of the procedure, the physician will use dilating rods to further enlarge the cervical opening. The fetus is removed with forceps, along with the placenta and other tissue. A curette may then be used to scrape the uterus to make sure that all tissue has been removed.

DILATION AND EXTRACTION ABORTION PROCEDURE 5,6,7

A late-term surgical abortion procedure that takes three days to complete. During the first two days, the cervix is dilated and medication is given for cramping. On the third day, the woman receives medication to start labor. After labor begins, the doctor uses ultrasound to locate the position of the fetus. Using forceps, the doctor rotates the fetus, grasps the legs and pulls the torso, arms and shoulders through the birth canal. An incision is made at the base of the fetus’s skull and a suction catheter is placed into the cranium. The catheter removes the cerebral material until the skull collapses and then the fetus is completely removed.

ABORTION OPTIONS

This may seem like a lot of information to understand. CAPS is here to help you through it. We will be along side you, provide and explain medically accurate information, and help you examine the range of pregnancy and abortion options including the details about each option, so you can make the best choice for your situation. No matter what choice you make, CAPS will be there for you before, during, and after your pregnancy.

SIDE EFFECTS – SURGICAL ABORTION: 8,9,11

  • Cramping of the uterus or pelvic pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional or psychological distress
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

RISKS – SURGICAL ABORTION: 2,10

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection of the uterus
  • Infection of the fallopian tubes (which can cause scarring and cause infertility)
  • Puncture (perforation) of the uterus
  • Scarring of the uterine lining (suction tubing, curettes and other abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining)
  • Damage to the cervix (creating complications with future pregnancies)
  • Death, in rare circumstances

ABORTION CLINIC RESEARCH & NEXT STEPS

If you believe that abortion is the right choice for you then you should carefully research the abortion clinic for the abortion procedure. Here are a few questions to ask – we can help guide you through all the issues you should address.

  • Is the abortion provider a licensed medical clinic?
  • Will a licensed OB/GYN physician will be performing the abortion procedure?
  • Do they clearly and completely explain your legal rights?
  • What type of post abortion care, both physical and emotional, do they provide, if any?
  • Do they provide reviews from other patients who have used their abortion services?

Ask to speak with other patients who have used their services to understand their experience – the positives and negatives.

You should get an STD test to prevent an active STD infection from spreading or having an impact on you long term. You should also get a blood test to find out your blood type. If you are Rh- (negative), you will need an injection of Rhogam so there won’t be an effect on future pregnancies.

Know your legal rights. To receive information on patient legal rights, or on how to learn more about RU-486, call or schedule an appointment with our professional staff – see how to get our help below.

GET HELP

No matter what choice you make, CAPS will be there for you before, during, and after your pregnancy.

CAPS is different than some other medical clinics since we receive no financial profit from your pregnancy because we do not perform or refer for abortions or arrange adoptions. We do refer to other organizations for adoptions if you are interested in that option. We will help you examine the full range of options (abortion, parenting, adoption) including the variables for each option, so you can make the best choice for your situation.

All pregnancy services are FREE, including FREE pregnancy test, FREE ultrasound, and FREE pregnancy and abortion education.

  • FREE pregnancy testing – a lab grade, nurse verified test to confirm if you are actually pregnant.
  • FREE pregnancy ultrasound – to determine how far along you are, location of the pregnancy in the uterus, whether there is a presence or absence of a fetal heartbeat, and assess what options you may have.
  • FREE abortion education – to answer your questions and provide information so you can make an informed choice.
  • FREE pregnancy ‘Decision Aid’ options worksheet – to help you think through your own preferences and help you define the information you need to make a decision.

Other Services – We also provide low to no cost STI / STD testing.

All our services to you are private – your privacy is important to us.

To get help, contact us at any of the San Diego area clinic locations, call us at 619-337-8080, or schedule an appointment.

Citations

1 CS Mott Children’s Hospital. (n.d). Vacuum Aspiration for Abortion. Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://www.mottchildren.org/health-library/tw1078

2 Mayo Clinic. (n.d). Dilation and curettage (D&C). Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dilation-and-curettage/about/pac-20384910

3 Cleveland Clinic. (n.d). Dilation and curettage (D&C). Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/4110-dilation-and-curettage-d–c

4 IPAS. (n.d). Dilation and Evacuation. Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://www.ipas.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/DESTRE18-DilationEvacuationReferenceGuide.pdf

5 Merriam Webster Dictionary. (n.d). Dilation and Extraction. Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dilation%20and%20extraction

6 Web Md. (2022). What are the types of abortion procedures? Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://www.webmd.com/women/abortion-procedures

7 Congress.gov. (1996). A closer look at partial-birth abortions. Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/volume-142/issue-136/extensions-of-remarks-section/article/E1743-1

8 American Psychologist. (2009). Abortion and Mental Health – Evaluating the Evidence. Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/amp-64-9-863.pdf

9 Mayo Clinic. (2022). Could an elective abortion increase the risk of problems in a subsequent pregnancy? Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/expert-answers/abortion/faq-20058551#:~:text=While%20many%20studies%20have%20shown,birth%20and%20low%20birth%20weight

10 Mayo Clinic. (n.d). Incompetent cervix. Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/incompetent-cervix/symptoms-causes/syc-20373836

11 Eastern Journal of Medicine. (2020). Psychological Effects of Abortion. An Updated
Narrative Review
. Retrieved April 14, 2023 from https://jag.journalagent.com/ejm/pdfs/EJM_25_3_477_483.pdf