First Trimester Surgical Abortion (vacuum aspiration)
*Offered to patients who are between 5w 3d minimum – 11w 6d maximum*
Due to Florida’s 24-hour waiting period from the time of consent with the physician to the time of abortion, all patients will be required to have two appointments.
The initial appointment will consist of the preliminary workup process, consenting with the physician and ultrasound. The second appointment is when the surgical abortion will take place.
Surgical Abortion Procedure
- Once in the exam room, the patient will be left alone with instructions to undress from the waist down and given a drape sheet to cover with.
- The physician and support staff will re-enter the exam room when the patient is ready and the process will begin.
- Nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas) that helps with relaxation, will be offered at no additional cost.
- The physician will insert a speculum into the vagina (similar to a pap-smear) so that the they can see the patient’s cervix.
- The cervix is then prepped with a disinfectant. This will feel cold and wet.
- The cervix will then be numbed using a local anesthetic. This will be administered via injection which will feel like a pinch with some burning.
- Once prepared the cervical opening is then dilated.
- After dilation a small cannula is inserted through the cervical opening into the uterine cavity. The cannula is attached to the aspirator which provides a suction to remove the pregnancy. The aspiration usually last for about 3 minutes, and then the procedure is complete.
Women describe the pain or discomfort associated with the procedure as mild to severe cramping. Most women tolerate the procedure well without additional sedation which can increase risks and prolong recovery time. Once the procedure is finished the doctor will exit and a support staff member will stay with you and get you ready to go to the recovery room.
The vacuum aspiration procedure is followed by a recovery period of at least 30-45 minutes, depending on the situation and needs of the individual. During this time the patients condition will be monitored and vital signs will be taken before they are discharged.
There will be time to rest and ask any remaining questions about the after care process. Heating pads and pain medication are available to assist in relieving discomfort.
Patients are encouraged to rest the remainder of the day. Many are able to return to work or school the following day. That being said, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise are discouraged for the first 10 days following the abortion procedure
If the patient has any additional questions or concerns at this time, they are encouraged to ask them.
Post abortion medications and instructions are given prior to discharge and appropriate contact information is needed in case of an emergency.
We are a proud member of the National Abortion Federation (“NAF”), an association of medical professionals who provide assistance to women seeking abortions including educational materials and sometimes financial assistance to women that qualify. If you are interested in financial assistance please ask for contact information for our patient funding coordinator when you make your appointment at North Florida Women’s Services.