What is a surgical abortion?

Surgical abortion is an intrusive procedure since it requires surgery performed at a clinic. Surgical abortions are typically done later in pregnancies after the abortion pill (which is FDA-approved through ten weeks gestational age) is no longer an option.

How Does a Surgical Abortion Work?

There are two main types of surgical abortion. Which one you receive depends on the gestational age of your pregnancy.

Dilation and curettage

Dilation and curettage (D&C) is performed earlier in pregnancy. This type of surgical abortion involves dilating (opening up) the cervix so that medical instruments, like a curettage (a spoon-shaped scraping tool) and strong suction can enter the uterus to remove the pregnancy.

Dilation and evacuation

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is performed in the second trimester or later in a clinic or during a hospital stay. It’s similar to a D&C abortion, but it also often requires other tools (like forceps) to remove the pregnancy since the fetus is larger.

What Factors Determine How Long Surgical Abortion Will Last?

Various factors can influence the length of a surgical abortion, such as the gestational age of the pregnancy, potential complications during the procedure, and whether or not anesthesia is administered.

How Can I Protect My Health?

Before proceeding with an abortion, obtaining an ultrasound is a critical first step to take so you can gather the following information:

  • Gestational Age: Determining the age of your pregnancy is essential to help determine what pregnancy options are available. 
  • Location: The ultrasound helps identify if the pregnancy is located outside the uterus, also called an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
  • Viability: Assessing the viability of the pregnancy confirms whether or not you have miscarried. Because 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, this is an important fact to know.

Schedule a Free Ultrasound

You are not alone. Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be overwhelming, and at Crossroads Women’s Center, we are here to equip you with practical tools and resources, including no-cost ultraounds, in a compassionate environment.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!