The different types & how theyʼre done.
If youʼre pregnant and considering abortion, we can provide you with unbiased information about all your options, listen to your concerns and help you process through your decision.
Before you visit an abortion clinic, request an appointment online or call us to schedule a time that works for you to meet with our Client Care Team.
Types of Procedures
How far along you are in your pregnancy depends on the type of abortion that will be performed. It is important to confirm your pregnancy with a medical quality pregnancy test and get an ultrasound to (1) determine how far along you are in your pregnancy and (2) determine the viability of your pregnancy.
Dilatation and Curettage (D&C)
D&C refers to a surgical procedure intended to evacuate the embryo, products of conception, and uterine contents. It is typically performed during the first trimester up to 12 weeks. Unless there are anticipated complications, this procedure is typically done in a doctorʼs office or a clinic.
Special instruments called cervical dilators are used to dilate or open the cervix, followed by the insertion of a suction curet and the aspiration of the baby and placenta. This is followed by sharp curettage of all the uterine cavity in order to completely remove and clean any embryological or placental tissue in the uterus.
Dilatation and Evacuation (D&E)
D&E is a surgical procedure done for second trimester terminations. It is usually performed after 14 weeks.
Before the procedure, the doctor will determine your exact gestational age by taking different measurements of the fetus with an ultrasound prior to performing the abortion. The procedure typically is performed by a doctor office or a clinic, but in some circumstances it is done in a hospital.
The anesthesia is done with local anesthetic called paracervical clock (around the cervix) or conscious sedation (where you are sedated but still awake and conscious).
Since the pregnancy is more advanced, and the size of the unborn child is bigger, the cervical dilation (opening of the cervix) needs to be done with larger dilators to allow the insertion of surgical forceps to remove the fetal parts. Once the dilation is complete, suction of the amniotic fluid and placenta tissues is done by negative pressure suction. In order to remove the fetus, the unborn child is brought to the lower aspect of the uterus, followed by the disarticulation, or separation, of the limbs using extraction forceps until the entire fetus the lower aspect of the uterus, followed by the disarticulation, or separation, of the limbs using extraction forceps until the entire fetus is removed. Finally sharp curettage is done in order to scrape the uterus.
Possible Side Effects
Like any surgical procedure, there are always possible risks and side effects. Before having an abortion, itʼs important to understand these risks.
- A hole in the uterus (uterine perforation) or other damage to the uterus.
- Injury to the bowel or the bladder.
- A cut or torn cervix (cervical laceration).
- Incomplete removal of the unborn child, placenta, or contents of the uterus requiring an additional operation.
- Emergency treatment for any of the above problems, including possible need to treat with an operation, medicines, or a blood transfusion.
- Complications from anesthesia such as respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting, headaches, or drug reactions.
- Inability to get pregnant due to infection or complication from an operation.
- A possible hysterectomy as a result of complication or injury during the procedure.
- Hemorrhage (heavy bleeding).
- Possible infection.
- Rarely, death.
Still Have Questions?
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At PACN our Client Care Team is ready to help answer any questions about abortion that you may have.