The vast majority of abortions in this country are performed in the first trimester. If less than 12 weeks have passed since your last menstrual period, you are in the first trimester. The most common method for first trimester and early second trimester surgical abortions is called vacuum aspiration or suction abortion.
Inside the procedure room you will lie on a table and be positioned just like a regular GYN examination. An instrument called a speculum is placed inside your vagina and adjusted to hold the sides apart so that the physician can see directly to your cervix (the opening to your uterus). Another instrument is then used to hold your cervix in place throughout the procedure. Next, your cervix is numbed with local anesthesia.
The physician will then gradually widen (dilate) the cervix. When the cervix has been dilated to the width appropriate for your stage of pregnancy, the physician will insert a small tube (a cannula) that is attached to a suction machine. The machine's suction empties the contents of the uterus through the tube. The entire procedure takes just a few minutes.
Suction abortion is a very safe medical procedure. Less than 1% of women who have abortions experience any problems or complications. It is, therefore, not required that you return for a routine check-up after your suction abortion. If the physician who performs your abortion feels there is a specific need for further follow-up, you will be given a recommendation regarding a follow-up plan. If you have any concerns, either physical or emotional, following the abortion, call Red River Women's Clinic right away to arrange an appointment for evaluation of your concerns.
Mild Sedation Option
Red River Women's Clinic offers the option of mild sedation for our suction abortion patients. Mild sedation involves medications that are taken by mouth. You will not fall asleep but you will feel more relaxed. These drugs lessen anxiety and pain. The effects of mild sedation can last for several hours. You should not drive, operate heavy machinery or make important decisions after ingesting these medications. YOU MUST HAVE SOMEONE DRIVE YOU HOME FROM THE CLINIC. Your driver must be physically present and verified by a staff member before you receive any mild sedation. If you do not have a driver present, you will not receive the medications.
You can still have the abortion without mild sedation - it is OPTIONAL and not required.
You cannot walk home, drive yourself home or take public transportation if you have taken mild sedation medications.
A patient who chooses to have the abortion without mild sedation can come by herself and can drive herself home.
“I was extremely nervous but the staff made me feel so much better.”
- Red River Women's Clinic Patient