Camp Springs, MD (301) 423-3313

College Park, MD (301) 474-5300

Gaithersburg, MD (301) 921-0077

Surgical Abortion

Feb 4, 2015

Discovering a pregnancy late in development can occur for many reasons. Some women have irregular periods, which cause them to overlook a missed period as inconsequential. Other women have a high level of stress and may miss one to three periods before noticing other changes such as an increase in breast size and nausea, which are indicative of early pregnancy. Whatever the cause of late discovery, in this instance a surgical abortion is needed if the pregnancy is unwanted. For women who are deciding whether or not to carry the pregnancy to term, understanding what is involved in surgical abortion can provide the insight needed to make the decision.

Surgical abortion is also referred to as an in-clinic abortion or vacuum aspiration. It is typically performed up to 16 weeks after a missed period and in fact 9 out of 10 abortions that take place in the United States are during this stage of pregnancy. Another abortion method not to be confused with surgical abortion is called dilation and evacuation (D&E). This is performed after the 16 week mark has passed and fewer than 1 in 10 abortions take place during this stage of pregnancy. Once 24 weeks have passed, an abortion is only allowed due to health concerns.

Effectiveness of surgical abortion

Surgical abortion has been very effective in terminating a pregnancy. It is one of the most secure ways to confirm that the pregnancy has been completely terminated. A follow up visit with a healthcare provider can help to answer any lingering questions after the surgery has been completed.

Safety of surgical abortion

Because a surgical abortion is not a natural process, many women may have concerns about its safety. During a surgical abortion, every measure is taken to ensure the safety of the patient prior, during, and post surgery. Although abortion procedures can be counted on to be extremely safe, just like any other medical procedure, there are risks involved. These risks escalate based on how advanced the stage of pregnancy is, and whether or not sedation or general anesthesia is used. Some of the health risks include excessive heavy bleeding, infection, incomplete abortion, allergic reaction, uterine blood clots, injury to the cervix or other organs, ectopic pregnancy undetected, and in rare cases sometimes a fatality could occur.

Considering the benefits and health risks associated with surgical abortion can help one to decide whether or not this option will work best for them. Speaking with a counselor and health care professional can also help in making the best possible choice.

Metropolitan Family Planning Clinic can provide the family planning solutions you are looking for. Visit them online for more information about their services at