a private matter
A surgical abortion is performed from approximately 5 weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP) to approximately 17 weeks LMP.
Surgical abortion is a commonly performed surgery with a very low rate of complication. Most women are back to their normal activities the day after the surgery.
At our office, all surgical abortions are performed by a licensed gynecologist with more than 25 years of experience. The abortion procedure uses instruments to open the cervix and vacuum aspiration (suction) and instruments to empty the uterus. It takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the length of the pregnancy.
Prior to the surgery we will take a full health history, pregnancy test and blood work. You will receive an exam and usually an ultrasound to determine the length of your pregnancy. Before the surgery you will meet privately with a clinician who will explain the procedure, review your after-care instructions, give you antibiotics, birth control and answer all of your questions. During the surgery a clinician will be with you at all times and she will accompany you to the recovery room where a registered nurse will monitor your progress and discharge you.
There are three levels of anesthesia available:
1. Local anesthesia
Local anesthesia is the administration of Lidocaine into the cervix, which reduces some discomfort. You will be given oral pain medication prior to the surgery but you will remain completely awake and should expect cramping during and immediately after the procedure. You are able to drive yourself after the procedure.
The following levels are only available at our Rockville and Catonsville locations.
2. Twilight sleep or IV sedation
Light sedation administered by an anesthesiologist/anesthetist. It relaxes you but you remain conscious. You are awake and aware of your surroundings. Patients respond differently to twilight sleep so we do not know exactly what you may feel but it will help with the discomfort. Twilight sleep is restricted for some patients due to weight, age and other factors. In order to safely administer the IV sedation, you may not have anything to eat, drink or smoke from midnight the night before and you need someone to drive you home. Leave valuables and jewelry at home.
3. General Anesthesia
The most popular anesthesia choice. IV medication is administered by the anesthesiologist/anesthetist and you are given just enough anesthesia so that you do not experience any pain for the few minutes it takes to perform the abortion. You will not feel anything during the surgery and will awaken in the recovery room with the nurses after the abortion is complete. In order to safely administer the general anesthesia, you may not have anything to eat, drink or smoke from midnight the night before and you need someone to drive you home. Leave valuables and jewelry at home.
To estimate the length of your pregnancy, enter the first day of your last period and then press 'calculate'.
The Pregnancy Calculator above is an estimation of weeks from reported last normal menstrual period and does not constitute medical advice. A missed period does not necessarily mean that you are pregnant, and having a period does not mean you are not pregnant. Only an exam, pregnancy test, or ultrasound by a physician can confirm pregnancy and approximate length of pregnancy. The calculator should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon for weeks of pregnancy, conception date, or due date.