Therapeutic abortion is the intentional termination of pregnancy. It is done before the fetus is able to survive on its own. A surgical therapeutic abortion is either performed by one of three methods:
End a pregnancy that tests have shown would result in a child with severe abnormalities
Risk Factors for Complications During the Procedure
The earlier in a pregnancy the abortion is done, the better the chances of a procedure with no complications.
If you think you might be pregnant, see your physician. The earlier you find out, the more time you have to make an informed choice about the pregnancy. Early symptoms of pregnancy include the following:
A missed period
Tender, swollen breasts
Nausea or vomiting
Increased sensitivity to odors
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may:
Manually examine you—to determine the stage of your pregnancy by assessing the size and texture of the uterus
Do blood and urine tests—to confirm the pregnancy
Use ultrasound—to give an accurate assessment of the stage of pregnancy
Talk to your doctor about your current medications. Before the procedure certain medications may need to be stopped such as:
or other anti-inflammatory drugs for up to one week before surgery
The doctor may inject a numbing agent in or near the cervix. Dilators are used to stretch the cervix opening. A tube is inserted into the uterus. The tube aspirates (sucks) out the contents.
The doctor may inject a painkiller into or near the cervix. Dilators are used to stretch the cervix opening. A tube attached to a suction machine is inserted into the uterus. The uterus contents are suctioned out. The doctor may use a curette (a narrow metal loop) to remove the tissue lining the uterine walls.
This procedure is similar to a D&C except that it is done during the second trimester. The fetus and other products of conception are removed from the uterus with medical instruments and suction.
You will spend some time in a recovery area.
How Long Will It Take?
The length will depend on the procedure. In general they are about 5-20 minutes.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a