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Suction Aspiration or Vacuum Aspiration

  • Patient will lie on her back with feet in stirrups and a speculum is inserted to open the vagina.
  • A local anesthetic is administered to her cervix. Then, a tenaculum [a slender sharp pointed hook attached to a handle, and used mainly in surgery for seizing and holding parts]1 is used to hold the cervix in place for the cervix to be dilated by cone shaped rods.
  • When the cervix is wide enough, a cannula, which is a long plastic tube connected to a suction device, is inserted into the uterus to suction out the fetus and placenta.
  • The procedure usually lasts 10-15 minutes, but recovery may require staying at the clinic for a few hours.

Risks and Side Effects:

  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Feeling faint
  • Less frequent side effects include
    • Possible heavy or prolong bleeding
    • Blood clots
    • Damage to the cervix
    • Perforation of the uterus
    • Infection due to retained products of conception or infection caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or bacteria being introduced to the uterus can cause fever, pain, abdominal tenderness and possibly scar.

Fetal Development:  Week 9-13

  • Genitals have formed
  • Baby can make a fist
  • Buds for baby teeth appear


American Pregnancy Association (2004). Medical Abortion Procedures. Retrieved from:

American Pregnancy Association (2007).  Types of Abortion Procedures.  Retrieved from:

Fetal Development citation: