If you’ve made the decision to have an abortion after becoming pregnant unexpectedly, your options may be limited by how far along you are. A surgical abortion, also known as an in-clinic abortion, can safely and effectively end a pregnancy all the way up to 17.5 weeks of gestation. Michigan Avenue Center for Health in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood provides comprehensive abortion services, including surgical abortions, to patients in the Chicagoland area. To find out more, call or book your appointment online today.
A surgical, or in-clinic, abortion is a safe medical procedure used to terminate a pregnancy that’s between five and 17.5 weeks, as determined by ultrasound. There are two types of surgical abortions, both of which use suction to gently empty your uterus.
If you’re still in your first trimester, or up to 12 weeks pregnant, surgical abortion is a short procedure that involves vacuum aspiration or suction curettage, also known as a D&C. This operation is performed under twilight anesthesia for comfort.
If you’re past the 12-week mark, you’re in your second trimester of pregnancy. Second-trimester abortions can be performed for women who are between 12 and 17.5 weeks, or 17 weeks and three days, of pregnancy.
A second-trimester surgical abortion is a two-step process that takes two days to complete. The first step includes gradually dilating your cervix over the course of several hours. After your cervix is fully dilated, your doctor uses gentle suction and medical tools to remove the pregnancy.
This type of surgical abortion is also done under twilight anesthesia.
Surgical abortion is effective 99 out of 100 times, meaning fewer than 1% of patients require a repeat procedure. At Michigan Avenue Center for Health, you can feel secure in the knowledge that you’re under direct medical supervision through the entire process.
Some women who choose to end a pregnancy opt for a surgical abortion because it’s exceptionally safe; in fact, it’s one of the safest surgical procedures in the United States.
A surgical abortion also takes place in a medical clinic with the ongoing support of nurses, doctors, and trained staff. Many women find it helpful to have knowledgeable, supportive people by their side during what can be an emotionally difficult experience.
In contrast, a medical abortion takes place at home, where a woman may be alone.
A surgical abortion is also faster than a medical abortion. Once you’re fully dilated, an in-clinic abortion generally takes no more than 10 minutes. A medical abortion, on the other hand, may take up to 24 hours to complete.
Before you choose which procedure to have, the medical team at Michigan Avenue Center for Health guides you through the process and answers any questions you may have.