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Surgical Abortion

You may experience

(1 in 20 may have a complication)

  • Bleeding off and on for up to four weeks
  • Cramping and may pass a few large clots for up to 10 days
  • Extra bleeding - smokers are more at risk, about 1 in 25 experience this
  • Retained tissue or clots
  • Infection (endometritis) - causes fever and pain. It can happen 2 - 7 days after an abortion. Risk of infection is 1 or 2 in 25, serious infection may affect future fertility
  • Allergic reactions - reaction to drugs used, usually shows as a rash and settles within 12 - 24 hours. Severe reactions may cause trouble breathing
  • Perforation of the uterus (womb) 1 to 4 in 1000 cases. Sometimes the instrument used passes through the uterine wall. Surgery under a general anaesthetic may be needed
  • Failed abortion - (continuing pregnancy) happens 1 in 1000
  • Fatalities - 1 in 250,000
  • Failure to get pregnant again, 1 in every 100 pregnancies

This is a suction abortion

usually done up to 14 weeks of pregnancy with local anaesthetic. From 14 weeks to 20 weeks of pregnancy this procedure will usually be done under general anaesthetic. Availability of surgical abortion services and methods used vary by area and clinic.

  • You are normally awake but are given medication to soften the cervix and help with pain.
  • An IV cannular will be placed in your arm
  • You lie on a table and a tube is inserted into the uterus via the vagina. This sucks and removes the baby (foetus) and other remains, it usually takes around 5 ~ 10 minutes. There is usually some pain felt. You may expect to be at the clinic for up to 6 hours. If you have had a general anaesthetic for this procedure you may not drive a vehicle for 12 to 24 hours.
  • You may arrange to take baby's remains home for burial.

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