Surgical abortion

Surgical abortion Procedure (Suction Abortion) at AMAC

The surgical abortion procedure (sometimes called suction abortion) at AMAC uses electric vacuum aspiration to remove a pregnancy. The procedure is performed with local anaesthetic, pain control and sedation (drowsy not asleep) and requires one visit at our clinic.

Before the procedure

  • Counselling/ Nurse Interview - Procedural information, medical history, social or counselling reports & contraception assistance.
  • Pre operative medications are administered - Misoprostol tablets dilate the cervix & sedative tablets are offered.
  • Once Misoprostol is taken the abortion has begun. Undesirable effects to the developing embryo & complete or partial miscarriage can occur if the suction procedure does not follow.
  • Dependent on previous obstetric history, Misoprostol requires 1-3 hours to work effectively. During this time, occasionally women may feel unwell, experience shivers, start bleeding or experience abdominal cramps.

The abortion procedure

  • Meet with the operating doctor to answer any questions and prescribe you procedure medicines and contraception.
  • At least one hour after taking the pre-op medication (often longer) the suction procedure can begin.  
  • Medications are administered into the blood stream via an IV cannula to reduce pain and provide further sedation. 
  • A local anaesthetic is administered to numb the cervix.
  • A sterile plastic catheter is passed through the cervix into the uterus & gentle suction is applied to remove the pregnancy tissue.
  • Some women experience period-like cramps during the procedure and others not until after the procedure, some not at all.
  • The suction part of the procedure usually takes less than five minutes to complete.  

Recovery period at AMAC

  • We recommend resting  after the procedure for at least half an hour or until you feel well enough to be discharged home. 
  • Due to the sedatives it is not unusual to feel tired or a little dizzy for the rest of the day.
  • Driving a car, operating machinery or making any important decisions for twenty four hours following the sedative drugs is not advised.

What to expect after leaving AMAC

  • Abdominal cramps which can be eased with Panadol or any usual medication taken for period type pain. Aspirin is not recommended.
  • Bleeding which varies from light or moderate & may last for a few days or occasionally as long as fourteen. Some women have no bleeding or just spotting. 
  • Heavy bleeding (more than two pads in an hour for two hours), needs immediate attention. Call AMAC first. If out of hours contact an emergency hospital service. 
  • Do not to put anything into the vagina for 14 days i.e. no tampons, no sex. 
  • A small number of women may develop an infection or have some remaining tissue or blood clot in the uterus. This may cause a temperature, pain, discharge or unusual bleeding.  
  • Contact AMAC for advice or see your doctor to get appropriate treatment.
  • Physical recovery usually occurs within a day or two after an abortion, so take things easy for a few days.  
  • Further counselling is available at AMAC if it would be helpful or is required.
  • Written aftercare instructions will be provided at AMAC.


Does it hurt?

Most women feel  cramp like pains when the uterus is being emptied. However this can vary to no discomfort and to quite moderate discomfort. Additional pain relief is administered where required

What will the bleeding be like?

Can be light or moderate lasting for a few days up to two weeks. It is not unusual to have only spotting or no bleeding at all.

When can I go back to work?

The next day when the drugs have worn off & you are emotionally ready. Our doctor will provide you with a medical certificate for a day or two if requested.

What if I am breast feeding?

Because the medications can pass into the breast milk we advise expressing and saving enough milk for 24 hours prior to the procedure. Express and destroy for breast milk for 24 hours after the procedure.

When do I start contraception?

It is possible to become pregnant again very soon after the abortion. Therefore start oral contraceptives the day after the procedure. Implants or an IUCD can be fitted in the procedure room immediately after the abortion. Depo Provera can also be given immediately the procedure is complete.  Discuss the choices further either at AMAC or with your doctor.

Will the abortion affect my fertility?

There is no evidence that your future fertility will be affected.

How long will I be at the clinic?

Plan to be here all day. Make childcare arrangements until at least 4:30 pm.