If considering an abortion, the amount of information as you consider your options can be overwhelming. However, it is essential to understand the different procedures, how they work, and their risks. 

Surgical abortions require in-clinic surgery, which usually takes less than 20 minutes. The entire process, including the exam and recovery, can last from a few hours to one or two days (without overnight stays).

Read this article to learn about the two types of surgical abortions: Dilation and Curettage or Dilation and Evacuation.

Are There Multiple Types of Surgical Abortion?

Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

D&C, or suction aspiration, typically occurs during the first trimester. The D & C itself doesn’t take long, although the entire process can take several hours. 

This procedure requires your vagina to be sanitized and dilated. The physician will insert “a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge and a suction device and removes uterine tissue.”

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)

Surgeries performed during the second trimester (14 to 23 weeks and 6 days) require a series of visits, each taking 6-8 hours. 

On the first visit, you will be prepped for the procedure and undergo an ultrasound and exam. On the day of the procedure, the abortion provider sedates you and removes the pregnancy. The risks are higher for abortions performed in the second trimester.

Does Surgical Abortion Cause any Complications?

The risks depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

If your pregnancy is less than 14 weeks, the main risks are:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix (which can affect future infertility)
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall
  • Infection
  • Moderate to severe vaginal bleeding
  • Damage to the uterus 
  • Signs and symptoms of depression. Hormonal changes after a pregnancy can cause depression that requires treatment.

Next Steps

When considering an abortion, an ultrasound is an important first step before scheduling the procedure. 

At Elevier Women’s Center, we offer no-cost ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy and the age of the pregnancy, as well as its location. You need to be aware of any complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy.

We provide support, local resources, and evidence-based education as you learn about your pregnancy options. Contact us today to make an appointment!