At your consultation we will explain everything you need to know about surgical abortion in as much detail as you need. This page is designed to give you a brief overview of what surgical abortion involves, further information can be found in our Abortion your questions answered booklet
and for any further queries please call us at anytime on 0845 300 8090. A step by step guide to surgical abortion at Marie Stopes International
After an appointment has been made for you at a Marie Stopes clinic, the first step is a consultation where you will see a nurse or doctor. During the consultation your abortion treatment options will be discussed and you will be asked about your medical history. You will also be given a scan to access how many weeks pregnant you are and your reasons for seeking an abortion will be explored. You can choose to have your consultation on the same day as your treatment or over different days if you prefer this. It is also possible to have a telephone consultation if this is more convenient for you. Surgical abortion treatment options
Surgical abortion is the most common type of abortion and is a simple procedure where gentle suction is used to empty the uterus. It is possible to have a choice of anaesthetic although in the early stages of pregnancy many women choose to have no anaesthetic or light sedation.
Some discomfort may be experienced by women who opt for surgical abortion which can be like a very strong period pain. As everyone experiences pain differently it is impossible to generalise on how you may feel. Most women who choose to have no anaesthetic report that any pain is bearable, only lasts a very short time and quickly subsides once the procedure is over.
Surgical abortion at Marie Stopes International clinics takes approximately 5 – 10 minutes. The length of stay at a clinic varies but is usually just one to two hours. If an abortion is being carried out at a later stage, the stay at the clinic will be longer. Breakdown of surgical abortion at different gestations
1. Early surgical abortion: before 12 weeks of pregnancy
At this stage a gentle suction method is used to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. This is a very quick and simple procedure, taking less than five minutes to perform. Women can choose to have no anaesthetic, light sedation or a general anaesthetic. 2. Surgical abortion: 13-19 weeks pregnancy
This treatment will take about 10-15 minutes, as we will need to dilate the cervix (opening of the uterus) to gently remove the pregnancy. If your pregnancy is more than 15 weeks gestation, you may be given some medication to prepare your cervix for the procedure. At this stage you will be given the option of conscious sedation or a general anaesthetic. 3. Later surgical abortion 19-24 weeks pregnancy
At this stage of pregnancy the treatment is performed in two separate stages. You will be asked to arrive at the centre early in the morning for the first part, which involves preparation of your cervix to cause it to gently dilate over a few hours. There is no need to have an anaesthetic for this part of the treatment and after this you will stay with us at the clinic and rest until the second stage of your treatment. The second stage, to complete the abortion, will take place later that day and you will be given a general anaesthetic. Abortion aftercare
Before you leave a Marie Stopes clinic a team member will check how you are feeling and talk you through any specific aftercare information that you need to know. You will also be given a booklet with aftercare information in to take away with you and it is important that you read this. Should you have any worries or concerns about anything after your abortion treatment please call our specialist nurse advisors on 0845 122 1441 who will be on hand to offer advice and support 24 hours.
For more information or help with surgical abortion at Marie Stopes International call 0845 300 8090 24 hours