skip to Main Content

How Long Does a Surgical Abortion Take? 

Surgical abortions should be discussed with a trusted provider as they are invasive procedures.  Having a thorough understanding of how these procedures are performed and how they might impact your health is very important.

While the procedure itself takes only about 15-30 minutes, the entire appointment may last several hours.  This can include an assessment before the procedure, the procedure itself, and recovery.

Are There Different Types of Surgical Abortions? 

There are three main types of surgical abortions.  Two of these are commonly performed in the first 12-14 weeks of pregnancy.  The third is typically done in the later stages of pregnancy.  

  • Suction Aspiration: This procedure is usually done within the first 12-14 weeks of pregnancy.  It involves slightly dilating the cervix and inserting a thin tube that uses suction to remove the pregnancy. 
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C): This procedure is also usually done in the first 12-14 weeks of pregnancy.  The cervix is slightly dilated and an instrument is inserted that scrapes the uterine wall to remove the pregnancy.   
  • Dilation and evacuation (D&E): Typically, this procedure is done after 13-14 weeks of pregnancy.  The cervix must be opened further and the process can take from several hours to 2-3 days.  Once the cervix is dilated, the pregnancy is removed using a combination of instruments, which may include suction, curettes, and forceps.   

What Should I Do Before a Surgical Abortion? 

As with any invasive procedure, there are certain safeguards you should complete before having an abortion.  These important steps include the following: 

  • Confirming the pregnancy and gestational age with a lab-quality pregnancy test and an ultrasound. 
  • Receiving a complete physical exam, including a thorough medical history and review of medications you may be taking.
  • Understanding the procedure to be used, the potential risks and complications, and any signs and symptoms you need to watch for. 

All of these steps can be completed during a pre-abortion assessment. Taking these measures helps protect your health, as well as provides you with valuable information as you consider your options. It is important to understand that most abortion procedures are done on an outpatient basis, which means that you will be responsible for monitoring yourself for any potential complications that may arise. 

Where Can I Go For Answers?

If you have questions or need additional education, we’ve got you covered! Contact us today to learn more about your options and understand what abortion might mean for your health. We offer lab-quality pregnancy tests and limited ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy and all our services are free and confidential.  Reach out today and allow us to serve you! 

Back To Top