Current figures indicate that in Australia, one in every three women will have an abortion at some time in their lives. This procedure is possibly the most commonly performed operation and one of the safest, however all surgical procedures carry risks, however remote.
Many women are anxious about experiencing pain during their operation. This is a common fear which we fully appreciate and we undertake to ensure that your visit is as stress free and pain free as possible. Prior to the start of the procedure, the anaesthetist will give you an intravenous anaesthetic. We use a combination of anaesthetic medications which provide a combination of analgesia (strong pain relief), sedation and also an amnesic effect so that little or no memory of the procedure remains afterwards. This type of anaesthesia is fast acting, is very effective, allows you to sleep through this short 5 – 10 minute procedure and is considerably safer than general anaesthesia. Your recovery time will be more rapid. Approximately one hour.
Some people have an extreme fear of injections. If you are worried about this aspect of the procedure, please advise the doctor during your counselling discussion as we have options available to relieve your anxiety.
A few patients may experience some mild cramping, similar to period pain, after the Procedure. This will settle within about one hour and if necessary, you will be given some pain relief medication.
First trimester (5 – 12 weeks)
The medical name of the procedure during the first trimester is called “suction curettage” or “vacuum aspiration”. It is very similar to another procedure called “dilatation and curettage”, or D&C, which is often performed for an incomplete miscarriage or to treat abnormal menstrual bleeding. This is a simple procedure in which your cervix is gently opened with sterile instruments called dilators. These are gently inserted into your cervix until it has opened enough (6 – 9 mm) to accommodate a thin plastic tube through which a gentle suction is applied. This suction removes the embryonic sac and the soft, thickened lining of the uterus which surrounds the sac. The procedure lasts about 5 to 10 minutes. At the Private Clinic, we routinely perform an ultrasound scan to verify the presence and location of the embryonic sac before the operation, and also to verify that all tissue has been removed at the completion of the operation. This scan is normally performed while you are under anaesthetic. This protocol offers our patients several benefits;
It allows us to maintain a very low complication rate by virtually eliminating complications caused by retained tissue.
It allows us to perform “early” terminations from approximately one week after a missed period or 5 weeks LMP. Normally, you would be required to be at least 6 – 7 weeks before a termination can be performed.
We are able to identify possible ectopic pregnancies and arrange for follow-up treatment. This is a potentially life threatening condition where your pregnancy has lodged within a fallopian tube.
You have a high degree of certainty that the pregnancy is not continuing.
There is no additional fee for this ultrasound.