How it works:
A local anesthetic is injected into the cervix, or into the opening of the womb, to alleviate surgical pain. The patient is often sedated, but may remain conscious (awake) during the procedure. The cervix opening is stretched with a series of dilators. A spoon-like instrument (curette) is used to scrape the walls of the uterus and remove the baby and the placenta. A follow-up appointment to see the doctor is highly recommended.
Possible Side Effects:
- Excessive Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding is common, but heavy bleeding may require further medical attention.
- Incomplete Abortion: All of the fetus or placenta was not removed during the abortion. Further medical attention will be needed.
- Internal Infection: Bacteria from the vagina may enter the womb and cause an infection. The risk of infection is increased if a woman has a current untreated STD. Treatment may include antibiotics, surgery, or hospitalization.
- Torn Cervix: The opening of the womb may be cut or torn during the abortion procedure. This can cause permanent weakening of the cervix.
- Perforated Uterus: During the abortion procedure, the wall of the uterus may be damaged by a medical instrument, which could lead to infection or excess bleeding. Surgery may be required to repair the damaged tissue.
- Painful Cramps: Severe cramping may occur.
- Emotional Consequences: There is an increased risk of depression, suicide, and relationship challenges in some women who have had an abortion.