First Trimester Surgical Abortion

Get the facts

First Trimester Surgical Abortion

Get The facts

The Choice Is Yours

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and want help with your next steps, visit Problem Pregnancy.  Problem Pregnancy provides free pregnancy tests, limited ultrasound, and abortion consultations.  Contact us to talk with someone about your situation and learn about all of your options.  All of our services are free and confidential.

First Trimester Surgical Abortion

Are you considering abortion?  Are you unsure of your options?  Here at Problem Pregnancy in Worcester, MA, we specialize in helping you through the process.  Our caring counselors will talk through your options and answer your questions in a confidential setting.  You are not alone: we are here for you.

  • Patient lies on her back with feet in stirrups and a speculum is inserted to open the vagina.
  • A local anesthetic is administered to her cervix. Then, a tenaculum (a slender sharp pointed hook attached to a handle, and used mainly in surgery for seizing and holding parts) is used to hold the cervix in place for the cervix to be dilated by cone shaped rods.
  • When the cervix is wide enough, a cannula (a long plastic tube connected to a suction device) is inserted into the uterus to suction out the baby and placenta.
  • The procedure is usually short, but recovery may require staying at the clinic for a few hours.

Risks and Side Effects 1

  • Cramping, bleeding/spotting, nausea, sweating, and feeling faint.
  • Less frequent side effects include possible heavy or prolonged bleeding, blood clots, damage to the cervix or perforation of the uterus.
  • Infection due to retained remains of the baby (incomplete abortion) and related tissues, an STD, or bacteria being introduced to the uterus, can cause fever, pain, abdominal tenderness, scarring, infertility and in rare cases, death.
  • Every person’s experience with abortion will differ. However, some women experience experience emotional complications. In some cases women can experience feelings of depression, guilt, grief, and loss; this is commonly referred to Post Abortion Stress Syndrome or PASS. If you are dealing with such feelings or just want someone to talk to about your experience with abortion, call to schedule an appointment. We can help.
Know The Facts

Are you considering abortion?  Are you unsure of your options?  Here at Problem Pregnancy we specialize in helping you through the process.  Our caring counselors will talk through your options and answer your questions in a confidential setting.  You are not alone: we are here for you.

Early Fetal Development (up to week 12)

The following describes some of the developmental steps of the baby during the time frame when a woman is eligible for a vacuum abortion. 2

6-12 Weeks Pregnancy (on average from last menstrual period)
  • The heart is beating (6 weeks)
  • Eyes, ears, and lungs begin to form (6 weeks)
  • Arms and legs and the facial features appear (7 weeks).
  • The blood becomes separate from the mother’s (7 weeks).
  • Fingers and toes develop (8 weeks)
  • The baby’s brain is divided into three parts for language and emotion, seeing, and hearing (8 weeks).
  • 99% of muscles are present (9 weeks)
  • Brain activity is detectable (9 weeks)
  • All major body organs are present, though immature (10 weeks)
  • The fetus begins spontatneous movement yet cannot be felt by the pregnant woman (10 weeks).
  • Fingernails and toenails are growing (11 weeks)
  • Squints eyes, swallows and can retract tongue (11 weeks)
  • External genital organs are developed (12 weeks)
  • Arms and legs are fully formed (12 weeks)

1 American Pregnancy Association (2019). Possible physical side effects after abortion. Retrieved from

Johns Hopkins Medicine (n.d.). Pregnancy: The first trimester. Retrieved from,p01218 

Questions & Answers

According to the Mayo Clinic, an estimated 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will naturally end in a miscarriage. “Miscarriage”, medically known as “spontaneous abortion”, is the common term used to describe a natural end to a pregnancy. Problem Pregnancy offers a limited ultrasound to qualified women to confirm a viable (developing), intrauterine (in the uterus) pregnancy. In many cases, the ultrasound can be performed during the same visit.

If fetal viability is not established, then you are a candidate with a high probability of miscarrying. Miscarriage is your body’s natural way of ending a pregnancy. In a case like this you would not need the pain, cost, and risk of an abortion!

  • Severe cramping of the uterus or pelvic pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional or psychological distress
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Back pain

Medical abortion information from the Mayo Clinic 

Some of the most common surgical abortion procedures include manual vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage, and dilation and evacuation. If you choose to have a surgical abortion you may want to consider an ultrasound-guided procedure as they have been determined to result in fewer complications.

The risks for any surgery are: Hemorrhaging (bleeding) and Infection

Additional risks of surgical abortion include:

  • Excessive bleeding (hemorrhaging)
  • Infection of the uterus
  • Infection of the fallopian tubes which can cause scarring and infertility
  • Puncture or perforation of the uterus
  • Scarring of the uterine lining (suction tubing, curettes, and other abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining)
  • Damage to the cervix creating complications with future pregnancies
  • Death, in rare circumstances

Other risks can include:

  • Premature births with future pregnancies
  • Incomplete removal of the fetus, placenta or contents of the uterus

It may be possible to reverse the effect of the abortion pill. If you change your mind after taking the first abortion pill, mifepristone, time is of the essence. For more information, call the Abortion Pill Reversal Hotline 877-558-0333.

Before taking the Morning After Pill, you should understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works. 

The “morning after pill” is a large dose of oral contraceptive known as Plan B One -Step. It is a single pill you take by mouth. It must be taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure to help prevent pregnancy.

Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In addition, it may inhibit implantation. It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun. Plan B is intended to avoid potential pregnancy, so it is important to confirm you are not pregnant before taking this emergency contraception option.

If your period is more than a week late, it is possible that you may be pregnant. You should get a pregnancy test and follow up with your health care provider or come to Problem Pregnancy for a pregnancy test and consultation.

  • Emergency contraception is not effective if a woman is already pregnant.
  • Plan B should not be used as routine contraception
  • Plan B does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • The most common side effects in the Plan B clinical trial were nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, and menstrual changes.
  • Because Plan B makes the uterus inhospitable to the developing embryo, it may lead to an ectopic pregnancy
  • The manufacturer warns that Plan B is not recommended for routine use as a contraceptive
  • Use of Plan B may result in an ectopic pregnancy. If you experience severe lower abdominal pain 3-5 weeks after taking Plan B, seek medical attention.

Problem Pregnancy does not provide emergency contraception but can provide you with education and pregnancy testing.

The price of an abortion can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. The final cost is dependent on multiple factors: how far along you are in your pregnancy, what type of abortion you have, your health insurance, the type of clinic you go to, and your choice of anesthesia.