How Long Does a Surgical Abortion Last?

How Long Does a Surgical Abortion Last?

You probably never expected to be researching something like surgical abortion. But here you are. Maybe your unplanned pregnancy has hit your life like a hurricane. You hadn’t prepared, hadn’t put up the storm shutters, and don’t feel like you have the energy or desire to do so. 

Perhaps you are curious about a surgical abortion, and what it would look like for you.

How Long Are Surgical Abortions?

Each type of surgical abortion has different time lengths, and times may vary by healthcare provider and patient. If there is a complication, the procedure might take longer. These times also do not include the pre-abortion appointments and postoperative healing. 

In general, these are the time lengths for each type:

Aspiration Abortion

This type of abortion is usually performed in the first trimester, when the cervix is mechanically dilated and the pregnancy is removed with a suction device. This type of abortion usually takes around 15 minutes.

Dilation and Curettage

This procedure also mechanically dilates the cervix and uses either a sharp object or suction cup to remove the pregnancy. This abortion takes about 10 minutes, but also requires sitting in a recovery room for a few hours before going home. 

Dilation and Evacuation

Forceps or other instruments are used to remove the pregnancy from your womb. This procedure usually takes between 15-30 minutes. You will need to wait at the doctor’s office for thirty minutes afterwards to make sure there is not heavy bleeding or hemorrhaging. 

What Are the Risks of Surgical Abortion?

Maybe you just want life to “go back to the way it was before.”

But if you are hoping a quick surgical procedure will undo your pregnancy, the reality is that it won’t. Your pregnancy can never be undone. It will always be part of your story. And sometimes a surgical abortion can actually make this season of your life even harder.

Physically, your body may experience:

  • Injury to the uterine lining or cervix.
  • A hole in the wall of the uterus (uterine perforation). This is rare.
  • Infection. Bacteria can enter the uterus during the procedure and cause an infection.
  • Moderate to severe bleeding (hemorrhage), which is sometimes caused by:
    • Injury to the uterine lining or cervix.
    • Perforation of the uterus.
    • The uterus not contracting (atony).
    • Uterine rupture. In rare cases, a uterine incision scar tears open when a medicine is used to induce contractions.
    • Tissue remaining in the uterus (retained products of conception).

And you may also experience some mental and emotional side effects. According to Cambridge University, women who had an abortion are 81 percent more likely to have a mental health crisis than those who don’t. 

Another study published by the National Library of Medicine reported that “Depression, worrying about not being able to conceive again and abnormal eating behaviors were reported as dominant psychological consequences of abortion among the respondents. Decreased self-esteem, nightmare, guilt, and regret with 43.7%, 39.5%, 37.5%, and 33.3% prevalence rates have been placed in the lower status, respectively.”

What Should You Do Before a Surgical Abortion?

Before you schedule an abortion, the first thing you should do is get an ultrasound. This will confirm how far along you are in your pregnancy. Your gestational age may affect what options are available to you.

You should also research your alternatives to make sure you are making the best decision for your future. You do not want to look back and regret not asking more questions that would have led to a different outcome. 

At our center, we offer no-cost ultrasounds and information about all your options. Call us today to schedule a confidential consultation.