Vacuum aspiration is a surgical abortion method performed on pregnancies of up to 14 weeks (or 15 weeks if a sedative or general anaesthetic is used).
Vacuum aspiration uses gentle suction to remove the pregnancy and takes about 5-10 minutes from start to finish. Afterwards, you need to rest in a recovery area for about 30-60 minutes.
You are asked to lie on a treatment couch with support for your legs. A healthcare professional stays with you to provide support and comfort and monitors you throughout.
The doctor examines your uterus (womb) and a speculum is inserted into your vagina. The doctor injects a numbing medication (local anaesthetic) into or near your cervix (neck of the womb). The doctor will open the cervix using thin rods called dilators (if needed). A tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. A hand-held suction device or suction machine gently empties your uterus. You will feel cramping, similar to period pains, during the procedure.
Vacuum aspiration can be performed with just a local anaesthetic, or gentle sedation, or a general anesthetic.