“Does abortion hurt?” It’s natural to wonder about what physical pain might be involved. Because every individual is different, this is a difficult question to answer definitively. The types and intensity of pain vary, based on whether it is a surgical or medication abortion, how far along the pregnancy has progressed, and the individual’s pain threshold or level of tolerance.
If you are near the western suburbs of Chicago and wondering, “does abortion hurt?,” we hope that you will contact us. We offer free consultations, and are here to help process your personal concerns and questions about abortion.
The following is provided as general information. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. When making decisions about your health, you should discuss your abortion risks, options, and questions with your personal medical team. If you are experiencing medical concerns, you should talk with your doctor or dial 911.
For surgical abortion, abortion clinics offer various types of anesthesia, depending on the procedure and the patient. Women may be awake or asleep for a first trimester surgical abortion.
If local anesthesia is chosen, the woman will remain awake and fully conscious during the procedure; she will see, hear, and feel throughout the process. Local anesthesia for an abortion is usually a numbing agent injected into the cervix. Some women report feeling pressure and mild discomfort, while others experience cramping that is strong and painful. Local anesthesia is less expensive than sedation options. With the local anesthesia, women may be able to go to an abortion clinic and drive home afterward without an escort. If, however, they take a muscle relaxer along with the pain medication, they will experience drowsiness and will not be able to drive themselves home. Local anesthesia is not recommended for women who are 12 weeks and over.
Moderate or “Twilight” sedation, administered intravenously, may help women feel relaxed and drowsy during the procedure. They also receive the numbing injection in and around their cervix. Again, because the medication affects individuals differently, some women feel only slightly drowsy while some feel very relaxed. The levels of pain vary with this anesthesia as well, from mild discomfort to intense cramping and pain.
Under general anesthesia, an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist administers the anesthesia by IV. Women are fully asleep, feeling nothing and having no awareness during the procedure. Along with drowsiness, many patients experience nausea after general anesthesia.
For a surgical abortion, most anesthesia requires that the patient have someone drive them home from the clinic after the procedure. Most abortion clinics make this is a requirement for a muscle relaxer or any IV sedation. Restrictions regarding eating and drinking before the procedure apply with IV anesthesia for surgical abortions as they do for any surgical procedure.
Whether surgical abortion hurts is an important question to get answered, but there are other considerations you will want to be aware of as well. If you are considering “should I get an abortion?” – or if you have any other questions, we invite you to contact us at Avenue Women’s Center. We’re here with five locations in the Chicagoland area – Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago and Wood Dale Illinois. For over 35 years, Avenue Women’s Center has been serving our community with support, care, and confidentiality. Please let us be there for you. Contact us now!
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.