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How Long Does A Surgical Abortion Last?

If you’re considering a surgical abortion, you may be wondering how long it lasts. Depending on the type of surgical procedure you receive, it can take 10 minutes or longer, not including the prep time and recovery time afterward. Every procedure is unique in the time it takes, as it’s dependent on the woman’s body.

What is a Surgical Abortion?

Surgical abortion is a type of abortion that works to terminate an existing pregnancy. A surgical abortion involves anesthesia and different surgical tools to remove the uterine content. There are two types of surgical abortions: aspiration abortion and dilation & curettage abortion. 

How Long Does A Surgical Abortion Last?

The time it takes to have a surgical abortion depends on what type of procedure you undergo and how your body reacts to it. 

An aspiration abortion normally takes less than 15 minutes. This type of surgical abortion is performed for women in their first trimester (12 weeks pregnant or less).  A D&C abortion normally takes up to 10 minutes or longer and is typically done after the first trimester.

With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, it’s important to stay updated about your state’s abortion laws. Currently, in Illinois, an abortion may be performed at or after viability (ability of the fetus to survive outside the womb) only if the patient’s life or health is endangered.

Possible Risks of Surgical Abortion

With this major medical procedure, there are potential risks involved. According to MedlinePlus, possible surgical abortion risks include…

  • Damage to the uterus or cervix
  • Uterine perforation 
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection of the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Scarring of the inside of the uterus
  • Reaction to the medicines or anesthesia, such as problems breathing
  • Not removing all of the tissue, requiring another procedure

Confirm You’re Pregnant

Get pre-abortion screening today with a lab-quality pregnancy test and limited medical ultrasound. Receive an ultrasound to learn how far along you are, your viability, and the location of your pregnancy. Find out about your early pregnancy risks, such as miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy located outside of the uterus). All of this information is helpful to find out before moving forward with a surgical abortion.

Schedule your free and confidential appointment today.

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

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.

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