Schedule Today

“What Can I Expect to Happen During a Surgical Abortion?”

An unexpected pregnancy can leave you with a lot of choices to make, and you may have heard that a surgical abortion is one of your options. Understandably, you may feel pressured to make a decision right away, but it’s important to take the time to gather more information. While this pregnancy may not have been in your plan, seeking the answers to any questions you may have about surgical abortion procedures will help you to have more confidence in your choice.

Avenue Women’s Center understands that every woman’s situation is unique, and our pregnancy consultants are here to serve you. We offer nonjudgmental and compassionate care as we listen and work to provide you with all of the information you need. Our services are completely confidential and are available at no cost to you. Please feel free to reach out to one of our six Chicagoland locations today.

“What does a surgical abortion look like?”

How far along you are will determine the type of surgical abortion procedure you will undergo. Surgical abortion typically requires the use of medical instruments to remove pregnancy material from the uterus. No matter the process, it is the responsibility of your health care provider to inform you of any potential risks.

Performed during the first trimester, the suction curettage method is one of the most common procedures. The vagina is widened with a speculum, and the provider will then insert a long slender tube known as the cannula to empty the uterus. The suction curettage may then be used to scrape out any remaining contents.

Second trimester surgical abortions often involve the dilation and evacuation (D & E) method. Forceps are used to remove the contents of the uterus, and dilation is required to prevent damage to the cervix. Similar to the suction curettage method, the D & E abortion also involves the curettage scraping of the uterus to empty it out.

Physical side-effects of abortion may vary, and some women have reported experiencing cramping and a little spotting. While serious complications are rare, side-effects may include infection, uterus perforation, and cervical damage. If serious symptoms arise, consult your doctor to see if you require medical attention.

“Are there emotional risks?”

Some women have reported feelings of long-term stress or anxiety after their abortion, and each woman’s individual experience may differ based on their circumstances and belief systems. Although every woman reacts differently, there is the possibility of emotional effects such as feelings of anger, depression, regret, sadness, or other reactions. Thinking through potential aftereffects is important when making an abortion decision, and acquainting yourself with different abortion methods will help you decide upon the best option for yourself.

Deciding what choice is right for you is not always easy, but the Avenue Women’s Center is prepared to help.Our client advocates will offer you caring support and ensure you receive help from a nonjudgmental environment. Find out more information regarding what to expect from a surgical abortion by making an appointment for a free pregnancy options consultation. Reach out to any of our six DuPage County locations for confidential assistance.


  • Mayo Clinic. (2016, October). Dilation and Curettage. Retrieved from:
  • American Pregnancy Association. (2016, September). Possible Physical Side Effects after Abortion. Retrieved from:
  • WebMD. (2005 December). Abortion Impact: Long-Term Stress? Retrieved from:

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.