Abortion Services

Abortion Procedure (under 16 weeks)

Where there's Choice, there's Hope.

An abortion procedure also known as “surgical abortion” or “in-clinic abortion” is a simple, safe, and short procedure that involves a pelvic exam, dilation of the cervix, and removal of the pregnancy tissue through vacuum aspiration. Under 16 weeks of pregnancy, cervical dilation can be successfully completed in just one visit to the clinic.

Over 16 weeks of pregnancy, cervical dilation can take multiple days. We offer in-clinic abortion procedures up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. For information about abortion services at 16 weeks or greater, please click here.

Please review appointment instructions prior to your appointment. If you have questions, please call us at 618-451-5722 or text us at 618-248-8048.

What To Expect

The following information is intended to help you decide if an abortion procedure is right for you, and answer some frequently asked questions. A staff member will review this information in more detail with you at the time of your appointment.

Abortion procedures are done at the Hope Clinic through 15 weeks and 6 days are completed in one day. The procedure consists of dilation of the cervix followed by removal of the pregnancy with suction alone (dilation and curettage – D&C) or in combination with the use of other special instruments (dilation and evacuation – D&E). It is successful 99% of the time and is extremely safe, with a low complication rate.

Pain medicine in the form of pills, injections of numbing medication in the cervix, and intravenous (IV) sedation (moderate or “twilight” sedation) are available and included in your fee. In order to receive IV sedation, it is required that you have someone who can drive to accompany you to the clinic. IV sedation is required for procedures starting at 14 weeks and above.

If you are 11 weeks or under and trying to decide between a medication abortion and an in-clinic abortion procedure, here is more information about the differences and similarities to help you decide.

Helpful Information

  • Please review Appointment Instructions prior to your appointment
  • Information about Rhogam for people with a negative blood type can be found here.
  • If you will measure above 13 weeks of pregnancy and have given birth via c-section, please see “C-Section Information” below.
  • One-Day Aftercare Instructions

A licensed health care provider will complete a pelvic exam prior to your procedure to visualize your cervix.  The provider will then dilate your cervix and remove the pregnancy with a vacuum aspiration procedure, which applies a suction to the inside of your uterus, removing the contents.

Procedures typically last between 5-15 minutes, depending on how far you are in the pregnancy and your body. Many procedures are completed in as little as 5 minutes.

After your procedure is over, we will take you to recovery where we will closely monitor you for 30 minutes to 1 hour. We will check your vital signs, bleeding, give you a snack, heating pad, and go over aftercare information with you in detail.

Pain and cramping varies from person to person and can range from mild to severe. In order to reduce your discomfort, we offer pain medications including oral NSAIDs, cervical numbing, and moderate sedation. Deep breathing is something many of our patients find helpful in addition to the medications.

Moderate IV sedation is offered to all patients who have a driver in order to help reduce pain and cramping during the procedure. This medication works to reduce anxiety and pain. You may feel a little sleepy, relaxed, dizzy, experience nausea, and you may not remember some or all of the procedure (amnesia) if you receive this medication.  If you receive this medication, it is important that you do NOT drive for 24 hours after your procedure.

At this point in time, general anesthesia (being put completely under for the procedure) is unavailable at Hope Clinic.

Your abortion appointment consists of the following:

  • Ultrasound
  • Lab work
  • Individual Patient Education
  • Preventative Antibiotic
  • Pain Medication
  • Other medications as indicated
  • Abortion Procedure
  • Recovery Period (typically 30 minutes to 1 hour)

A staff member will review detailed information for what to expect after an abortion at the time of your visit, including what is normal and what is not normal after an abortion.

With an in-clinic abortion procedure, most people are able to return to regular activities within 1-2 days. Vaginal bleeding and cramping are expected after a procedure. See One-Day Aftercare Instructions for more information.

If you are more than 13 weeks pregnant and have previously had a C-section, you may need a diagnostic ultrasound to determine the positioning of the placenta and assess for the risk of a condition called "placenta previa". Call us for detailed instructions.

Research has proven over and over that first-trimester abortion is extremely safe. An uncomplicated abortion carries no long-term risk of infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or birth defects. There is no association between abortion and breast cancer. When facing an unplanned pregnancy, there are no greater mental health issues in those who choose abortion than in those who carry the pregnancy to term.

Risks associated with abortion procedures are similar to the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth, though complications occur much less frequently with abortion than they do with a full-term pregnancy and birth.  

These risks include:

  • Hemorrhage (too much bleeding)
  • Infection
  • Failed or incomplete abortion
  • Perforation or laceration

Risk of hemorrhage, infection, incomplete or failed abortion, and perforation/laceration occur in less than 1% of our patients (under 14 weeks) with risks for serious infection occurring even less frequently. These risks occur slightly more frequently, in less than 2% of our patients, for procedures greater than 14 weeks, but are still very rare. Risks associated with abortion are possible, but they are not probable or likely to occur.

Perforation/laceration, a tear or puncture in the uterus or cervix, occurs most frequently with sudden movement during the procedure. It is crucial you remain still during the procedure for this reason. Moderate sedation works to keep you as comfortable and safe as possible.

Serious infection, hemorrhage, and perforation/laceration can have serious negative health impacts if left untreated. For this reason, Hope Clinic provides all of our patients with access to a 24-hour emergency line for concerns, as well as detailed guidelines for reasons to call us or seek immediate medical attention.

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