Suction & Curettage Abortion of a 9 Week Fetus Illustrated. Credits at the end of the video. Images from Nucleus Communications, Inc. All text from Fair Use. Suction & Curettage Abortion of a 9 Week Fetus Illustrated. The Suction Aspiration abortion procedure, also known as Vacuum Aspiration, is the most commonly used between 7 and 15 weeks from the last period. A speculum is placed in the vagina, a tenaculum is clamped to the lip of the cervix and a cannula is inserted into the uterus. The amniotic fluid, placenta and fetus are suctioned through the cannula into a collection jar. The fetus and placenta are torn apart in the process. The uterine cavity is scraped with a curette to determine whether any significant amount of tissue remains. Blood, amniotic fluid, placental tissue and fetal parts are placed in a jar. The contents of the jar are then examined to assure that all fetal parts and an adequate amount of tissue commensurate with the estimated gestational age are present. What are the risks? Side effects are common and normal, and consist of abdominal cramping, pain, nausea, sweating, and feeling faint during the procedure, cramping and pain for 2 to 3 days following the procedure, as well as bleeding for up to 2 weeks. True complications occur in approximately 1 to 2% of vacuum aspirations. Allergic reactions to anesthesia or other medications given can occur. It is vitally important that you report any over-the-counter or prescription medications as well as illegal drugs so that the anesthetics can be adjusted accordingly. Bacterial infection can occur during the procedure when surgical tools enter the uterus, while symptoms won't occur for 2 to 3 days after the procedure. This happens most frequently when there is an underlying STD that is not diagnosed at the time of the abortion. Therefore, it is vitally important that you be tested for STDs prior to the abortion. Infection is the most common post-abortion complication. Hematometra, that is, a uterine blood clot, can occur if the uterus does not contract to expel all of the lining. There will be severe abdominal cramping and nausea if this occurs. Heavy bleeding can occur if the uterus fails to contract and may lead to a uterine blood clot, as mentioned above. Heavy bleeding may require medication, a repeat abortion, surgery, and or transfusion. A cut or torn cervix can occur when the doctor dilates the cervix, grabs the cervix with the tenaculum, or inserts the cannula into the uterus. This may lead to a weakened cervix making carrying a future child to term difficult. The uterus may be perforated during the abortion when the doctor rubs the cannula against the walls of the uterus, causing heavy abdominal bleeding and or infection. You may require surgery to repair the puncture, and rarely you may need a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding. Scarring of the uterus may occur, resulting in "Asherman's Syndrome." This scarring can occur as the doctor rubs the cannula against the walls of the uterus and can cause future fertility problems. An incomplete abortion, where the pregnancy has been terminated but the baby or other tissue does not get expelled, can occur in an additional 1% of cases, especially those done before 6 weeks, causing severe cramping and excessive bleeding that continues for over a week following the abortion. Emotional or psychological distress can occur after the abortion, including depression, guilt, regret, anger, and/or sleep disturbance. Suction Aspiration abortion, also called Vacuum Aspiration, is the most common abortion procedure in practice today. For the procedure to begin, the woman's cervix must be manually dilated with a series of rods to allow for the insertion of a hollow plastic tube with a sharp cutting-tip. This tube is connected to a suction machine that is able to pull the tiny embryo or fetus apart (killing him or her in the process). The remains are sucked out of the mother and deposited into a collection canister. The placenta must then be cut away from the inner wall of the woman's uterus before it, too, can be sucked into a collection bottle. Suction Aspiration Abortions are not generally performed before the 7th week or after the 15th.
Following conception the fertilized egg implants into the uterine lining (endometrium). The Suction Aspiration uses a straw-like instrument (cannula) that is attached with tubing to a machine that provides light suction. The cannual is inserted through the cervical opening. A light suction that last 15 seconds to 2 minutes empties the lining of the uterus where the pregnancy is implanted.