The Aspiration Procedure is the most safe, simple, and natural way to end early pregnancy. Unfortunately, most women have never heard of it. This gentle non surgical procedure is completed in less than 5 minutes in a private examination room. There is immediate recovery. Other names for the Aspiration Procedure are: Manual Vacuum Aspiration, “mini-vac,” and Menstrual Extraction. The Aspiration Procedure was developed in the 1970′s.
What is it? The Aspiration Procedure is handheld device that applies gentle pressure to “bring down” the early pregnancy tissue. The doctor inserts a speculum (like a pap smear). She numbs the cervix with lidocaine. She inserts a thin cannula (like a straw) through the natural opening of the cervix. She attaches the Aspiration device which provides gentle suction. The menstrual lining and early pregnancy tissue naturally detaches from the uterine wall, and into the device. The uterus contracts in response to the procedure, so there is some natural healthy period-like cramping that resolves within a few minutes. There are no major complications because there is no scraping, no electric suction, and no general anesthesia. Within 10 minutes of starting the procedure, you feel completely better and are able to resume your normal activities.
Ideally, this procedure should be offered in a private, discreet doctor’s office. You should have a scheduled, one hour appointment. You should be able to eat and drink normally before and after your visit. You should be in a dedicated examination room. You should be able to bring a companion to be with you the entire visit. You should be able to meet with your doctor and discuss your options.
Sound too easy? Perhaps that’s the issue. This simple procedure has the potential to take all of the punishment and politics out of ending early pregnancy.
Where do you get it? The Aspiration Procedure is endorsed by the World Health Organization as the safest early abortion method, yet it is extremely difficult to find a doctor who offers it. If you can get to New York City to an Early Options® medical office it is certainly worth your trip. At Early Options® you are guaranteed to have a woman doctor, a scheduled appointment, a private examination room, and your companion is welcome to stay with you the entire visit. There are a few other family doctors that offer the Aspiration Procedure in the United States (http://www.earlyabortion.com).
Beware of large abortion clinics that say they offer the Aspiration Procedure. Make sure to ask:
- Does the doctor scrape the uterus? (they should not).
- Is the procedure offered in a private examination room? (it should not be in an operating room)
- Am I taken to a recovery area? (this should not be necessary)
- Do I have an individual appointment or are other women scheduled at the same time?
- Can I eat and drink before my visit? (you should be able to)
- Can my companion accompany me for the entire visit? (they should be able to)
- How long will I be in the clinic? (should be less than 2 hours).
The Aspiration Procedure has the potential to transform early abortion into mainstream medical care. Doctors could learn to provide these services as part of their residency training. Women could access early abortion services at their family doctor’s or gynecologist’s office. Women and doctors who access or provide abortion services could no longer be targeted. More women need to know and advocate for the development of this procedure.