(Softouch FAQ)

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What is a SofTouch abortion?

SofTouch® is a 3-5 minute procedure specifically designed just for women seeking to terminate an early pregnancy, which is a pregnancy at 10 weeks or less. SofTouch® can also be used to treat an early miscarriage, or to treat an incomplete surgical abortion. This noninvasive method involves a small, hand-held device that quietly brings a natural release of your menstrual flow. The technical term for the SofTouch®method is Manual Vacuum Aspiration. In addition to the Abortion Pill, Manual Vacuum Aspiration is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the safest, non-surgical abortion option.

Will the procedure hurt?

There’s a reason this method is called SofTouch®. It’s a gentle, noninvasive procedure performed with a soft touch by our highly trained physicians. Many women describe mild or moderate cramps, like when you have your period. Occasionally a woman will have more intense cramping, but this only lasts for a minute or two. The temporary discomfort is also preferable to being put to sleep for a surgical abortion. Most women who have a surgical abortion, such as a D&C, feel pain for hours – even days – afterwards.After the procedure, you recover within 5-20 minutes and you do not have any of the major complications of anesthesia.
Sometimes it is helpful to understand that cramping of the uterus is normal and healthy, and an important part of recovery. The cramps should not be frightening. The uterus is a muscle and it contracts in response to the procedure. This is normal and good, since the contracting helps stop the bleeding.

How safe is it?

SofTouch® is the safest way to end early pregnancy. Routine abortions of any kind do not cause problems with future pregnancies. The rare complications of SofTouch® are minor and easily treated with antibiotics or a repeat procedure. Serious health risks are extremely rare and are usually related to the pregnancy, not the procedure.

How far into my pregnancy can I get the SofTouch Procedure?

The SofTouch® manual aspiration procedure is best completed between 5-10 weeks of pregnancy, which is calculated from the first day of your last period. It can be used to 12 weeks of pregnancy at the doctor’s discretion. If you are unsure of your pregnancy dates, you can schedule a consultation so that one of our physicians can perform an ultrasound and talk to you about your Early Options®.
It’s also helpful to understand that ending an early pregnancy is different. You have more options, which are safer and gentler on both mind and body. Prior to 10 weeks, your body is primarily preparing for a pregnancy. The pregnancy itself consists of a coin-sized fluid-filled sac, and tissue similar to menstrual tissue.

How long after the procedure until I can get back to normal activities?

While every woman is different, we find that many of our patients leave our office feeling ready to resume their normal activities. There are no restrictions on what you can or can’t do after the procedure.

Why don’t abortion clinics offer the SofTouch® manual aspiration procedure?

Unfortunately, it is very rare for abortion clinics, even private NYC abortion clinics, to offer the manual aspiration procedure. That’s because SofTouch® is a method specifically created by our Harvard-trained founder, Dr. Joan Fleischman, to terminate an early pregnancy. Most abortion clinics perform the same surgical abortion procedure whether you’re in week 4 or month 4 of your pregnancy, even though an invasive method is unnecessary for ending an early pregnancy. Instead, the SofTouch® method was designed by Dr. Fleischman to be the safest, most natural, early abortion procedure.

But some abortion clinics say they DO offer an aspiration procedure…I’m confused.

You’re right, many clinics do offer aspiration abortions. But it is highly unlikely they are providing the procedure in the safest way possible. If you’re asked not to eat or drink after midnight prior to your visit, this is a red flag that your procedure will be invasive. Aspiration, by definition, simply means suction. SofTouch® creates gentle suction using a small, hand-held device. It is a non-surgical procedure that’s completed in a regular exam room. However, most clinics create suction using a loud, electric vacuum and it’s recommended that you be put to sleep. Surgical procedures are performed in an operating room, and then a recovery room.

Who performs the SofTouch® procedure?

Our entire women-only team consists of compassionate, knowledgeable medical professionals. One of our board-certified physicians will perform the SofTouch®procedure after first meeting with you to review what to expect. Led by our Harvard-trained founder, Dr. Joan Fleischman, the entire team of Early Options® physicians has undergone extensive training in this gentle, noninvasive method and early abortion options in general.

How much does it cost

The cost of the SofTouch® procedure falls in the middle of the typical fees associated with terminating a pregnancy, it’s about $1200. When you select SofTouch®, you can feel confident knowing you’ll receive personalized care from our all-woman staff, and benefit from our Privacy in Practice philosophy. We’re also the only practice that welcomes a companion of your choice to be at your side during the procedure. These are priceless advantages that you won’t get at an abortion clinic. When you leave our office, you will feel confident in the medical care you received, and we will support you to feel at peace with your decision.