Planned Parenthood

Illinois

In-Clinic Abortion

To schedule an appointment for an in-clinic abortion at one of our Chicago area health centers call 866.222.3248.

In-Clinic Abortion Procedures at a Glance

  • In-clinic abortions can be done with your choice of local anesthesia (awake during the procedure but the area is numbed) or sedation (asleep during the procedure). There is an additional charge for sedation.

  • The procedure takes approximately 10 minutes. After the procedure the patient must spend one hour under the supervision of one of our health care professionals. A nurse will monitor your recovery, including blood pressure and heart rate.

  • Patients will be given post-abortion self-care, medications and a birth control method at the end of an appointment. Any complications experienced after an abortion procedure must be reported to PPIL immediately. For your convenience, PPIL is available by phone 24 hours a day.

  • A follow-up appointment is required 2–3 weeks after an abortion. The appointment will consist of a pelvic exam or ultrasound, birth control consultation and breast exam/Pat test upon request.

What Are the Kinds of In-Clinic Abortion?

There is more than one kind of in-clinic abortion procedure. The most common is called aspiration. It is also known as vacuum aspiration. Aspiration is usually used up to 16 weeks after a woman's last period.

D&E—dilation and evacuation—is another kind of in-clinic abortion. D&E is usually performed later than 16 weeks after a woman's last period.

How Effective Are In-Clinic Abortion Procedures?

You can feel confident in knowing that these abortion methods are very effective. They work almost every time they are done. You'll follow up with your health care provider after your abortion so you can be sure that it worked and that you are well.

What Happens During an In-Clinic Abortion?

It's common for women to be nervous about having an abortion—or any other medical procedure. But most of us feel better if we know what to expect. Your health care provider will talk with you and answer your questions. But here's a general idea of how it works and what to expect.

Before the abortion procedure, you will need to:

  • discuss your options
  • talk about your medical history
  • have laboratory tests
  • have a physical exam—which may include an ultrasound
  • read and sign papers

ASPIRATION ABORTION—THE MOST COMMON KIND OF IN-CLINIC ABORTION

During an aspiration abortion

  • Your health care provider will examine your uterus.

  • You will get medicine for pain. You may be offered sedation—a medicine that allows you to be awake but deeply relaxed.

  • A speculum will be inserted into your vagina.

  • Your health care provider may inject a numbing medication into or near your cervix.

  • The opening of your cervix may be stretched with dilators—a series of increasingly thick rods. Or you may have absorbent dilators inserted a day or a few hours before the procedure. They will absorb fluid and get bigger. This slowly stretches open your cervix. Medication may also be used with or without the dilators to help open your cervix.

  • You will be given antibiotics to prevent infection.

  • A tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus.

  • Either a hand-held suction device or a suction machine gently empties your uterus.

  • Sometimes, an instrument called a curette is used to remove any remaining tissue that lines the uterus. It may also be used to check that the uterus is empty. When a curette is used, people often call the abortion a D&C—dilation and curettage.

An aspiration procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes. But more time may be needed to prepare your cervix. Time is also needed for talking with your provider about the procedure, a physical exam, reading and signing forms, and a recovery period of about one hour.

D&E—DILATION AND EVACUATION

During a D&E

  • Your health care provider will examine you and check your uterus.

  • You will get medication for pain. You may be offered sedation or IV medication to make you more comfortable.

  • A speculum will be inserted into your vagina.

  • Your cervix will be prepared for the procedure. You may be given medication or have absorbent dilators inserted a day or a few hours before the procedure. They will absorb fluid and grow bigger. This slowly stretches open your cervix.

  • You will be given antibiotics to prevent infection.

  • In later second-trimester procedures, you may also need a shot through your abdomen to make sure there is fetal demise before the procedure begins.

  • Your health care provider will inject a numbing medication into or near your cervix.

  • Medical instruments and a suction machine gently empty your uterus.

A D&E usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes. But more time is needed to prepare your cervix. Time is also needed for talking with your provider about the procedure, a physical exam, reading and signing forms, and a recovery period of about one hour.

How Do In-Clinic Abortions Feel?

You may have concerns about how an abortion will feel. Most women feel pain similar to menstrual cramps with both of these abortion methods. For others, it is more uncomfortable.

Your health care provider will help to make it as comfortable as possible. You will be given pain medication. Local numbing medicines are usually used. Some clinics offer sedation. Rarely, general anesthesia may be offered for certain procedures. It allows a woman to sleep through the procedure—but it increases the medical risks and how long you must remain at the clinic.

You may have cramps after an abortion. You will probably want to relax for the rest of the day.


BLEEDING AFTER IN-CLINIC ABORTION PROCEDURES

You may have some bleeding after your abortion. This is normal. You may pass a few clots about the size of a quarter. It's normal to have

  • spotting that lasts up to 6 weeks
  • heavy bleeding for a few days
  • bleeding that stops and starts again

It's ok to use pads or tampons, but using pads makes it easier to keep track of your bleeding.

It's also normal to have no bleeding after an abortion.

If you are concerned about your bleeding after an abortion, call Planned Parenthood of Illinois at 866.222.3248.

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In-Clinic Abortion