Also known as: in-clinic, suction-aspiration, first trimester surgical abortion, or vacuum-aspiration abortions

Gestational Age: 6 to 12 weeks

Typical Cost of First Trimester Surgical Abortion in Illinois: $450-$750

What Happens During A Surgical Abortion?

Before having a first trimester surgical abortion, you’ll want to schedule a pre-abortion evaluation. At your evaluation, your nurse will confirm the pregnancy and look for any possible risks to your reproductive health. They will also provide testing and treatment for common STIs to protect against PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) during your procedure and answer any questions you have. My Future Approved clinics provide pre-abortion evaluations at no cost. Contact us today to find a clinic near you

Before the procedure, a doctor  or nurse may give you medication to begin dilating your cervix, or they may use small expanding rods called laminaria to slowly open the cervix. This process can take anywhere from a few hours up to a day.

At the beginning of the procedure, the doctor or nurse may give you pain medication to help ease any discomfort. In some cases, sedation may also be provided at an additional cost. 

During the procedure:

  • The patient lies on their back with their feet in stirrups, and a speculum (a tool that helps doctors see inside the vagina better) is inserted into the vagina.

  • A local anesthetic (pain medication) and/or sedation may be used if requested.

  • If laminaria have not already been inserted, tapered metal rods (candle-stick shaped) are inserted to open the cervix. 

  • Once the cervix is open, a hollow tube connected to a suction device is inserted through the cervix into the uterus to suction out the fetus and placenta.

  • The procedure usually lasts around 10 minutes, but recovery in the clinic may take a few hours.1

The surgical abortion procedure usually requires only one office visit. Vacuum or suction-aspiration is about 99% effective.

What to expect after a surgical abortion?

After a surgical abortion, patients can expect to feel mild to severe cramping. Normal activities can usually be resumed within 24 hours, or after that when the patient feels comfortable. To prevent post-operation complications, it’s  important to follow all after-abortion care instructions provided by the doctor. Some patients may experience abnormally heavy bleeding, fever, or emotional turmoil. In these cases, it’s important to contact a health care provider or visit the ER.




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  1. National Abortion Federation. (n.d.). Abortion Facts. Retrieved from