Essay by sparkybear24College, UndergraduateA+, May 2003

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The safest method for an early surgical abortion is a procedure called vacuum aspiration. Gently suctioning the lining of the uterus and removing all of the tissue of the pregnancy is the procedure to an early termination.

Before the abortion, you will be asked to fill a medical history form and other paperwork. A social worker will spend time with you to inform you about the procedure, answer any questions you might have, and obtain a written consent. A number of tests will be done including a blood test that will determine if you are anemic. Two 400mg of ibuprofen and a pill that helps you calm down will be given to you 30 minutes to an hour prior to the procedure.

A medical provider will go over your medical history and will examine your heart and abdomen a little later. An ultrasound will be conducted prior to performing the procedure.

The ultrasound determines the age of the fetus and this will detect whether the abortion can be performed in the clinic. It will also depend on your medical history, your physical exam, and the results of the laboratory tests.

A medical assistant will be present while the doctor performs the abortion. The doctor will place a local anesthetic (numbing medicine) in the cervix in order for procedure to be more comfortable. The next step is using series of narrow instruments called dilators to gradually stretch the cervix. Each dilator is placed a little larger than the other. Once the cervix is open wide enough, a small plastic tube in inserted into the uterus and is connected to a suction machine or syringe to obtain a vacuum. In order to remove all of the tissue, the tube is moved along the inside of the uterus for 2-3 minutes gently...