Non-Surgical Abortion Procedure:
Non-surgical abortion procedures (sometimes called "medical abortions") offer women an alternative to a surgical abortion
early in her pregnancy. Non-surgical abortions work by taking medications, rather than undergoing surgery.
However, non-surgical abortion procedures are not for everyone because they tend to have more bleeding, and they are
slightly less effective than surgical abortions after six weeks gestation. They also cannot be used by women who are
beyond nine weeks gestation. Nevertheless, the advantages of non-surgical abortion procedures are that they avoid
the need for surgery, avoid the risks of surgery and anesthesia, and are therefore considered to be "safer"
than surgical abortions. Additionally, they are also considered to be more "natural" by some women. Instead of
having a doctor perform an abortion upon her, the woman simply swallows some medication. These medications stop
the pregnancy and induce bleeding.
We offer a non-surgical abortion utilizing Methotrexate/Misoprostol
This method consists of two sets of medications that will be taken separately to chemically induce a miscarriage. The
first medication, Methotrexate, is given either orally or by injection. The second medication (Misoprostol) will be
provided to you at your appointment to take home.
The Misoprostol is used at home five days after the Methotrexate. You will be instructed to take the Misoprostol
in the form of vaginal suppositories, placed high in the vagina near the cervix, at bedtime 5 days after the
Methotrexate. Several hours after inserting them, you will begin to experience menstrual-like cramping and
bleeding. The pregnancy tissue is typically passed at home within 24 to 48 hours after insertion. You will not
see the embryo, but you may pass clots. Bleeding and cramping normally continue for at least several days as
the uterus empties. You must return to the office for your follow-up appointment three weeks (21 days) after
your initial appointment to make sure that the procedure was successful and you are healing well.
More than 95% of the patients less seven weeks gestation who choose this procedure eventually experience complete
emptying of the uterus. Success rates start to fall as the pregnancy progresses and we do not offer this procedure
after nine weeks. In the event the non-surgical procedure fails, you will be seen at your follow up visit in
our office and we will provide ongoing care to you at no charge.
This method has an important advantage in that it is the only abortion method that can treat an ectopic pregnancy. A
surgical abortion procedure cannot treat ectopic pregnancies. Indeed, this method was initially developed as a
method of treating ectopic pregnancies non-surgically and thereby avoiding invasive surgery.
Surgical Abortion Procedures:
A surgical abortion is usually 99% effective (after six weeks) and is completed within a single office visit. This
procedure has two types of anesthesia levels, local anesthetic and twilight sleep. The local anesthetic numbs your
cervix, but not your uterus. This allows you to be completely awake and aware of your procedure. You will probably
experience some pain with the local procedure, but this usually lasts only about 10 minutes. The twilight sleep
anesthesia assists you through the procedure by blocking pain and putting you into a "twilight state" that
is sometimes called "conscious sedation" or "the twilight zone" or "half awake/half asleep" or "a borderline state
between asleep/awake". The twilight sleep anesthesia may also block your memory and your recall of
the procedure. Many women who get the twilight sleep do not remember anything about the surgical abortion procedure.
Regardless of the type of anesthesia you select, the physician will complete an initial examination, and then prepare
for the procedure. The physician will then administer local anesthetic medication into your cervix, and proceed
with the surgical abortion procedure. Afterward, you will be taken to the recovery area, where you will be cared
for by our staff until you are ready to be discharged.
You will return to the office for your follow-up appointment in two weeks (14 days) after your initial appointment
to make sure that you are healing well.