In the last blog we talked about the costs related to a chemical (or medical) abortion. In this one, I’ll address surgical abortion.

What causes some women to choose a surgical abortion over a medical one? Many women who find themselves greater than 9 weeks pregnant know that the effectiveness and safety of a medical abortion decreases after that time. A surgical abortion is the only safe option at that point.

Surgical abortion up to 12 weeks is called aspiration abortion, or vacuum aspiration, because the process involves suction to remove the products of conception.

Before we discuss the actual costs of a surgical abortion, let’s cover the details.

It normally takes one visit to an abortion clinic that lasts usually 3-4 hours. The abortion itself takes only about 5 minutes.

The doctor or medical personnel will examine your uterus, putting a medical device called a speculum in to see into your vagina. A clinician will provide one of two levels of pain control. A local anesthetic will numb the cervix only. A “twilight” procedure involves the numbing of the cervix as well as muscle relaxer and pain reliever through an IV to help you relax during the procedure. The cost of these varies dramatically.

The medical professional will inject the numbing medication into or near your cervix. Then he will stretch the opening of your cervix with a series of dilating rods, if they weren’t inserted earlier. A thin tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus, and a suction device or machine will suck the products of conception out of your uterus. The medical professional may also use a tool called a curette to remove any remaining tissue.

Women experience cramping that’s from mild to very strong during the actual abortion. Sometimes pain medication can be prescribed to help afterwards.

Bleeding after abortion is normally light to moderate for up to 6-8 weeks.

At 10 weeks, the cost averages $320-$500. At 16 weeks, the cost is about $500-$700. Later in the pregnancy, cost goes up to $1000-$2000.

Vacuum aspiration abortion is limited to abortions prior to 16 weeks. If you are further along than that, the process is called D&E, or dilation and evacuation. We will discuss that next time.

Remember, if you have any questions about abortion, or want to talk through any feelings or thoughts, feel free to reach us at 336-629-9988.