Surgical Abortion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at Choices Women’s Medical Center are included on this page. Frequently Asked Questions are answered about Abortion in General, Medical Abortion or Abortion Pill, Pregnancy, and Choices in General on separate pages. Choices is woman-owned and operated with mainly women staff.
How is the surgery performed?
The surgery is a simple procedure performed by aspiration (suction). This procedure is referred to as a D&C (Dilation and Curretage) and takes about 2 to 5 minutes. If you are over 13 weeks pregnant, you will first have your uterus dilated with a sterile product made specifically for cervical dilation. You will return for the actual surgery on the second day. This procedure is referred to as D&E (Dilation and Extraction). The dilation procedure takes just a few minutes and you will be in the clinic for approximately 2 hours the day or days that you are dilated.
Is it a doctor who performs the surgery?
Yes. All of our doctors are licensed by the State of New York and specialize in pregnancy termination.
How effective is surgical abortion?
In most cases, surgical abortion is completely effective. A small percentage of cases will require reaspiration if unusual bleeding occurs or if there is retained tissue.
How will I feel after my surgical abortion?
Most patients experience some cramping. If the cramping is not relieved by over the counter medications such as Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil, we ask the patient to call our 24-hour emergency number. You may take a shower or tub bath after surgery. Do not douche, use tampons or have intercourse for two weeks. Avoid any products that contain aspirin as aspirin promotes bleeding.
Will it hurt?
If you have chosen general anesthesia you will be completely asleep during the surgery so you will not feel any pain. After the procedure you may experience cramping, which can range from mild to moderate. In most cases Extra Strength Tylenol, Aleve or Motrin will alleviate the cramping. If the cramping is not alleviated with these remedies, you should call us immediately.
How long will I be under general anesthesia?
You will be asleep for 5-10 minutes, depending if the procedure is performed in the first or second trimester.
I am afraid I won’t wake up after general anesthesia. Can that happen?
The anesthesia that we offer is safe, effective and short acting. You will be asleep from 5-10 minutes depending on the procedure. There is always some degree of risk with any surgery. Serious complications with general anesthesia are very rare at Choices. Most complications occur when a patient has ingested food or liquid within 8 hours of surgery. Tell your Counselor if you have had prior complications with anesthesia, you have any allergies to medicine, or if you have had anything to eat or drink within 8 hours prior to your surgery.
Can I return to work? Or Should I take off for a few days?
The majority of our patients return to work or school the following day. Your Social Worker and medical staff will explain the DO’s and DON’Ts after surgery.
Do I need to bring someone with me? Can I take the subway or bus home?
We ask that your partner or another trusted adult over the age of 18 to come with you for your appointment and accompany you home. What means of transportation is best will depend on how you are feeling.
How long will I bleed after surgery?
In most cases the patient experiences bleeding for 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery. However, some patients do not experience any bleeding, and other patients have spotting or bleeding off and on.
When will I have my next period?
Normally, your regular menstrual cycle will resume 4 to 8 weeks after the surgery.
What if I do not get my period soon after the abortion?
It is important that you return for your 2-week post-operative check up to monitor your recovery. If you do not have a period in 8 weeks, please call us.
Can I use tampons after my surgery?
You should not use tampons after surgery. Sanitary napkins should be used to decrease the possibility of infection and to monitor the amount you are bleeding.
Can I do aerobic exercise after surgery?
You should avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting (over 15 pounds) for two weeks after the procedure.
When can I have sex again after the surgery?
You should not have sex for two weeks after your procedure. When you return for your two-week checkup, the practitioner will advise if you can resume sexual intercourse. We recommend that you abstain from sexual activity for two weeks because following your procedure you are more susceptible to infection and new pregnancy.
Why can’t I eat before surgery?
When general anesthesia is administered, gag reflexes are temporarily suppressed. If food or liquid remain in the stomach, vomiting can occur resulting in asphyxiation.
Can I have someone come into the surgery or recovery room with me?
Your driver, friend or family member may not enter the surgery or recovery room with you, as we must protect the confidentiality of all of our patients. They can wait for you in the waiting room, or leave and come back to accompany you home after you are released
What happens to the fetus that was removed from me during the abortion?
The tissue is sent to a licensed and accredited Laboratory for analysis and is disposed of in accordance to the mandates of State law.