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Speculum Surgical Abortion



In Oklahoma, a surgical abortion cannot be performed if you are 20 weeks or more past the conception date, unless needed to avert death or serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. [1] There are two main types of surgical abortion. How far along you are in your pregnancy will determine which method of abortion is used and the cost of the abortion. An ultrasound is used to determine the baby's age.




A woman in the first trimester of her pregnancy can elect an aspiration abortion procedure. It is performed 5 to 12 weeks after the last menstrual period. [2]


The procedure starts by a speculum being inserted into the woman’s body to open the vagina. [3] A local anesthetic is injected into the cervix. Tubes of various sizes are then inserted into the cervix to stretch it.


Once the cervix is stretched, a tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus and connected to an electric or manual vacuum device. [4] The suction from the device pulls the baby’s body apart and sucks it, the placenta and uterine contents out of the uterus.


There are a variety of risks associated with aspiration abortion some of which are: [5]


·       Bleeding

·       Cramping

·       Nausea

·       Infection

·       Incomplete abortion requiring a second procedure

·       Allergic reaction to the medication

·       Damage to the cervix or uterus

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)


This procedure can be performed in Oklahoma up to 20 weeks of gestation during the second trimester of a woman’s pregnancy. [6] This procedure requires at least two trips to the doctor’s office or clinic because it is more medically invasive than an aspiration abortion.

During the first appointment, the cervix is dilated with tubes in a manner similar to an aspiration abortion. [7] A sponge-like material containing medication is placed in the cervix to help it dilate and soften it.

On the day of the surgery, the woman is given local anesthesia and sedation to help reduce the pain of the procedure. [8] The cervix is then stretched further open so forceps and suction curettage can be used to cut, pull, scrape, and suction the baby and placenta from the woman’s body. The doctor will account for the body parts of the baby (skull, spine, rib cage, and four limbs) to try to ensure no parts are left in the woman’s body.

There are a variety of risks associated with this type of procedure some of which are: [9]


·       Infection

·       Bleeding

·       Blurry Vision

·       Cramping

·       Damage to the cervix or uterine lining

·       Headaches

·       Infertility

·       Placenta Previa in future pregnancies

·       Premature births in future pregnancies


A woman may experience a wide range of emotions after an abortion. She may have positive or negative feelings right after the procedure. Feelings of grief, guilt, anxiety, anger, depression, sleep problems and suicidal thoughts are not uncommon. [10] Sometimes it takes several years for these feelings to occur. Compassion Women's Center is here to help women cope with any negative feelings after abortion. We offer post abortion support.

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Woman Sitting Alone After Surgery
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