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Surgical abortion

An abortion procedure using a gentle suction method

Surgical abortion is a safe and simple procedure used to end a pregnancy.

The pregnancy is removed vaginally by an experienced doctor using a gentle suction method.

We offer surgical abortions up to 23 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy. The type of surgical abortion procedure we offer you will depend on how many weeks you have been pregnant and your medical history.

Ask your GP about surgical abortion.

Or call us any time to discuss your options with one of our nurses

0345 300 8090

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What is surgical abortion?

A surgical abortion involves the pregnancy being removed through the vagina using gentle suction.

We offer surgical abortion as a day treatment in our clinics. The procedure for a surgical abortion can differ depending on your gestation (how many weeks pregnant you are), and so the amount of time you will spend in the clinic will be different too.

We can offer the procedure with or without an anaesthetic. We’ll discuss your choice with you at your consultation, and talk to you about pain relief we can give to make things more comfortable.

What to expect on the day

When you arrive at one of our clinics, you'll have a consultation (if you've not already had a phone consultation) and medical assessment with one of our specialist nurses.

They’ll talk you through the procedure and answer any questions you have.

Before 12 weeks of pregnancy

If you’re under 12 weeks of pregnancy, a gentle suction method will be used to remove the pregnancy from the womb through the vagina. This is quick and simple, and takes about 5 - 10 minutes. A general anaesthetic is not always necessary before 10 weeks of pregnancy.

After 12 weeks of pregnancy

We’ll give you some medication to prepare and dilate (gently open) your cervix. This can take between 3 - 6 hours depending on how many weeks you have been pregnant. You will wait in the clinic during this time.

A gentle suction method is used to remove the pregnancy through the vagina. Slender specialised instruments may also be used. Depending on your gestation, you'll be offered sedation or a general anaesthetic. The procedure will take up to 20 minutes, and you will be in our clinic for half a day to a full day in total.

Recovery

After your treatment, you'll spend some time in our recovery lounge having some light refreshments until you’re ready to go home. Most women will experience some bleeding and cramping afterwards. Bleeding can last for 1-2 weeks and will be similar to a heavy period. Cramping pains are also normal following the procedure, as the womb returns to its normal size. We will advise you about appropriate pain relief to take, and when to seek further advice if necessary.

Find out more

Looking for more information about surgical abortion?

You’ll find answers to the questions people ask most about surgical abortion here. If you can’t find out the information you need, please call us on 0345 300 8090.

Farah's story

I had to share my experience so other ladies out there don't feel the pressures of the stigma attached to abortions

Charlie's story

"I was devastated, and shocked, seeing those two blue lines was a metaphorical slap round the face."

Feli's story

"If you decide to go through with an abortion, you will not feel alone at Marie Stopes."

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    Speak to someone today to learn more about your options.

    If you’re pregnant and want to discuss your options, get in touch with our friendly call centre staff for a confidential chat.