In vacuum aspiration, a doctor uses gentle suction to remove the contents of the uterus. There are two methods of vacuum (or suction) aspiration.
Manual vacuum aspiration involves the use of a specially designed syringe to apply suction. A thin tube is passed into the uterus. Then a valve is released that creates suction to remove the tissue.
Electric vacuum aspiration involves the use of a thin tube that is attached to a pump. The tube is passed into the uterus. Then suction is used to remove the tissue.
What To Expect
Vacuum aspiration is a minor medical procedure. A normal recovery includes:
- Irregular bleeding or spotting for the first 2 weeks. Use sanitary pads until you stop bleeding. Using pads makes it easier to monitor your bleeding.
- Cramps similar to menstrual cramps. They help to shrink the uterus back to its nonpregnant size. You may have cramping for up to a few weeks.
After the procedure:
Why It Is Done
Vacuum aspiration can be done in the first trimester to end a pregnancy. It may also be done to empty the uterus after:
- A failed or incomplete pill abortion.
- Death of the embryo or fetus (miscarriage).
How Well It Works
Vacuum aspiration is a common type of in-clinic abortion. It is usually effective. In rare cases, the procedure doesn't end a pregnancy. This is more likely to happen during the earliest weeks of pregnancy.
Vacuum aspiration rarely causes any problems. Possible problems include:
- Tissue remaining in the uterus.
- Failure to end the pregnancy (when it's used for abortion).
- Injury to the cervix.
- A hole in the wall of the uterus (uterine perforation).
- Heavy vaginal bleeding.
Current as of:
August 2, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Rebecca H. Allen MD, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: August 2, 2022
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Rebecca H. Allen MD, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology & Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine