Vacuum aspiration uses gentle suction to remove the pregnancy and takes about 5-10 minutes from start to finish. This treatment can usually be done up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. You will be asleep and will not feel any pain during the procedure.
When you arrive, a healthcare professional will talk with you and answer your questions. You will be asked to change into a gown and to lie down on a trolley. Your anaesthetist will meet you, answer your questions and take you into theatre. A small cannula (a very fine plastic tube) will be placed in a vein, normally on your hand. Medication will be given through the cannula to put you to sleep (general anaesthetic) or make you drowsy (conscious sedation).
Once you are asleep or sedated, your legs will be placed in supports and the doctor will examine your uterus (womb). A speculum will be inserted into your vagina. The opening of your cervix (neck of womb) may be stretched with thin rods called dilators. A tube is then inserted through the cervix into the uterus. Either a hand-held suction device or a suction machine gently empties your uterus.
You will wake up in the recovery area and will be observed for about 1-2 hours before going home.
You can read more about your anaesthetic here. You should not drive for 24 hours after a general anaesthetic.
Risks and complications