If you’re considering an abortion, you probably have a lot of questions. How do they work? Will I feel pain? The most common question doctors are asked is, “Are you awake during an abortion procedure?” This quick guide will answer those questions and more.
What Are the Types of Abortions?
It makes sense to understand your options before proceeding with any procedure. There are three types of abortions:
- Abortion pill: Given to women who are up to 10 weeks pregnant, the abortion pill is actually two medications – mifepristone and misoprostol. The first medicine (mifepristone) is taken at your doctor’s office. The second (misoprostol) is taken at home.
- D&C (dilation and curettage): Sometimes referred to as an early surgical abortion, this is often an option for up to 13 weeks of pregnancy. During this procedure, a curette, which is a type of scraping device, is used to remove tissue from your uterus during the procedure. This type of abortion takes around 15 minutes to complete.
- D&E (dilation and evacuation): A D&E is a more complicated procedure that begins a day or two before the abortion. Your cervix must first be dilated, which is done with a natural dilator called laminaria. During a dilation and evacuation, gentle suction and specialized gynecological instruments, guided by ultrasound, are used to empty your uterus.
Are You Awake During an Abortion Procedure? Is Anesthesia Used?
To answer your question, “Are you awake during an abortion procedure,” it’s important to remember that it depends on the type of abortion, as well as your personal needs.
You may receive general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep throughout the procedure. Alternatively, your provider might give you medication to relax and sedate you, allowing you to remain awake while ensuring your comfort during the procedure.
Before you schedule your procedure, you’ll be given all the information you need regarding your anesthesia options.
How Do I Prepare for an Abortion?
It’s not difficult to prepare before your abortion, but it is necessary. Be sure to follow all instructions given to you. If you are taking the abortion pill, there is nothing you really need to do. However, it’s different if you are having a surgical abortion.
Arrange for someone to accompany you and take you home after the procedure. The anesthesia and pain medication used can impair your ability to drive safely or navigate public transportation.
Before the procedure, make sure you fully comprehend the planned procedure, including the associated risks, benefits, and available alternatives.
If you are currently taking aspirin or other blood thinners, consult your doctor to determine whether you need to discontinue them before the procedure. These medications can increase the risk of bleeding.
Inform your doctor about all the medications and natural health products you are taking. Some of these substances may heighten the risk of complications during the procedure. Your doctor will advise you on whether to discontinue any of them before the procedure and the recommended timeline for doing so.
This is a time for taking care of yourself. It’s important you make time to rest no matter the type of abortion you choose. Prepare a comfortable place at home with drinks, healthy snacks, something to read, chargers – whatever you need to feel safe and comforted.
Turn to the Trustworthy and Caring Providers at Metropolitan Medical Associates for Abortion Questions
Our team is happy to answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have. We understand this can be a difficult time, and we want to help you feel at ease. Our professional staff of board-certified gynecologists is here to partner with you for reproductive healthcare.
Contact us at 800-932-0378 today for compassionate women’s healthcare!