Vacuum aspiration, also called suction aspiration, is a minor
surgical procedure used to clear the contents of the uterus during the first
trimester of pregnancy. A thin, hollow tube (cannula) is inserted into the
uterus. Then a specially designed syringe or pump is used to suction out all
tissue contained in the uterus.
Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) can be used between 5 and 12 weeks after the last
menstrual period. A hollow tube is passed through the cervix and into the
uterus, and a handheld syringe is used to apply suction through the thin tube.
MVA can be done safely in a clinic or medical office setting.
Machine vacuum aspiration is the most common
abortion method used in the first 5 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. First, the cervix
is opened (dilated) and antibiotics are given to prevent infection. A hollow
tube (attached to a bottle and pump) is then passed into the uterus. The pump
is turned on, and all tissue is gently removed from the uterus.
Vacuum aspiration is also used to empty the uterus after an incomplete
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Rebecca H. Allen, MD, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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