Suction curettage

Suction curettage (or vacuum aspiration) is possible up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. This treatment removes the pregnancy by gentle suction. Suction curettage is performed under anaesthetic. You can choose local or light anaesthetic (i.e. light sedation, which means that you sleep briefly). Your stay in our clinic will be approximately 4 hours.


To relax your cervix, usually you are administered two pills of Misoprostol by the nurse. The medication needs an hour to take effect and can sometimes cause light cramping.


If you have chosen light anaesthetic (light sedation), you will be given a short-acting sleep-inducing drug through a drip connected to your arm. This will take place in the surgery. Within 30 seconds you will fall asleep for the duration of the treatment. The sleep-inducing drug is not a general anaesthetic.

Nil by mouth
For light anaesthetic your stomach needs to be completely empty. This means that from 6 hours before the treatment you are not allowed to eat anything, and from 2 hours before the treatment you are not allowed to drink anything. Before this time, you are allowed to drink some tea or water (but not any dairy products).
Please note: For 24 hours after the light anaesthetic you are not allowed to ride a moped or bicycle or drive a car, motorcycle or motor scooter. If you do and you are involved in an accident, you will not be insured.
Don’t take any major decisions during this period.

If you have chosen local anaesthetic, the doctor will administer it just before treatment. This is done with a number of minor injections in your cervix. Usually these are not painful. Because this will not completely numb the cervix, you can experience some cramping during the treatment.

Suction curettage treatment

During the treatment you are in a gynaecological examination chair with support for your legs An abortion doctor performs the treatment, assisted by at least one nurse. The doctor inserts a speculum into your vagina to display your cervix. Then a suction device is used to gently empty your uterus.
Following the treatment you can have a hormonal coil (IUD) or contraceptive implant inserted.

After the treatment

After the treatment you will stay in the recovery room for an hour to make sure you are doing OK. For infection prevention you will be given antibiotics.
After the treatment you may experience cramping and bleeding. The symptoms can last from a few days up to several weeks and will gradually diminish. Pregnancy symptoms will diminish after a week. If symptoms persist or if you have a fever or are unwell, please contact us.