The Manual Vacuum Aspiration Procedure
MVA: Quick & Simple
Do you know that you can end an early pregnancy with a quick and simple procedure that takes a few minutes to complete? Ending early pregnancy can be as simple as getting your yearly exam. No surgery. No scraping. No machine. No noise. No operating room. No recovery room. No need to fast the night before. No crowded waiting rooms. No assembly line.
Sound too good to be true? The Manual Vacuum Aspiration Procedure is completed in a regular private examination room. The procedure is done on a regular exam table. The entire procedure takes about 5 minutes. The procedure is quiet, noninvasive, and simple – so there are no major complications. There is no risk to your future ability to have children. In a few minutes, you feel ready to resume your normal daily activities.
Manual Vacuum Aspiration: Simpler than RU486 (The Abortion Pill)
- One visit to the doctor’s office (no routine follow up).
- Completed in less than 5 minutes.
- A few minutes of tolerable cramping.
- Bleeding is lighter than a period.
- You know it is successful before leaving the office.
Manual Vacuum Aspiration: Safer than Surgical Abortion
- No scraping.
- No electric suction.
- No metal instruments.
- No need to be put to sleep.
- No major complications.
- Immediate Recovery.
Manual Aspiration Abortion: What to Expect.
You lie down on a comfortable examination table in a private, colorful, clean room.
The doctor performs an ultrasound examination.
The doctor inserts a speculum (like a Pap smear).
The doctor numbs the cervix with a local anesthetic. You typically do not feel this.
The doctor stretches the natural opening of your cervix with small plastic dilators and inserts a thin tube, called a cannula. The doctor attaches a handheld device to the cannula and applies gentle pressure for one or two minutes. You may feel some mild to moderate period-like cramping at this time.
The doctor removes the instruments. A second ultrasound is performed to ensure successful completion.
You lie on the table for another 5-10 minutes. The cramps ease quickly. In a few more minutes you feel completely normal.
You get dressed and resume your normal daily activities.
Advantages of the Manual Vacuum Aspiration
NON-INVASIVE. The Manual Aspiration Procedure is safer because there is no cutting and no scraping. A thin sterile tube about the size of a pencil is inserted into the cervix (the natural opening to the uterus) and gentle pressure is applied. The menstrual lining is naturally removed into a handheld device.
NO SURGERY. The Manual Aspiration Procedure is completed in a private examination room, not an operating room. You recover immediately, so you do not need to go to a recovery room. It is not surgery, so you can eat and drink normally before and after your visit.
QUICK. Typically, the entire procedure is less than 5 minutes. Most women experience the procedure like a long Pap Smear or gynecologic exam with about two minutes of cramping at the end. Within minutes, women feel normal and are able to resume their activities.
IMMEDIATE RECOVERY. After the Manual Aspiration Abortion Procedure there is no recovery time. The uterus does not need to “heal” since there has been no invasive scraping of the uterine wall. A woman can resume her normal activities and use tampons, bathe, and have sexual intercourse after 48 hours.
NATURAL. The Manual Aspiration Abortion Procedure uses a gentle pressure that causes the natural release of the pregnancy tissue from the uterus. There is no scarring, so no risk for future pregnancies.
COMFORTABLE. Most women don’t describe the Manual Aspiration Procedure as painful. Instead, it is similar to having a few minutes of period-like cramps.
MINIMAL BLEEDING. When the woman leaves the office, she will most likely bleed like a light period and usually lasts for a few days.
ONE VISIT. The doctor is able to confirm that the pregnancy is ended a few minutes after the procedure. She confirms the completion of the procedure by exam, by ultrasound, and by tissue evaluation.
QUIET. The doctor uses a quiet handheld instrument. There is no electric suction machine so there is no noise.
Frequently Asked Questions about Manual Aspiration Abortion
Does it Hurt?
Most women do not describe the Manual Aspiration Procedure as painful. Most women describe a “pulling feeling” or some discomfort. Many women describe mild or moderate cramps, like when you have your period. Occasionally a woman will have more intense cramping, but this only lasts for a minute or two. A few minutes of cramping is better than being put to sleep! After the Manual Aspiration Procedure you recover immediately and you do not have any of the major complications of anesthesia.
Sometimes it is helpful to understand that cramping of the uterus is normal and healthy, and an important part of recovery. The cramps should not be frightening. The uterus is a muscle and it contracts in response to the procedure. This is normal and good, since the contracting helps stop the bleeding.
How far into the pregnancy can I get the Manual Aspiration Abortion Procedure?
The Manual Aspiration Procedure is best completed between 5-10 weeks of pregnancy. It can be utilized up to 12 weeks of pregnancy at the doctor’s discretion.
How does the Manual Aspiration Abortion Procedure compare to the abortion pill?
The Manual Aspiration Procedure has significant advantages over the Abortion Pill. It can be completed in one visit (instead of two visits), there is minimal bleeding (compared to weeks or months of bleeding), there is minimal cramping (compared to hours of cramping) and the patient knows that the termination of pregnancy is completed before she leaves the medical office.
How does the Manual Aspiration Abortion Procedure compare to surgical abortion?
The Manual Aspiration Procedure has significant advantages over surgical abortion. It is performed in a regular examination room and because discomfort is minimal, you are awake (instead of an operating room and under general anesthesia), plastic instruments are used (instead of metal instruments), pressure from a silent, handheld aspirator gently removes the pregnancy lining from the uterus (no loud electric suction machine or uterine scraping is required), recovery takes only a few minutes (as opposed to hours after general sedation).
Do they offer the Manual Aspiration Abortion Procedure at abortion clinics?
Unfortunately, it is rare for an abortion clinic to offer the Aspiration Abortion Procedure. If they do, they may not provide the Aspiration Abortion Procedure in the best possible way. Aspiration, by definition, simply means suction. Most clinics do this using an electric vacuum. It is important that women become more informed of their choices. Some abortion clinics report that they provide the Manual AspirationProcedure, but complete the procedure like a surgical abortion with scraping and under sedation.
Ask these questions when making your appointment for the Manual Aspiration Abortion Procedure:
- Does the doctor scrape the uterus?
- Is the procedure completed in a regular examination room or an operating room?
- After the procedure will I be put in a recovery room, or allowed to rest in the same room?
- Is my companion able to be with me for the entire visit?
- Is the procedure routinely completed with a local anesthetic?
- Do you schedule individual appointments or many women at the same time?
What are the possible complications of the Manual Aspiration Procedure?
Abortion of all types is very safe if completed in reputable settings. The Manual Aspiration Procedure is the safest way to end early pregnancy. Routine abortions of any kind do not cause problems with future pregnancies. The rare complications of a Manual Aspiration Procedure are minor and easily treated with antibiotics or a repeat procedure. Serious health risks are extremely rare and are usually related to the pregnancy, not the procedure.