First-trimester treatment

A first-trimester treatment is a suction curettage for pregnancies of up to 13 weeks. You can choose between sedation or local anaesthetic for this treatment.

This is how the suction curettage works:

Priming
Recent research has shown that cervical priming by means of misoprostol limits the chance of premature of birth in the next pregnancy (pregnancies) and reduces complications following abortion. That is why it is necessary to prepare the cervix for the operation.
2 tablets of misoprostol (Cytotec) must be taken sub-lingually (under the tongue) 60 – 90 minutes before the treatment. When indicated, this may need to be done in the vagina. Administering misoprostol can sometimes lead to stomach cramps.

If you have opted to sleep during the treatment, the nurse will give you a drip in the arm. This can be used to administer the sedative before the treatment. If you opt for local anaesthetic, the doctor will indicate when he or she will administer it.

The suction curettage will then take place in a gynaecological chair and will take approximately ten minutes. The treatment is performed by an abortion specialist who will be assisted by two nurses.

The cervix is first made visible with a speculum (duck-bill shaped medical instrument), disinfected and anaesthetised locally (if you have opted to have this done). A suction tube (of between 5 mm and 6 mm) is then used to empty the cervix.

Most women experience pain at the end of the operation as the uterus starts contracting. This pain can be compared to (intense) menstrual pain. You may suffer from stomach cramps until a few days after the treatment and there may be some blood loss, which is comparable to menstruation.

You will still stay in the recovery room after the treatment. There is a small chance of infection, which is why you are given antibiotics in the clinic

Follow-up examination
The pregnancy symptoms decrease sharply after approximately one week. It is advisable to have a pregnancy test and follow-up examination done four weeks after the treatment. Feel free to contact the Amsterdam Abortion Clinic if the complaints do not diminish, the pregnancy test is (still) positive or if you still have any questions.
At the appointment for the follow-up examination in the clinic, we check to see whether you have recovered physically, (still) have any complaints and how you feel emotionally. We also discuss how you experienced the treatment and we talk about any issues you may have with the processing. We also consider contraception. You can also go to your general practitioner for a follow-up examination and, in some cases, the follow-up examination can also be done by telephone.