Frequently Asked Questions
What is a surgical abortion?
A “surgical” abortion does not involve any cutting! It is better known as a Suction D&C.
The physical removal of an unwanted pregnancy, done by opening the cervix (dilation) and suctioning out the contents of the uterus. It’s the most common surgical procedure in the United States.
Is a Suction D&C abortion safe?
Extremely safe! Abortion is at least 10-20 times safer than continuing a pregnancy and having a child. The risk of dying from an abortion is 1 in 1,000,000. The risk of complications from a Suction D&C abortion is 1-2%. If 100 women have an abortion—1-2 of them will have a problem, typically this is a minor problem such as excess blood in the uterus or tissue that was not entirely removed. These minor problems can be easily handled by a resuction procedure at Buffalo Women Services. Serious complications requiring hospitalization are very rare.
How many weeks?
Abortion is legal in NYS to 24 weeks gestation and some exceptions can be made for lethal anomalies
We perform abortions at Buffalo Women Services from 5-19 weeks gestation and help refer patients who are past our limits to facilities in New York City
What is different for an abortion after 14 weeks?
Buffalo Women Services is the only provider of second trimester abortions in Western New York. A second trimester abortion is a procedure performed after 13 weeks pregnancy when the uterus is large in comparison to the cervix. This typically requires a 2 day procedure, the first day to prepare the cervix and the second day for the procedure. This procedure is also called a D&E.
How long does a Suction D&C abortion appointment take?
The appointment typically takes 4-8 hours. That includes paper work, ultrasound, individual counseling session, procedure and recovery.
How long does the procedure take?
An abortion at 5-13 weeks takes 2-3 minutes in total. An abortion of 14-19 weeks takes 5-10 minutes in total.
Will I be able to get pregnant again?
Yes! Legal, surgical abortion performed by an experience provider is very safe. It does not decrease your ability to conceive (get pregnant) or cause any problems in future pregnancies. It does not lead to preterm labor or birth, pre-eclampsia, cesarean section, miscarriage or stillbirth. Abortion does not lead to any type of cancer including breast cancer and does not cause depression or mental illness.
Will I be asleep for the procedure?
You have the option of IV Moderate Sedation—consisting of a short acting valium, a narcotic such as Demerol and an anti-nausea agent such as Zofran. This does not “put you to sleep” like General Anesthesia but it makes you very, very comfortable. If you have Sedation, you need to stay in the Recovery Room for 45 minutes and you must have someone drive you home.
Can I bring a person with me to my appointment?
You can but because of Corona Virus, we will ask your escort to wait in the car if possible. Some escorts do wait in the waiting room.
Can I have a person with me during the procedure?
Typically we do not have escorts in the procedure room or recovery room due to privacy concerns with other patients. For very young clients or other special situations, we have made accommodations.
Is a Suction D&C abortion painful?
If you decide for IV Moderate Sedation, most women report the procedure was not uncomfortable. If you decide against Sedation—for example, if you are driving yourself home and cannot have the Sedation—the procedure feels like a labor pain. The pain quickly subsides and most women feel able to leave after 20 minutes in the Recovery Room. Motrin is typically all you need after a procedure.
Will I bleed after my procedure?
You typically bleed for about 2 weeks after a procedure, 2-3 weeks for an abortion after 14 weeks. You bleed like a period and should never bleed more than 1 pad in 2 hours.
How should I manage pain or discomfort after my procedure?
Motrin 800 mg every 8 hours or Tylenol 650 mg every 6 hours is all you should need. A heating pad is very comforting.
How much does a Suction D&C abortion cost?
Please look at our website—it depends on the gestational age of the pregnancy, your insurance and whether or not you need Rhogam
How confidential is the service?
100% confidential. We take your privacy very, very seriously and have never had a violation of patient confidentiality in 30 years.
Does the fetus feel anything?
There is absolutely no evidence of fetal experiencing pain! This is an anti-abortion theory without any scientific evidence.
Can I use tampons after a Suction D&C abortion is performed?
No, you must not put anything in the vagina after an abortion until you stop bleeding. Please use pads, shower rather than tub baths and no intercourse.
Will I need time off work for recovery after my surgical abortion?
Yes, we can give you a 3 day excuse—day of procedure and 2 additional days. It does not state you had an abortion, just a medical excuse from Dr. Morrison.
How soon after the Suction D&C abortion can I have sex or intercourse?
Do not put anything in the vagina until you stop bleeding, typically 2-3 weeks. Please use a condom when you do have intercourse to prevent pregnancy and infection.
What are my birth control options?
We will discuss all options with you as part of your individual counseling session. We can prescribe the Birth Control pill, Patch, Nuva-ring, Depo Provera to begin after your procedure. We will also discuss IUDs, Nexplanon, the Diaphragm, Condoms.
Can I drive after my abortion procedure?
If you have had Sedation, you cannot drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after the procedure. If you have not had Sedation, you may drive yourself home.
Can the protestors do anything to me?
No, they are idiots who can hold ugly signs, offer you fake counseling and out of date pamphlets. They have to legally stay in their painted box, cannot touch you or block your way. They are confident they know better than you what you should do with your life. They are confident they know God’s will better than you. They probably haven’t had sex since the Carter administration.
We would be happy to call the Buffalo PD if they harass you.
Why can’t I have my abortion in a hospital?
You used to be able to! Although New York State is a very pro-choice state, and offers many strong supports for women who decide to terminate a pregnancy, Buffalo is still a conservative city. Up until the early 2000s, you could have an abortion an any of the non-Catholic hospitals in Buffalo—Erie County Medical Center, Millard Filmore Gates Hospital, Buffalo General Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Due to a combination of closing hospitals (Millard Filmore Gates Hospital), reducing gynecologic services (Erie County Medical Center and Buffalo General Hospital) and pressure from donors (Oshei Children’s Hospital)—there is no hospital in Buffalo where you can have an elective termination of pregnancy. A very few exceptions have been made over the past few years.