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Aspiration termination of pregnancy

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Vacuum aspiration is the recommended method of first trimester abortion when compared with sharp curettage.

  • Can be carried out with:
    • manual device - valve and locking plunger in a 60 mL handheld syringe
    • electrical device
  • 400 µg of the prostaglandin analogue misoprostol either sublingually for two hours or vaginally for three hours is administered before surgery to soften and dilate the cervix (1,2).
  • Used in pregnancies of between five and twelve weeks gestation.
    • Can be performed under a local anaesthetic until about the eighth week of gestation.


  1. Lohr PA et al. Abortion.  BMJ 2014;348:f7553
  2. Royal college of obstetricians and gynaecologists (RCOG) 2011. The care of women requesting induced abortion. Evidence based clinical guideline number 7.

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