Aspiration Myths

New York City Abortion Clinics

Aspiration Myths


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Aspiration is a ‘non-surgical’ procedure different from most abortions done currently.

False – The Aspiration Procedure (actually called Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is still a surgical procedure. It is almost identical to what most facilities currently call just the abortion procedure (Electrical Vacuum Aspiration) commonly performed at hospitals, clinics and doctors offices. The mechanisms of action and level of vacuum for the two methods are the same. The difference between them is how the equally gentile suction (PDF Page 9) used to remove the pregnancy in each case is produced. Both Electrical Vacuum Aspiration (EVA) and Manual Vacuum Aspiration procedure (MVP) differ significantly from the previously common practice of Dilation and Curettage (D &C). While more invasive and difficult, D&C procedures are still performed in medical practices under special circumstances or when both electricity for Electrical Vacuum Aspiration and MVP equipment is not available.

At Parkmed Physicians our regular first trimester surgical procedure (EVA) does not involve curettage or ‘scraping’. Curettage is performed only in special circumstances and during second trimester abortions or when a sampling of the uterine lining is needed for diagnosis in a patient who is not pregnant.

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The Aspiration Procedure (MVP) is recommended over the regular surgical abortion (EVA) when the patient wishes limited anesthesia during her procedure. The equipment for Electrical Vacuum Aspiration makes a whirring sound which for some increases the psychological discomfort of the patient. Manual Vacuum Aspiration is silent which studies have shown allows the patient to relax and experience less psychological discomfort (PDF Page 9) while being conscious for the entire procedure.
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The Majority of abortions preformed by doctors, clinics and hospitals are the more abrasive and complicated Dilation and Curettage (D&C) procedure.

False – In the United States, Canada, China, New Zealand, Singapore and other nations 97 % of First Trimester Abortions are preformed using Vacuum Aspiration (PDF Page 9). In the United States when doctor’s offices and clinics offer abortions they are primarily using the Electrical Vacuum Aspiration Procedure (EVA) which does not involve scraping or cutting.

Offices claiming that Manual Aspiration Procedures are a new and completely different type of abortion are misleading the public.

At Parkmed Physicians we wish to give a full and honest explanation of the differences between Manual Vacuum Aspiration, Electrical Vacuum Aspiration and Dilation & Curettage (D&C).

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The Aspiration procedure is much safer than the regular abortion procedure.

False – The Manual Vacuum Aspiration Procedure is not safer then the Electrical Vacuum Aspiration Procedure. (PDF Page 12) Long term studies show that Vacuum Aspiration, whether electrically or manually produced, had only 9 patients in 10000 cases having any complications. This is less then one tenth of a percent. (PDF Page 12)

The Aspiration Procedure is a completely new technique only made available recently by more exclusive medical practices.

False – Vacuum Aspiration (Electrically Powered or Manually Produced) has been the safest and most regularly preformed method of First Trimester Abortion since its invention by Chinese Doctors in 1957.

By the late 1960s and early 1970s training and use of Vacuum Aspiration spread first to Europe and then the United States. There is over 30 years of research (Page 10) detailing over 400,000 cases in 50 different studies across more then two dozen countries showing the safety and effectiveness of Aspiration.

These studies show that the aspiration procedure is on average 98 – 99 % effective with a lower the .05% rate of postoperative infection.

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The Aspiration Procedure (MVA) is more effective than the Surgical (Electrical Vacuum Aspiration) Abortion Procedure.

False - In studies where both MVA and EVA were used since the mid to late 1980s, the two methods had similar rates of effectiveness (Page 10). In each case the procedures were 98- 99% effective.

The Aspiration Procedure uses no anesthesia at all.

False: Many offices advertise the Aspiration procedure as not requiring anesthesia. This is inaccurate. The Aspiration procedure is usually done with local anesthesia in order to numb the patient’s cervix when dilated. (Page 15) This helps minimized the cramping patients feel during the procedure. Most women do not require general anesthesia for the aspiration procedure. Studies show that because patients do not have to hear the noise generated by the machine used for Electrical Vacuum Aspiration they are better able to relax during the abortion procedure reducing the psychological experience of discomfort (Page 15).
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At Parkmed Physicians we understand that some women facing an abortion want general anesthesia, but also want the Manual Vacuum Aspiration procedure. At our state of the art facility we are able to provide local, twilight and or general anesthesia for aspiration procedure upon your request.

Abortion is the ONLY use for Manual Vacuum Aspiration procedures.

False – although Manual Vacuum Aspiration has made abortion services accessible this technology is also used for other important medical procedures when the conditions require it. MVP technology is used for menstrual regulation, treatment of incomplete miscarriages, Endometrial Biopsies and as a back up procedure for failed use of the Abortion Pill (PDF Page 8) .

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Aspiration Facts

The Aspiration Procedure (MVA) helps provide high quality abortion services in areas without access to electricity or traditional western medical services.

True – While abortion is legal in many countries access to abortion services is highly restricted due to lack of resources such as electricity, hospital settings and limited funds (Page 16). It is a safer, more effective, form of treatment than Dilation and Curettage (D&C) previously the only abortion technique available under these conditions.

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The Aspiration Procedure (MVA) has increased access to safe abortion world wide.

True –The portability and simplicity of the MVA procedure allows it to be performed in remote locations. This has allowed safe, sanitary abortions to be provided in “community based” healthcare settings. (Page 8) Dilation and Curettage requires a different level of skill and support meaning that usually only doctors and hospitals could safely provide these services in under developed nations.

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In countries where abortion access is extremely limited, the Aspiration Procedure has eliminated the need for costly and difficult travel.

True – In counties such as China, Viet Nam and Bangladesh Manual Vacuum Aspiration has been used for decades (Page 10). The light, portable equipment which does not require electricity and makes it ideal for medical providers to take to remote areas to provide abortion services where it was once legal but not accessible.

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The Aspiration Procedure (MVA) is a safe and effective backup to Medical Abortion.

True: When women choose the Abortion Pill as an option to terminate a early pregnancy it is usually because they want to avoid a surgical procedure with anesthesia. Unfortunately, the Abortion Pill is not perfect. In about 5 % of cases women do not completely pass the pregnancy tissue during the induced miscarriage. In these cases The Aspiration procedure (MVA) is a safe fall back option to compete the abortion process.(Page 11) It can use minimal anesthesia and allow women a less stressful alternative to Electrical Vacuum Aspiration (EVA).

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The Aspiration Procedure has allowed mobile medical teams to provide relief for rape victims in war torn countries.

True: As pointed out by The United Nations Higher Commission on Refugees, refugee women are extremely vulnerable when it comes to sexual health. Often the victims of rape and often with a total lack of access to birth control even in non coercive relationship refugee women are at high risk for unintended pregnancies. In cases like the 1999 flee of refugees from Kosovo to Albanian refugee camps the portable and effective use of Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) allowed women in these difficult circumstances to receive abortion services (Page 13) . Replacing the more complex and painful Dilation and Curettage procedure greatly reduced chances of complications and minimized further trauma to already victimized women.
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Electrical Vacuum Aspiration