Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is suitable for people who are less than 10 weeks pregnant.
This information explains what happens to you when you are in hospital.
Before the procedure
You will be admitted to the unit on the day of your procedure. You will meet the doctor performing the operation. They will answer any questions you have.
Two to three hours before the operation you will be given some tablets (prostaglandin) to insert into the vagina to (soften) the neck of your womb. The nurse can insert them if you prefer.
One hour before the procedure you will be given a pain killer such as Paracetamol or Diclofenac. Immediately before your procedure you will be asked to empty your bladder.
The nurse caring for you will take you into the examination room
Please note: you may eat and drink as normal while waiting for the procedure to take place.
During the procedure
A nurse will stay with you throughout the procedure. She will provide reassurance and support
In the examination room you will be transferred onto the examination couch and your legs suspended in stirrups
The doctor will gently insert a small speculum into the vagina to see the neck of your womb (as if you were having a smear.) An injection of local anaesthetic is then given into the cervix. This rarely causes pain, if it does tell the nurse.
Following the injection the cervix is dilated. This sometimes causes a little discomfort. If necessary ‘gas and air’ is available.
The pregnancy is then removed. There is no noise during the procedure which takes less than five minutes.
For whatever reason, and at any time if you feel that you can’t continue with the procedure, let the nurse/doctor know. They will then discuss further treatment with you.
If the bleeding is excessive, you may need a blood transfusion.
A small number of women may develop an infection; this is easily treated by antibiotics
There is a small risk the uterus is perforated during the operation, if the doctor suspects that this has happened; you may possibly need to say overnight on the unit for further treatment. This happens in less than 1% of cases.
It is very important to have effective contraception for when you leave the ward. The nursing staff will be happy to discuss this with you, and can provide further information about the options available.
For more information about MVA, please contact:
For further information
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS. You can contact them on freephone:
You can find further information on the NHS Choices website . Here you will also find an information prescription generator. This brings together a wealth of approved patient information from the NHS and charity partners which you may find helpful.