Last edited 02/2022

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.