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Manual Uterine Aspiration (MUA)

Some of our clinicians in the MYA Network also offer this simple gentle method.  It only takes a few minutes longer than a pap test to complete.  It’s completed in a regular exam room (not an operating room).  Some people prefer this method because it has a clear resolution and is completed in a medical office. Other names for manual uterine aspiration are manual vacuum aspiration (MVA), menstrual extraction, SofTouch, and manual aspiration. It is a safe way to remove early pregnancy tissue from the uterus and can be used for early abortion, completing a miscarriage, and for a failed medication abortion.

Simple Steps with Manual Uterine Aspiration

           Step One

Find out if you’re eligible and talk about the options near you.

Click here to proceed.

Step Two

Meet with your clinician, (by video, phone, email or text) to discuss if this procedure is right for you.

Step Three

Come into the private office to complete your procedure. The procedure takes under 5 minutes. The appointment time is one to two hours. Your companion is welcome.

Step Four

Follow up visits usually aren’t necessary but are available if needed/requested.

What to Expect when you have a Manual Uterine Aspiration

You will be in a private exam room from start to finish.  You can have a companion by your side.  Some clinicians perform an ultrasound before and/or after the procedure.  You are in a “pap test” position during the procedure.  The actual procedure takes 2-5 minutes to complete but the total appointment time is 1-2 hours so we can talk with you, help you get ready, then give you time to recover after.  You will have some cramping during the procedure, like bad menstrual cramps.  The cramping will continue for 10-20 minutes.  After that, most people feel back to normal, and ready to go about their day.

Some Things To Know About Manual Uterine Aspiration

It’s completed in one visit to the doctor’s office (no routine follow up needed)

It’s nearly 100% effective

It’s quick - it’s usually completed in less than 5 minutes

It’s quiet - there’s no loud suction noise

You are welcome to bring a companion to be by your side

No sedation is needed. There is usually a few minutes of tolerable cramping. You can eat and drink normally before and after your procedure

Bleeding is usually lighter than a period

You know it is successful before leaving the office

Most people leave the office within 30 minutes of the procedure, ready to go about their day


What is Manual Uterine Aspiration ?

Manual Uterine Aspiration is also known as Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA).  It is a gentle and quiet handheld device that a clinician uses to empty the uterus.  It can be used for early abortion (up to 12 weeks).  It is also used to remove pregnancy tissue from a miscarriage, or to complete a failed abortion (from the abortion pill.)  MUA is completed in a private routine medical office using a local anesthetic.  This approach allows you to eat and drink normally before and after your procedure, and to have a companion by your side if you choose. 

How is Manual Uterine Aspiration different from surgery?

Some abortions are completed with electric suction, which has a louder sound than MUA.  Some abortions are completed in an operating room, where companions are not able to enter.  Most people are told to fast after midnight, and spend time in a recovery room.

Manual Uterine Aspiration is completed with a quiet, hand-released suction.  It is completed in a regular examination room (like a pap test).  A companion is welcome. It is completed with a local anesthetic so you can eat or drink normally before the procedure.  Recovery typically lasts about 20 minutes and most people stay in the same room. 

Does it hurt?

Most people describe the discomfort of getting an MUA procedure as tolerable. Many people describe mild or moderate cramps, like when you have your period. Occasionally somebody will have more intense cramping.   It’s a quick procedure, and most people feel completely normal and able to resume activities only 20 minutes after the procedure.  

Sometimes it is helpful to understand that cramping of the uterus is normal and healthy, and an important part of recovery. The cramps should not be frightening. The uterus is a muscle and it contracts in response to the procedure. This is normal and good, since the contracting helps stop the bleeding.

How far into the pregnancy can I get the Manual Aspiration Abortion Procedure?

The Manual Uterine Aspiration Procedure is best completed between 5-12 weeks of pregnancy. It can be utilized up to 13 weeks of pregnancy at the doctor’s discretion.

How does the Manual Uterine Aspiration Abortion Procedure compare to the abortion pill?

Manual Uterine Aspiration and the Abortion Pill are both safe ways to end an early pregnancy.  MUA is a procedure that is completed in one visit.  The Abortion Pill involved taking several sets of pills and having a miscarriage in the comfort of your home.  The Abortion Pill is more widely available.  

Is Manual Uterine Aspiration safe?

All types of abortion are very safe. Routine abortions of any kind do not cause problems with future pregnancies. Serious health risks are extremely rare and are usually related to the pregnancy, not the procedure. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Manual Uterine Aspiration and the Abortion Pill as the safest early abortion methods.