What is Manual Uterine Aspiration (MUA)?
And what is its Revolutionary Potential?
Recently featured in The Guardian, manual uterine aspiration (MUA) is a safe, simple, in-office medical procedure that removes early pregnancy tissue from the uterus. It can be used to perform an abortion, help manage a miscarriage, or treat ongoing bleeding related to either one.
What’s revolutionary? MUA has been around for a long time, but its revolutionary potential is in how we can use it. MUA can be performed in any practice setting – it’s not surgery, doesn’t require anesthesia or expensive equipment, and it’s similar to procedures that many primary care clinicians already perform so can be learned fairly easily. MUA can be integrated into mainstream medical practices, which will increase access to care. In states where abortion is legal, MUA can be used to perform abortions – especially in places where there is no access to an abortion clinic. In states where abortion is not legal, MUA can be used to treat miscarriages and the rare complications from self-managed abortions. MUA can be part of the revolution in abortion care that is needed now!
How does Manual Uterine Aspiration work?
Manual uterine aspiration (MUA) is completed using a small, quiet, handheld device. (It’s also called “manual vacuum aspiration” or “MVA.”) The tip of the sterile cannula (the long thin tube in the photo above) is inserted through the natural opening of the cervix into the uterus. The device is attached, creating a gentle suction that empties the contents of the uterus.
MUA has a deep history in the women’s empowerment movement. In the 1970s, groups of lay women in the U.S. practiced a similar method called “menstrual extraction” when they felt the medical establishment wasn’t responding to their health needs. In Bangladesh, MUA is called “menstrual regulation” because it’s used to “restore the menstrual period” when a person’s period is late, circumventing the issue of abortion by not checking a pregnancy test. MYA Network believes we can harness the revolutionary potential of MUA for the current public health crisis in the U.S.
MYA (MY Abortion) Network is a clinician-led effort to integrate abortion and miscarriage management into mainstream practice settings. We support clinicians to offer the full scope of legal reproductive health care and we help patients find these clinicians. Manual uterine aspiration (MUA) is central to our vision.
A Call to Action!
We need everyone’s help to address this public health emergency. Politicians have made abortion illegal or severely restricted in many states. This is causing real harm to people and their families. We are clinicians, patients and activists who are determined to fight this injustice. We are speaking up publicly, supporting more clinicians to offer reproductive health care, and helping patients find these clinicians.
Manual uterine aspiration (MUA) and medications (mifepristone and/or misoprostol) can be safely integrated into your primary care practice. MYA Network can help.
If you’re interested in learning more – Please contact us!
Find pro-choice, supportive clinicians who will work with you to end your pregnancy, help manage a miscarriage, or help with ongoing bleeding. All clinicians offer abortion pills through telehealth, and some offer in-person manual aspiration procedures.
Early abortion can be safely integrated into primary health care. Help us make abortions and miscarriage management a regular part of medical care in primary care offices. Support MYA Network’s efforts to train more clinicians, help patients find services, and influence the conversation on abortion.