If you have been paying attention to trends in women reproductive health in the United States, and New York in particular, one thing that may have caught you eye is the increased advertizing by clinics of a new “non-surgical” aspiration procedure.
Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is a procedure used around the world to provide abortion options to women where access to electricity is limited. However current U.S. marketing by medical providers leads women to believe that MVA is a nonsurgical procedure. Simply put, this is not accurate.
Manuel Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) differs from the more commonly know surgical abortion, electrical Vacuum Aspiration (EVA) procedure in only one main respect. The vacuum pressure used in MVA is generated manually but the provider using a syringe like device. In all other respects it is the same procedure as EVA the most commonly used abortion procedure in the United States.
Both these forms of aspiration, however do differ significantly from Dilation and Curettage (D&C) where the pregnancy is removed using a spoon like instrument to gently scrape the inside of the uterus to remove the pregnancy tissue.
However, this does not mean that women should not consider those differences when making the decision about what type of procedure to have. .
For patients looking for a procedure with limited use of anesthesia MVA can be an excellent alternative. Not only can it be done with local anesthetic studies have show that because women are not exposed to the noise generated by EVA their perception of pain levels is lower.
“In focus groups with Vietnamese physicians, participants consistently described a reduction of patients’ pain as a major benefit of MVA. Reducing pain also lessens the patient’s anxiety and fear, thereby improving her overall satisfaction with the procedure. As an added benefit, enhancing the woman’s experience and lowering her pain makes the procedure more comfortable for providers as well (Focus Group, 1998). “
Another advantage of MVA is that verification of the completion of the abortion procedure is often easier.
” By using a gentler, handheld syringe, the gestational sac comes out intact so pregnancy termination can be confirmed,” according to The Reproductive Health Technology Project.
Both of these facts many make what is usually an extremely stressful experience, a little less so for women faced with having an abortion. So while the Manual Aspiration is still consider a surgery it should be considered as am alternative to electric vacuum aspiration.