Menstrual Aspiration

Menstrual Aspiration (menstrual extraction, manual aspiration)

In 2004, less than 1% of abortions reported in Canada used this method. 

Before abortion was legalized, the term ‘menstrual extraction’ was used to disguise the performance of an early suction abortion up to seven weeks’ gestation, sometimes even before a pregnancy was confirmed.  The term is misleading, since either the embryo (if the woman is pregnant), or the uterine lining (if she is not pregnant) is suctioned out.  Currently, menstrual aspiration refers to an early abortion from three to 10 weeks’ gestation, using a syringe for suction.  A thin hollow tube is inserted into the slightly dilated cervix.  The tube is attached to a large syringe and the embryo is suctioned out.

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All information provided regarding medical and surgical abortions in Canada has provided by:, (2014). Methods | Abortion in Canada. [online] Available at:

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