First Trimester Surgical Abortion

First trimester abortion is considered one of the safest outpatient surgical procedures when performed by trained physicians. Since 1976, Northland Family Planning Centers has been a nationally recognized and trusted provider of abortion care services throughout the Metro Detroit area. We provide abortion care from 4 to 24 weeks of pregnancy, with all procedures performed in our clean, private surgical rooms.

Our physicians are experts at the two early surgical methods of abortion offered by Northland Family Planning: Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) and Early Standard Vacuum Aspiration. Both methods end a pregnancy in an extremely safe & effective manner. The decision on which method is best for you will depend on your length of pregnancy, your medical condition and your preferences.

The Northland standard of care is focused on you, with the gentleness, expertise and personal respect you deserve. Abortion care is our primary specialty and what we excel at here. All of us – our physicians, medical practitioners and our full team of caring, dedicated staff members – are skilled, compassionate professionals who treat you kindly, offering the most advanced and highest quality techniques of care.

Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)

Available 4 – 9 weeks of pregnancy

This extremely gentle procedure is done by the expert hands of our physicians using a handheld aspirator. The first thing women notice is the quiet. There are not the usual surgical equipment sounds. Women tell us they find it easier to relax in the quiet. Our physicians, like many of our patients, prefer this method when it is possible. Some physical conditions may prevent women from having this method as an option.  At your appointment, we’ll review your medical history with you to determine this.

Using a specially-designed IPAS system, the pregnancy is gently removed from the uterus. We will review this in more detail at your appointment. Please remember, this option requires both specialized training and equipment. Make sure you choose a provider, such as Northland, who offer specialty-trained physicians that meet the highest standards of performance and use the best quality equipment from IPAS, the world-recognized experts.

Click here for a description of how the MVA procedure is done.

Standard Vacuum Aspiration

Available 4 – 14 weeks of pregnancy

This method involves the use of standard surgical equipment with significant above-standard differences in physician training, skill and comfort for you. Expert skill is needed to both locate and remove the pregnancy especially in the very early weeks.  We have special training and equipment to confirm that the pregnancy has been removed before you leave our Center, something not usually performed at other offices.

What to expect at your appointment:

While you are with us, you will meet our medical team and speak privately with a reproductive health counselor. For your additional safety and comfort, we also:

  • Confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test and ultrasound.
  • Have a private conversation with you about your pregnancy options and your abortion decision.
  • Complete a full medical history to be aware of your particular needs.
  • Provide you with full informed consent by explaining the procedure and recovery process.
  • Perform your medical exam and abortion procedure in a clean, softly lit surgical suite with background music and aromatherapy for relaxation.
  • You will spend approximately one hour in our quiet recovery area. While in recovery, we monitor your blood pressure, bleeding, and pulse and offer you an opportunity to relax and ask questions. Tea and light refreshments are provided.
  • When you are discharged, you will be given specific and complete home care and recovery instructions explaining signs and symptoms of possible complications, along with a 24-hour emergency phone number. You will receive a prescription for your post-procedure medications which can be filled low-cost right at our office.
  • You will be given a Homecare Packet in which you will find helpful guidance on both physical and emotional health. Watch Homecare video.
  • You will also schedule a follow-up visit for two weeks after your abortion. This is an extremely important appointment (there is no charge for this visit if you come within 2-4 weeks after your abortion). At this appointment, we check to make sure there are no complications with the abortion and we will gladly answer your questions or help you set a plan for birth control or reproductive health care so you are ready to take on your dreams for the future.
  • We offer the option to choose and begin a method of birth control on the same day as your procedure or your follow-up visit, if you are ready. You have a choice of birth control pills (starter pack FREE), the NuvaRing or the Depo Provera birth control shot (an injection which provides birth control protection for 3 months). There is a fee for the Depo Provera shot.

Counseling conversation

Deciding whether or not to continue a pregnancy, whether this is the right time for you to bring a child into this world, can sometimes be extremely difficult. It is a choice that must make sense not only in your head, but in your heart as well. You deserve to feel at peace with your decision.

This is why we have developed our unique Head and Heart counseling program. Women experiencing uncertainty about their abortion decision are encouraged to work with our counseling staff and take the time to explore all of their feelings about this pregnancy.

Our private counseling conversation will include discussions about:

  • All of your pregnancy options.
  • Your feelings and fears.
  • How the procedure is performed.
  • Possible risks and complications.
  • How best to care for yourself afterwards.


The Pregnancy Options Workbook is a helpful exploration of options and decision-making tools- we also have this available at our office in paper copy.

Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) Information - Reproductive Health Technologies Project’s website contains a detailed explanation of the MVA procedure used by Northland Family Planning and discusses world issues as they relate to safe reproductive healthcare.

Watch Northland Family Planning Centers’ Homecare Video for information about what to expect after your procedure.

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