What is manual vacuum aspiration (MVA)?

It is a way of emptying the womb while you are awake. A numbing injection is injected into the neck of the womb then MVA is performed using a narrow tube to enter the neck of the womb and the womb is emptied using gentle suction aspiration.

Why have MVA?

MVA is offered to women in the following situation:

  • Delayed miscarriage (where a pregnancy has failed but the pregnancy sac is still present within the womb, or where no fetal heart beat is present but the pregnancy is still within the womb)
  • Incomplete miscarriage (where some of the pregnancy tissue remains inside the womb)

Is MVA a new procedure?

No. MVA has been performed for more than 30 years. It has been shown to be a safe procedure, with high success rates and good patient acceptability, with studies showing women are satisfied with this procedure.

This procedure is performed by Mr Hassan Shehata or another consultant. It offers an additional choice to women with miscarriage who want surgical treatment but prefers to avoid having a general anaesthetic.

What are the options if I do not want MVA?

Other treatment options will be discussed with you by a nurse or doctor. These include:

  • Conservative management (waiting for the pregnancy to pass naturally)
  • Medical management (using medications to encourage the pregnancy to pass)
  • Surgical removal of the pregnancy under general anaesthetic

How does an MVA compare to surgery under general anaesthetic?

Many studies have compared MVA to surgical evacuation under general anaesthetic. They show MVA to be equally effective. Most women (more than 97 out of 100) having MVA will not need any further surgical treatment.