Abortion Care-Gentle, Caring, Discreet


Medical Abortion

A medical abortion is one that uses medications to cause an abortion instead of surgical instruments. Many women prefer a medical abortion because it feels more natural and it allows them more privacy than a surgical abortion. Medical abortion is usually only available for early pregnancies and may require 2-3 visits. Often, medical abortions are offered in a private doctor’s office and most of the management is in the privacy of your home.

Medical abortion is not for every woman. It’s important to know exactly what to expect with medical abortion and to be honest with yourself about what you can handle. There may be heavy bleeding or strong cramping with medical abortions.

Advantages of Medical Abortion

One of the greatest advantages of medical abortion is that you can receive treatment as soon as your pregnancy test is positive, privately, discreetly, quickly, and without surgery!

Types of Medical Abortion

We offer two types of medical abortions:

  • The “Abortion Pill” otherwise known as RU 486, and
  • Methotrexate / Misoprostol which starts with injections of Methotrexate.  Methotrexate can be used to stop ectopic pregnancies— pregnancies that develop in a Fallopian tube.

After a Medical Abortion

You will need to return to our office for a follow-up visit in two to three weeks.  We need to be certain the abortion is complete and that you are well. We will do a sonogram and a pregnancy test at your follow up visit.  The RH factor of your blood type will be determined at your initial visit, and, if you have RH negative blood you will receive a RhoGam injection the day you begin your procedure. You will receive written information that describes the entire process and you will have a private consultation with our physician to address any questions or concerns.


How an Abortion is carried out


In most cases, an abortion in hospital will be carried out as a day procedure and you won’t need to stay overnight.

However, in some regions, the second part of early medical abortion (tablet) can be arranged to happen at home (see below).

Before the abortion

When you go for your first appointment, you should be given the opportunity to talk about your situation. You’ll be informed about the different methods of abortion, and which method is suitable for your stage of pregnancy. You will also be advised about any related risks and complications.

The doctor or nurse will take your medical history to make sure the type of abortion you are offered is suitable for you.

You’ll have a blood test to find out your blood group to see if you’re anemic.

You should also be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and may be given antibiotics to stop an infection developing after the abortion.

Before having an abortion, you may also need to have:

  • an ultrasound scan (if there is any doubt about how many weeks pregnant you are)
  • a vaginal (internal) examination
  • a cervical screening test for infections (if appropriate)

If you have never had a vaginal examination before, the healthcare professional examining you will be aware you are anxious and will be as careful as possible. You should let them know if you are anxious and have not been examined internally before.

You may also be given information and advice about which method of contraception to use after the abortion. Finally, before having the abortion, you will be given a consent form to sign.

Methods of abortion

There are a number of different methods of abortion. The method recommended for you will depend on how many weeks pregnant you are. This is usually calculated by counting the number of weeks from the first day of your last period.

Broadly speaking there are two types of abortion – medical and surgical. A medical abortion is carried out using medication while a surgical abortion involves a minor operation.

The methods of abortion are described below.

Early medical abortion (up to nine weeks of pregnancy)

An early medical abortion involves taking two different medicines 36-48 hours apart. The effect of the medication will be similar to having an early natural miscarriage – this means you will have some bleeding and some pain when the abortion happens.

After your initial visit to see the doctor, you will have two more appointments on different days.

On your first visit you will be given an abortion pill called mifepristone, which blocks the hormone that makes the lining of the womb suitable for the fertilized egg. After taking the first tablet, you will be able to go home and continue your normal everyday activities.

Late abortion (20-24 weeks)

There are two options for a late abortion carried out at 20-24 weeks. Both require an overnight stay in hospital and are described below.

  • Surgical two-stage abortion – stage one stops the heartbeat of the foetus and softens the cervix. Stage two is carried out the following day and involves removing the foetus and surrounding tissue. Both stages are carried out under general anesthetic.
  • Medically induced abortion – this is similar to a late natural miscarriage and involves the medicine, prostaglandin, being injected into your womb, making it contract strongly (as in labour). Contractions can last six to 12 hours. You will remain awake during the procedure and will be given medicines to help control the pain if needed. D&E may then be used to ensure the womb is completely empty.