Your guide to a surgical abortion

What is a surgical abortion? An overview

A surgical abortion can also be known as an in-clinic abortion or suction abortion. Although it is called a surgical abortion, it is a procedure rather than surgery. If you are up to 15 weeks along this is a safe and effective option to end a pregnancy. If you are less than 10 weeks pregnant you can talk to us about whether a surgical abortion or an Early Medical Abortion (EMA) is right for you.

Suitable up to 15 weeks pregnant

Involves a quick procedure

You come into one of our clinics

How does a surgical abortion work?

A surgical abortion is a procedure that uses gentle suction to empty the uterus.

The procedure involves coming into one of our clinics for around three hours, although the procedure itself only takes about 10 minutes. You are more than welcome to bring someone you are comfortable with along with you to the clinic. Our nurses will be there to support you whether you decide to bravely go through your journey alone, or bring someone with you.

Your first half an hour in the clinic is spent with one of our nurses. They will walk you through what your time in the clinic will look like. They will take you through the steps of your procedure , and what to expect and guide you over the paperwork. You will be given two types of medication. The first medication is to help with any discomfort. The second medication, Misoprostol, prepares your body for the procedure.

For the next hour, the Misoprostol will begin working to prepare your body for the procedure. You can either cosy up in one of the chairs in our recovery room or head out of the clinic – It is up to you. You will begin to experience cramps and start to bleed. It will be like having a very heavy, crampy period.

After an hour, one of the nurses will take you through to the procedure room. The doctor will pass a small tube through your cervix and into your uterus. Gentle suction is applied to empty your uterus. Throughout the procedure, one of our nurses will be by your side.

After your procedure, you will spend time recovering  in our recovery room. The nurse will check in on you to see how you are and prepare for you to head home. You will be able to walk out of the clinic 30 minutes after your procedure. It is not safe to drive after the medication we give you to help with the discomfort. It is best to have someone drive you home.

If you would like to bring  someone on your journey with you, they can accompany you to the clinic. Your support person can sit beside you in the recovery room before your procedure and/or hold your hand during.. It is up to you to decide and invite them on the steps you are comfortable with. If you prefer knowing your support person is there but not right beside you, they can always wait in our waiting room.

Whether you bring a support person, or not, one of our nurses will be with you at every step throughout the day.

Recovery takes a day or two. You may feel tired after your procedure , so take it easy during the days following. You can return to work, school, or any other commitments as early as the next day, as long as you feel up to it.

What’s involved in getting a surgical abortion?

A surgical abortion is a procedure designed to empty your uterus using gentle suction. Before deciding on your procedure, you will talk  with  one of our nurses who will help you to decide if a surgical abortion is the right option for you, we call this a nurse consultation.

You can meet with the nurse by coming into one of our clinics for your consultation, or you can talk and meet with them over the phone. Whichever is more convenient for you.

All of our patients will need to have a blood test, which we will book for you, at a local lab.

In-clinic consultation

If you choose to meet with our nurse in the clinic for your consultation, you will most likely also be given an ultrasound. If you decide to proceed with a surgical abortion, you will be booked in for your procedure within the next 14 days. If you would like more time to go away and think about your decision, that is okay. We can always book you in for an appointment if you do decide you want to proceed.

Over the phone consultation

If you decide to  proceed with your journey during your over the phone consult with our nurse, we will  book you in for your procedure within the next 14 days. If you need an ultrasound, one will be arranged for you in your local area. If you need time to think things over, once you are sure of continuing your journey we can organise an appointment for your procedure.

What are the steps of having a surgical abortion?

Reach out to us

  1. We will organise a blood test an ultrasound for you at your local clinic lab and book you in for a consult with one of our nurses either in clinic or over the phone

  2. Have your blood taken at your local lab

Talk with one of our nurses to discuss your options and support

  1. If needed have an ultrasound at one of our clinics or in your local area

Book the day and time of your procedure

  1. Organise to take the day off work, school, or any other commitments

  1. Arrange for someone to drive you to and from our clinic

  1. Stock up on pads, movies, books, and snacks

Arrive at our clinic on the day of your procedure

Take it easy for the next couple of days

Take time to process your journey

Reach out to us for support and help at any time

Ready to take the next step in your journey?

Reach out online or call 0800 226 784 to speak to one of our nurses. We are here to support you every step of the way. This is your journey.

Take the next step