Surgical Abortion

Your Journey – The Procedure

When you arrive

A surgical  abortion involves coming into our clinic. You are more than welcome to bring someone you are comfortable with along. Our nurses will be there to support you whether you decide to bravely go through your journey alone, or bring someone along.

When you arrive at our clinic, one of our nurses will walk you through what your time in the clinic will look like, the steps of your journey, and what to expect, and guide you over the paperwork. The nurse may also ultrasound your belly.

After your chat with the nurse, you will be given medication to prepare your body for the procedure. This is called Misoprostol. You will also be given medication to help with the discomfort.

The nurse will lead you to one of our cosy chairs in our recovery room. Here you can rest  and put your feet up. You are welcome to head out and come back at the time of your procedure if you prefer.

You will begin to experience cramps and bleeding after taking the Misoprostol. This is your body working to prepare your cervix and soften the tissue in your uterus. It is like having a very heavy, crampy period.  While you’re in the recovery room you will be given a hottie to put on your tummy and a blanket to snuggle up with.

After an hour one of our nurses will take you through to the procedure room. Your support person can come too, to hold your hand. You don’t need to put a gown on, just remove your lower clothes. More medication is given to ease your discomfort through the procedure.

During your procedure the doctor will place a speculum into your vagina (like having a smear test). Your cervix is gently dilated and a small tube is passed through. Gentle suction is applied to empty your uterus. The procedure itself takes between 5 to 10 minutes. The whole time one of our nurses will be by your side. And your support person if you want them to be.

After the procedure, you are guided back to your cosy chair in the recovery room. The nurse will check on you to see how you are and prepare for you to head home. You will be able to walk out of the clinic about 30 minutes after your procedure.

It is not safe to drive yourself after the medication we give you to help with the discomfort. Best to have someone drive you home or to your chosen safe space. You may feel tired after your procedure, take it easy during the days following. As long as you feel up to it you can return to work, school, or any other commitments as early as the next day.

Recovery after a surgical abortion usually takes a day or two. Give yourself the space and time to recover.

What to expect – During your procedure

After taking the Misoprostol

The Misoprostol is the medication that prepares your body for the surgical abortion. You will experience cramps and bleeding. This is your uterus contracting and tissue softening. It is like having a very heavy, crampy period. A period where you want to lie somewhere comfortable with a hottie on your tummy.


You will be given medication to help with the discomfort during the procedure. It is normal to experience significant cramping, discomfort, and aches in your belly during the procedure. The cramps may be constant, come and go in waves, or stop and start. A surgical abortion is an individual process, so everyone experiences different levels of cramping and discomfort. The strong cramps will ease off soon after the procedure, but you are likely to experience mild cramps for the rest of the day. Once you leave the clinic, if you are concerned about your level of cramping, or how long it has been going on, you can always call us.


It is normal to bleed after the procedure. You may pass small pieces of tissue and blood clots of varying sizes. Everyone experiences a different level of bleeding. During the first 24 hours after your procedure, it is best to use pads, not tampons or a moon-cup. This will help avoid infection.

Once you leave the clinic, if you are concerned about the amount of bleeding, or how long it has been going on, you can always call us.

Other things you may experience

After taking the Misoprostol it is normal to feel nauseous and have diarrhoea (just like period poos).

Passing the pregnancy tissue

The pregnancy tissue is removed from your uterus by gentle suction during your procedure. We place the tissue in a bag. You can choose what you would like to do with the tissue. You can take it with you, or leave it with us to be cremated.

What might I see?

The pregnancy tissue will usually look like a large clot. It can be very hard to see the pregnancy if earlier than 9 weeks. You may be able to recognise the pregnancy if over 9 weeks.

What should I do with the pregnancy tissue?

What you decide to do with the pregnancy tissues is your choice. If you would like to keep the pregnancy tissue and bury it, you may. We will place the tissue in a flax basket for you to take with you to bury somewhere special. If you don’t wish to take the tissue home with you, we take it to the local crematorium to be cremated.  

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