Surgical Abortion

Your Journey – The Procedure

When you arrive

A surgical abortion involves coming into our clinic. It is a procedure that uses gentle suction to empty the uterus. While the procedure itself is quick, you will need to be at our clinic for around 3 hours in total.

When you arrive at our clinic, one of our nurses will walk you through what your time in the clinic will look like. They will take you through the steps of the procedure, 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 two types of medication. The first medication is to help with any discomfort. The second medication, Misoprostol, prepares your body for the procedure.

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.

Over the next hour, the Misoprostol will begin working and you will begin to experience cramps and bleeding. 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, if you would like them to. You will need to remove your clothing from your waist down and are able to wrap yourself in a gown we provide. 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.

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 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. It is 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).
Hot sweats and flushes
Light headedness
A headache
Lower back pain
You may experience none, all, or a combination of these symptoms as your uterus works hard to release the pregnancy tissue.
If you are concerned about your symptoms, you can always call us.

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.

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