Abortion: Making your appointment & what to expect on the day
Making an Appointment
If you have a pregnancy that you are considering terminating, you can visit our clinic in one of two ways.
1) Make an Appointment with a Doctor
The first option is to make an appointment to see a doctor to discuss your options. You will be given non-directive counselling and a full range of options that are open to you, one of which may include termination of your pregnancy.
The doctor will likely undertake an ultrasound, a urinary pregnancy test, and take a full psychosocial history. If you would like to proceed with a pregnancy termination, you will be given an appointment for a surgical or medical termination depending on your circumstances and preference.
2) Make an appointment for your abortion
If you have decided that you wish to have an abortion, ie terminate your pregnancy and you do not require any in-depth counselling by a doctor regarding your options, then you can attend the clinic having made the appointment for the termination.
The abortion (pregnancy termination) can be surgical or medical. Medical can be performed remotely via 'tele-abortion'.
Surgical Termination – What to Expect
When You Arrive
Before your surgical termination, you will need to fast—no food for six hours prior to the appointment, and nothing to drink either for two hours prior, i.e. nil by mouth for 2 hours prior to the appointment (this includes not smoking or chewing gum).
On arrival at the clinic, you will be asked to complete some paperwork and provide proof of identity such a driver’s license and Medicare card. You will then see a clinical nurse specialist in abortion care. The nurse will undertake a full history, confirm the gestation of the pregnancy, and prepare you for admission.
You will need to pay up front on the day for the procedure (please ring to enquire about our prices).
You will then see two doctors. The first doctor is the procedural doctor, who will confirm all aspects of your admission, including your reasons for wishing to terminate, your choice of contraception, and any pathology testing requirements. The doctor will also go through the consent form again to ensure that you have been fully informed and understand all the risks and potential complications of the surgical termination of pregnancy.
The second doctor that you will see is a sedationist, a doctor who has special skills and experience in administering light anaesthetics. He or she will undertake a focused history and examination to ascertain whether you have any anaesthetic risks, and answer any questions you may have about the anaesthetic
Surgical Termination Procedure
Once you are changed into a gown, you will go through to the operating theatre, where you will meet the theatre nurse, who will introduce herself, and make you comfortable. You will have a cannula (a tiny plastic needle through which IV drugs are administered) inserted and then when you are comfortable and relaxed, you will undergo your surgical termination.
The procedure generally takes around 10 to 20 minutes, although you will feel drowsy and relaxed for approximately 45 minutes.
The aim of the conscious sedation administered is to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed, that you experience little pain, and have no recollection of the procedure.
When the procedure is finished, you will be transferred onto another bed where you will go to recovery. Here there will be a specialist recovery nurse to monitor you and ensure your comfort. You will not be left unattended during your recovery, to ensure your complete and safe recovery during the post-operative period. When you are feeling well enough, you will sit up to have some light refreshment before going home.
All in all, you can expect to be in the clinic for approximately 2 to 3 hours.
It’s important that you have somebody to drive you home, and we would recommend that this is a supportive friend or loved one who understands what’s happening and is able to take you home and stay with you.
Occasionally, patients will go home in a taxi, but this is the second-best option. Women who have a surgical termination of pregnancy are not allowed to leave the clinic by themselves or go home on public transport, for their own benefit.
Most women feel a sense of relief having had a surgical termination of their pregnancy, because the time prior to the procedure is often filled with anxiety and concern about what’s going to happen. The pregnancy itself often makes the woman feel unwell. Its quite natural to feel a bit sad too, as terminating a pregnancy is a tough decision to make.
This sadness usually passes, and we recommend getting back to normal everyday living as soon as possible. Be nice to yourself! Negative self talk and ruminating about the decision will not help you recover.
Our experience is that women who’ve had a surgical termination of pregnancy usually feel much better because they can start moving on and put it behind them.
Contraception to Go Home With
Here at Clinic 66 we always like to ensure that you will have reliable contraception to go home with, so that you are in full control of your fertility and to enable you to choose when you conceive so that she might plan your family and avoid being in a situation where you have another pregnancy that you feel you are unable to continue.
There are many reliable forms of contraception, but our recommendation is a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). These are extremely reliable set-and-forget forms of contraception and consist of an IUD (Intrauterine Device) or implant.
For most women undertaking surgical termination of pregnancy, we can provide you with a LARC at the time of termination.
Occasionally we recommend that you wait until sometime after the procedure and to come back for insertion of the LARC. If you don’t want a LARC, then we will provide a prescription for some oral contraceptive pills or advice on an alternative contraceptive method.
We recommend a check-up at 2 weeks after a surgical termination in order to assess your physical and emotional well-being, and to check on your contraceptive method.
If you have a regular doctor that you see for other things, such as your own GP, we would recommend that you see that doctor. Alternatively, you would be most welcome to come back and see us at Clinic 66.
We encourage all our patients to access the after-hours telephone number if you have any queries or concerns following a surgical termination of pregnancy.
Medical Abortion ( Medical Termination of Pregnancy)
Medical termination of pregnancy is undertaken using tablets. You may book in knowing that you would like to have a medical termination. Your prescribing doctor will confirm the suitability of this method with you before proceeding. You can also undergo Medical Termination of pregnancy via Telehealth ( video or phone consultations )
Medical abortion/ termination of pregnancy requires the administration of two types of medication: the first is a single tablet of Mifepristone, the medication that stops the pregnancy from continuing. Around 24 to 36 hours later, you will take a second lot of medication called Misoprostol which causes the uterus to contract and expel its contents.
Medical termination of pregnancy is essentially inducing a miscarriage. The experience is quite varied; some women find that it is little different from a normal period, while others find it very painful.
About 95% of medical terminations are straightforward. In the 5% of cases that are not straightforward, potential complications can include ongoing pregnancy, retained tissue, and bleeding.
We always follow our patients up two to three weeks after they have had a medical abortion to make sure that the process is complete. We encourage women who’ve undergone medical abortion to have their follow-up with us in person but if that is not possible, then we can make other arrangements. If you have undergone Tele-abortion, your follow up will be undertaken remotely.