Frequently Asked Questions
Common frequently asked questions help women in their decision making.
How is medical abortion done?
After an ultrasound in our office, you will be given a medication called Mifeprex. This pill blocks a hormone, progesterone, which is needed for your pregnancy to continue. When followed by another medicine, misoprostol, Mifeprex ends an early pregnancy.
Early pregnancy means it is 49 days (7 weeks) or less since your last menstrual period began. Mifeprex is taken orally and allows you to avoid anesthesia or surgery in most cases.
How is a surgical abortion done?
A surgical abortion is performed by a method called suction dilation and curettage (D&C). The cervix is opened with dilators and suction is then used to empty the uterus. The entire procedure takes under 5 minutes. If you are over 14 weeks pregnant, you will have a 2 day procedure.
On the first day Laminaria (small sticks made of sterile dried seaweed) will be inserted into the cervix. These will expand over night, slowly dilating the opening of the uterus. The next day you will return to our center for the actual procedure. In some cases done after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the cervix may not be dilated enough to perform the procedure after insertion of the Laminaria. In these cases, a second insertion of Laminaria will be done and the surgery will be completed on the 3rd day.
How can I choose between medical and surgical abortion?
There are pros and cons to both methods. Click here to see the differences between the two procedures.
Will a surgical abortion hurt?
Most women experience some cramping during the procedure. If you choose to have anesthesia, you will fall asleep and won’t remember anything about the surgery.
How much time do I need to take off of work or school?
We recommend taking off the day of the procedure and the next day. Many women are ready to return to work on the day after the procedure. Some need a little bit longer to recover.
How long will I be in your office?
Patients who are 12 weeks pregnant or less should plan to be in our office for 1 ½ hours. If you are over 12 weeks, you will be in our office for about an hour on the first day and about 2 to 3 hours on the second day.
Can I have someone come into the procedure room or recovery room with me?
In order to respect the privacy and confidentiality of our patients and provide a secure environment, we can ONLY allow patients and staff members in the procedure and recovery rooms.