Preparing for an Abortion

You may be feeling very frightened and upset or perhaps a sense of relief that you have or are about to choose an abortion.  It may be that you have decided to have an abortion and want to know what happens next.  Depending on the type of abortion you will be having may mean you might need some support afterwards.  You could ask your partner or friend, family member or another adult to help you after you have the abortion.

Whether you have asked your GP for an abortion or gone direct to a private clinic the first thing that will happen is that they will assess your circumstances and ask you questions about your past medical history and any previous pregnancies.  You will be offered counselling to help you deal with the situation.

At your initial appointment at the clinic you will have an ultrasound scan.  This scan shows the foetus and can confirm how many weeks pregnant you are.  It will also help to determine what method of abortion you are likely to have.  You may also have some blood tests to check you have enough iron in your blood and sometime you may be offered an STI check, although this is entirely up to you.

The procedure on the day differs slightly between having a drug induced abortion to having a surgical abortion.  You should always follow the instructions that have been given to you prior to your abortion. 

Eating before an abortion

This depends on the type of abortion you are going to have.  If you are due to have an anaesthetic, you may not be allowed to eat for a certain period beforehand.  You will be told by the clinic if you can eat before your abortion.

What to Take with You

If you have been referred by the NHS you need to bring your referral letter with you.  If you have gone directly to a private clinic then you just need to turn up for your appointment.  You might want to bring someone with you for support.  Remember to take any medication with you that you are taking.

On the Day of the Abortion

All clinics are designed to make you feel comfortable and at ease.  You will go over all your notes with someone at the clinic and will have another chance to speak with a counsellor. What happens on your treatment day very much depends on the type of abortion that you are having.

If you are having a medical abortion you may find that you recover and can go home fairly quickly and get back to normal.  If you are having a surgical abortion you may need to stay longer, possibly overnight, and it might take you longer to get back into your normal routine.  You might also need some extra support if you have had a general anaesthetic so organising for someone to be there for you afterwards is a good idea.

Whatever type of abortion you are having, remember it is important to follow the instructions that you are given by the clinic on the day and in preparation of the day.

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