Medical Abortion

  • Medical abortion uses a drug instead of a surgical procedure.  It can be performed up to 7 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period. This needs to be confirmed by ultrasound during your initial appointment
  • It takes between 1 and 3 weeks to complete. There is a 95% success rate; the other 5% will have to complete the abortion with a surgical procedure.
  • Women who choose this option must be able to attend multiple doctor visits over a 2-3 week time frame. They must also be willing not to have sexual intercourse or consume alcohol for 14 days.
  • Only women residing in Yellowknife can have a medical abortion at this time.
  • Women who are breastfeeding, who have inflammatory bowel disease, sickle cell disease, certain blood disorders, kidney disease or liver disease cannot have a medical abortion.
  • If you and your doctor determine that this is the right choice for you during your first appointment, you will be given a requisition to have blood work done.
  • You will be given a prescription for methotrexate, misoprostol, and a pain medication, which you will have to pick up at the pharmacy. Methotrexate is a medication that blocks cell growth including the growth of the pregnancy. Misoprostol is a medication that, when used after methotrexate, will cause the cervix (neck of the womb) to soften and open, and will cause the uterus to contract and push out the pregnancy.
  • You will return either later that day or the next day to have the methotrexate injected by the doctor.
  • Three to four days later, you will take the misoprostol either by inserting tablets in your vagina or in your cheek.
  • One week after the methotrexate injection, you will see the doctor again for a vaginal ultrasound to see if the abortion has been successful. If the abortion is complete, you are done. If the pregnancy is still present, you will repeat the misoprostol tablets.
  • If you required the second round of misoprostol, you will then be seen by a doctor again one to two weeks later.  If the pregnancy is still present 3-4 weeks after you started the process (5% of cases), we will  recommend a surgical abortion. You can choose at any time during the medical abortion to switch to a surgical abortion, which we will arrange.

Contact us to arrange an appointment

NOTE: Medical abortions are NOT performed in Yellowknife with “the abortion pill”, or mifepristone (RU486), as it is not available in Canada.