Surgical Abortion

  • If you choose to have a surgical abortion, you will return to the same place the day after your ultrasound and counseling appointment.
  • Your entire stay will usually be a few hours, though the procedure itself takes only 10 – 20 minutes. Women often enjoy bringing an ipod with them to listen to their own relaxing music.
  • If this is your first pregnancy or you are more than 12 weeks from your last period, you may be given a medication called misoprostol to take before your abortion. Misoprostol is a medication that will cause the cervix (neck of the womb) to soften and open. This medication can be either inserted into the vagina or dissolved in the cheek. After you take this, the abortion cannot be reversed
  • You will be given a medication called Ativan to dissolve under your tongue. This will help you to relax. You will also be given an anti-inflammatory medication to decrease cramping.
  • You will go into the same room where you had your ultrasound.  You will be with a nurse practitioner and the doctor. The nurse practitioner will put a small intravenous in a vein in your arm, and through that she will give you medications to help you relax and to decrease pain. You will not be put to sleep, as it is safer for you to be awake during the procedure. You will be able to tell the nurse beside you if you feel anxious or if you feel pain, and she can adjust your medication dose.
  • The doctor will determine the size and position of your uterus by inserting a gloved finger into your vagina and laying the other hand on your lower belly.
  • A tool called a speculum will be inserted into your vagina, exactly the same way as when you have a pap test done.
  • The cervix (neck of the womb) will then be frozen by small injections of local anesthetic (xylocaine). This may feel pinchy or crampy.
  • The doctor will then gently open (dilate) the cervix to gain access to the uterus.  This may result in slight pressure and cramping.
  • Once the cervix is open the doctor will empty the pregnancy tissue with a tube connected to a suction pump.  A woman can feel minimal to heavy cramping as the uterus contracts and gets smaller. You may hear a suction-like sound.
  • The doctor will then clean the walls of the uterus to ensure that all of the tissue is removed and a final suction is done. The entire procedure normally takes approximately 10 minutes.
  • You will then be led back to the recovery room, where you will be able to eat and drink. You are not allowed to drive for 24 hours after the procedure, so you must arrange to have someone pick you up.

The Night Before the Surgical Abortion

Before your surgical abortion appointment:

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight before your surgical abortion, except you can drink clear fluids (water, apple juice, ginger ale) until 4 hours before your abortion.
  • Do not drink alcohol the day before your abortion.
  • Bring comfortable loose clothes for after your abortion, including comfortable underwear. Thong underwear will not be comfortable, as you will be wearing a pad after the abortion.
  • Arrange to have someone pick you up after the abortion, as you will not be allowed to drive.
  • If you decide after your first appointment not to come for your abortion, please call the NOW Program number at 873-5710 (outside of Yellowknife, 1-888-873-5710).

Contact us to arrange an apointment