Surgical termination of pregnancy is performed up to 20 weeks at the Sydney Abortion Clinic, although between 12-15 weeks you will need to stay with us for 4-5 hrs, rather than the normal 2 hrs. For pregnancies between 15-20 weeks, it becomes a 2 day procedure. Surgical termination is a definitive procedure, a suction curette, which is performed while you are under sedation, so you don’t feel pain or have a recollection of the procedure.Surgical termination is best performed between the 6-12 week pregnancy stage.
Medical termination is performed by assessment of you in the clinic, administration of tablets ( mifepristone or RU486) and then you go home to take further medication ( misoprostol) . Miscarriage ensues, involving pain and bleeding, like a heavy period, at home. You do not have any anaesthetic or surgical procedure.
Prior to termination of pregnancy ( medical or surgical ) we will perform an ultrasound scan, to check how many weeks pregnant you are, which determines which options are available to you. We will explain the risks and benefits of both types of termination, and support you in your decision. All surgical procedures have risks, and medical termination of pregnancy can have complications, though they are slightly different from a surgical abortion. We do our utmost to prevent complications from happening, but inevitably, as with any medical procedure, there is always inherent risk.
When attending to discuss the options for your unplanned pregnancy, the clinician will explain the possible outcomes of your decision. If you decide to terminate, on the day of your appointment, you will be counseled through the consent form, which is a document you sign, to say you have understood all the risks. Although very rare, the risks of pregnancy termination include infection, bleeding, perforation of the uterus , repeat procedure (if the uterus is incompletely emptied), Dilatation and Curettage or D&C ( for unsuccessful medical termination) and Ashermans Syndrome. Ashermans Syndrome is where small areas of scar tissue can form in the uterus after a curette. There is treatment available, although a referral to a Gynaecologist would be required. By performing an ultrasound scan before and after the procedure, we check that the products of conception have been completely removed. We will scan you immediately after a surgical termination and at 2 weeks after a medical termination, to ensure the uterus is empty. Even if you experience complications, we will look after you and ensure the best and safest outcome at no additional charge to you and we provide follow up to all our patients as required after attending our facility.
The operating doctors at the Sydney Abortion Clinic are trained to undertake pregnancy termination using the best and most up to date surgical techniques. There are always at least 2 doctors looking after you during the procedure ( for surgical termination); one doing the procedure and one to care for you while under sedation. For a medical termination, there is usually only one doctor who will assess you and prescribe the medication.
To prevent infection, we offer screening for every woman for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. For women undergoing surgical termination of pregnancy, we administer antibiotics (orally and rectally) at the time of the procedure . If you do not have a Medicare card, you may choose not to have the screening tests, but we will still administer antibiotics. We ask you to have complete pelvic rest for at least 1 week afterwards (no sex, tampons, swimming or sitting in water), so nothing should go into the vagina for at least a week having had the procedure. This reduces the risk of germs entering the cervix to cause infection. We don’t normally undertake blood testing at the time of termination, although we will check your Rhesus status which is a marker in your blood. If you are Rhesus positive, no action is required. If you are Rhesus negative, you will be given an injection of Anti-D antibodies to protect you in future pregnancies.