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FAQs

Australia’s Medical Termination Provider

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Is a termination of pregnancy safe?
With medical abortion, severe complications are extremely rare. Of the 1.52 million women in the United States who used this between 2000 and 2011, only 612 were hospitalized (0.04%), most frequently because they required a transfusion due to excessive bleeding. During this period, there were eight documented cases of women dying from a severe infection but FDA investigations into these deaths found no evidence of a causal relationship between the drugs and the infections.
Is medical termination effective?
Clinical trials from Canada, Turkey and the United States report rates of complete abortion ranging from 91% to 98% for pregnancies up to 9 weeks.
Is all this legal?

Abortion is the subject of criminal law in all Australian states and territories, except the Australian Capital Territory. Each state and territory has legislation prohibiting unlawful abortion. Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have legislation in place that provides a statutory explanation of when an abortion is not unlawful. In the other states, common law interpretations of the Crimes Act or Criminal Code have had the effect of making lawful abortion available to a large number of women. (http://www.childrenbychoice.org.au/info-a-resources/facts-and-figures/australian-abortion-law-and-practice)

Our clinical psychologist will ensure that the termination of pregnancy is justified under your state’s legislation in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. We do not yet provide medications to Northern Territory or South Australia.

What exactly is the process?

We will manage all the processes necessary for your pregnancy termination. Contact us immediately because time is so important.

First we will arrange referral for you to have an ultrasound and pathology test, then a medical consultation by phone with our doctor and clinical psychologist. If we consider that a medical termination is most appropriate, we will then supply everything necessary and plan, step by step, the procedure with you. We will provide a 24 hour on-call doctor and our nurse will contact you to check the day after the miscarriage. Our nurse will continue follow up and check that the pregnancy is terminated by a blood test at 10 days.


How can I work out how far pregnant I am?

Pregnancy weeks are counted from the first day of your last period, not from the date of conception. Use our calculator to see how far pregnant you are now.

Do I need a referral?

No but we will refer you to a doctor in your area if we have concerns any health problems that we find or to a surgical clinic if medical termination is not appropriate for you.

Who can have an abortion?

Medical abortion is approved in Australia for pregnancy termination up to 9 weeks gestation. There are only a few medical reasons that prevents its use and it is most appropriate for very early pregnancy.

Does termination of pregnancy affect future fertility?

There is some evidence to suggest that surgical termination of pregnancy can increase the chance of premature labour especially when performed after the first 3 months but an uncomplicated medical termination of pregnancy is not associated with an increased risk of infertility. In fact, after medical termination of pregnancy, ovulation can occur 14 days after so you could get pregnant even before your next period.

Is termination of pregnancy painful?

Most women experience pain and cramping like period pain and this can be intense for the first 1-2 hours. We provide analgesia before the abortion process to reduce the discomfort but if you normally have severe period pain we recommend a surgical procedure under intravenous sedation instead.

What is the risk of infection?

Serious infections are very rare in a medical termination of pregnancy but can be potentially life threatening so we use prophylactic antibiotics before the abortion. There is no conclusive evidence from any medical studies that avoiding tampons, intercourse, swimming or taking a bath reduces the chance of infection after termination of pregnancy. Tampons may be used when the bleeding settles but should always be changed frequently.

How long does the bleeding last?

The abortion usually occurs within a few hours afterwards and can be within 30 minutes. This bleeding can be heavy for a few hours but then continues like as period depending on how far pregnant you were. Bleeding may then stop and start and may be dark brown until the next period. Spotting can occur in the first few cycles on the Pill. The next normal period is usually expected 4 to 6 weeks after the abortion.

How long do pregnancy symptoms last?

Nausea should subside within 24 hours and should be gone by 2 days. Breast enlargement or tenderness may take a couple of weeks to subside. Don’t be concerned that a urine pregnancy test may still be positive for two to three weeks after the procedure. We will do a blood test after the process to ensure that the pregnancy has been terminated.

Will I feel a bit down after the procedure?

It is not unusual to experience a feeling of depression after any operation or stressful situation not just because of a pregnancy termination. Existing psychological problems can cause the depression to last longer. Termination of pregnancy rarely causes immediate or lasting negative psychological consequences in women without pre-existing mental issues. Studies suggest usually positive outcomes in the short term, and where negative outcomes occur these diminish over time.

When do I start contraception?

Ovulation can return within 14 days so it is important to start contraception as soon as possible. If you plan using the Pill, start the day after the abortion in the appropriate section rather than waiting until your next period. If you choose to have an implant or injection for contraception, we advise seeing your doctor after we confirm that the pregnancy has been terminated. If an intrauterine device is to be inserted, you should wait until after your first period which should be in 4 to 6 weeks but use some form of contraception in the meantime.

Do I need a postoperative check-up?

It is extremely important to understand that bleeding after taking the tablets does not necessarily mean that the pregnancy is terminated. We do a blood test at 10 days to confirm that the pregnancy has been terminated.

What about privacy?

The Tabbot Foundation is bound by the National Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 and other relevant laws about how private health service providers handle personal information. We are committed to complying with all applicable privacy laws which govern how The Tabbot Foundation collects, uses, discloses and stores your personal information. We will record our consultation with you with your consent of course but this will remain strictly private and confidential.

What if I am from overseas?

There are no restrictions especially for overseas patients but there is no subsidy on the drugs without a valid Medicare card.

What if I am under 16 years of age?

In Western Australia, you cannot give informed consent unless your custodial parent has been informed that the performance of an abortion is being considered.

In the Northern Territory a person your parent “having authority in law” needs to give consent.

In all other states there is no specific abortion legislation but you must be capable of giving informed (have an understanding) consent.

How early, or late in the pregnancy can I have an abortion?

Early medical abortion can be done as long as a pregnancy can be identified on the ultrasound examination and up to nine weeks. Because it takes a few days to arrange, we urge you to contact us immediately. Don’t delay because every day counts.

What types of abortion can I have?

We only provide medical abortion and will assess by ultrasound and consultation whether this is more appropriate for you.

Where can I have an abortion or counselling services?

We provide consultation with a clinical psychologist who will ensure that termination of pregnancy is justified under your state’s legislation. At this interview, the psychologist will identify any concerns and advise further consultation if deemed necessary.

What are the waiting times?

Consultation with the doctor and psychologist will take place after the results of the blood test and ultrasound, usually within 2 days. Time is important because studies show a better outcome earlier in pregnancy.

Do I have to have a psychologist?

A clinical psychologist will ensure that the termination of pregnancy is justified under your state’s legislation in Queensland and New South Wales. There is no specific legislation in other states except the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Is counselling available after I have had an abortion?

Our nurse will supervise your return to normal and arrange further care if required.

Can I use a different mail address?

We can send the parcel to another address or you can collect it from a post office with photo identification such as drivers license or student card.  

Can The Tabbot Foundation provide medical abortion in the Australian Capital Territory?

No. Any abortion, medical or surgical, must be performed in an “approved medical facility” in the ACT. To avoid the high fees charged by this monopoly facility, we can provide the medications for you to take in Queanbeyan NSW.

How do I get the tablets?
We express mail all medications required with step by step detailed instructions. The mail package will be delivered to your door or left at the post office if you are not home.