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Abortion Methods

Australia’s Medical Termination Provider

MEDICAL vs SURGICAL TERMINATION

The Differences

A combination of two medications vs an operation performed with light anaesthetic in 15 minutes.

 

Suction Curettage Abortion

Medical Abortion

The Difference
Pregnancy is removed by suction with light anaesthetic in 10 minutes. A combination of two medications causes an abortion, and the earlier the better, so that it appears to be a delayed heavy period.
How
Small plastic disposable tube inserted into the uterus and suction by electric surgical equipment. Under the law in Australia, we are restricted in what advice we can give you about abortion drugs. You will only be able to see this on the Abortion Instructions page. Our nurse contacts you on the day of the abortion and 10 days later to confirm that you are back to normal. A 24 hour access number is available for questions and advice.
Effectiveness

Almost 100% of suction curettage abortions are successful; only a few percent need a repeat procedure or other intervention. (Nothing in medicine is 100%)

More than 97% are successful and require no intervention. About 3% will need a surgical procedure for prolonged or excessive bleeding. Less than 1% of medical abortions fail.

Stage
Five to 14 weeks since the first day of your last menstrual period. Sometimes we prefer to wait until six weeks to decrease the chance of leaving all or part of the pregnancy behind after the surgical procedure. If performed earlier than six weeks, we just repeat a pregnancy test 14 days later. Up to 9 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period. Medical abortion can be performed as soon as a pregnancy is confirmed by ultrasound when it is more effective and results in less bleeding.
Visits

Usually requires one visit -- for advice, examination and procedure. Sometimes you will return to your GP if you need follow-up care.

Requires no doctor visit, only an ultrasound and pathology tests prior to the procedure. Advice is provided by telephone consultation, medications are provided by mail and the process is supervised with 24 hour care. A pathology test 7 days later confirms the pregnancy is terminated.
Appointment
If you are between six and 14 weeks pregnant, the appointment will take approximately two hours. Two consultations by telephone, with a doctor and a psychologist, at a convenient time in the privacy of your own home.
Pain
Usually painless apart from mild period pain particularly if you normally get period pain but goes within a few hours. Most women experience strong period pain and bleeding; some experience nausea or other side effects.
Anaesthetic
Intravenous drugs by a needle in your arm put you to sleep for 15 minutes with rapid recovery. Anaesthesia is not required. We provide analgesics (pain medications) to manage any pain from contractions.
Bleeding
Usually have light bleeding at home after the procedure for 7-14 days. Usually have heavy bleeding for a few hours and then bleed like a period for about 7-10 days.
Accompanying Person
One friend, partner or family member usually accompanies you during the consultation and explanation of the procedure but not the procedure itself until the recovery room transfer. It is essential that someone takes you home. You are strongly advised to have partner or support person with you at home on the morning of the miscarriage.

COMPARISON OF THE RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS

 

Suction Curettage Abortion

Medical Abortion

Injury
When instruments and suction are placed into the uterus, there is a small risk of cervical injury or rarely uterine perforation that could require further treatment or abdominal surgery.

No instruments or suction will be used, so you will not be exposed to the chance of cervical injury and uterine perforation although these rarely occur with surgical abortion. Medical abortion is similar to having a miscarriage and no one will ever know that you have been pregnant.

Infection
There is a small likelihood of infection after suction curettage abortion. You may be given antibiotics, which, if taken as directed, will reduce the chance that you will get an infection. Infection after medical abortion is quite uncommon (less than surgical) but if it occurs, must be treated seriously. We provide antibiotics to prevent an infection to further reduce the chance of infection.
Pain Management
Nursing staff and doctors manage any symptoms during your recovery, such as cramping or excessive bleeding, although uncommonly necessary. Since you will be at home during the actual abortion process, you take on more responsibility for your own care. We will give you detailed written instructions on managing side effects and a 24 hour phone number to call to answer any questions or assist.