With medication, termination can be performed up to 63 days after the start of your last menstrual period.
Comparing the methods, medical termination can have a few side effects (such as nausea, diarrhoea, fever) but if these occur they generally only last a few hours. The degree of bleeding and pain can vary. Bleeding is usually heavy for 2-4 hours and then subsides like a period over the next 7 days. With appropriate analgesia, pain is usually quite significant for the first few hours, although most women describe the degree of pain overall like period pain. There may be a risk of harm to the pregnancy if the termination fails (about 1-2% chance) so surgical abortion should be performed in this case.
If you are considering having a medical termination, we will arrange an ultrasound to make sure the pregnancy is not an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and to be sure you are no more than 9 weeks (63 days) pregnant. And a pathology test to check that your blood group is not negative, in which case we will arrange you to have an (anti-D) injection. We will provide everything necessary so that you will not have to visit your doctor or chemist.
About 7 days after the abortion, we arrange a further test to confirm a successful termination. Our nurse will contact you throughout the process to support and guide you and make sure there are no problems.
The biggest difference is bleeding and pain. With surgical termination, it is a day out of your life but the procedure is over and done within 10 minutes while you are asleep. And pain and bleeding are minimal afterwards.
With a medical termination, it still takes a day, but you have the abortion in the privacy of your own home. Bleeding can be significant and heavy for no more than 4 hours but then usually subsides to a normal period. The period pain is the biggest difference, whilst with surgical you are asleep, the medical might be associated with period pain, intense and immediate and may last a few hours. With the analgesics that we provide however, most patients report that the pain is similar in intensity to period pain.
Our advice is to have a surgical procedure if you normally experience severe period pain because the pain with the medical procedure is significant. But if your periods are normally not a problem, you prefer to have the abortion at home, and the pregnancy is early, 5-8 weeks, choose the medical method.