- PRE- AND POST-ABORTION INSTRUCTIONS
- Please allow four hours for your entire appointment (including paperwork, consultation, tests, the procedure and recovery).
- On the day of your appointment, please bring your photo ID, insurance cards and payment with you to the clinic.
- Please EAT before coming in to the clinic. However, do not eat or drink anything except water for one hour before your appointment. If you have questions about this, please call the clinic.
- If you would like, bring a couple of your preferred type of maxi pads with you for the ride home. You must wear underwear to your appointment. You will need to adhere a maxi pad to your underwear when you leave.
- Please notify us if you have a history of epilepsy, low platelets or asthma. If you have asthma, please bring your inhaler with you.
- Please arrange for someone to drive you home.
- If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, please let us know as soon as you can. This allows access for other patients.
- You are welcome to bring a support person to participate in your visit.
- Try to arrange for one full day off from work to rest. This is not required, but it is helpful.
- Buy yourself maxi pads and ibuprofen for any bleeding and/or cramping you may experience at home after the procedure. You will also need to have an oral thermometer at home to take your temperature for the first seven days.
- Please be aware that pregnant women are sensitive to smells and often are nauseated. We ask that you respect our clinic's scent-free policy and avoid smells including but not limited to perfumes, body spray, cigarette or marijuana smoke, and food.
24-hour pager for abortion patients: 866-701-0174.
We encourage you to call the clinic with any concerns during office hours. Please call before going to an emergency room. Often speaking with the doctor can save you a trip to the ER.
- To prevent infection: Nothing should enter the vagina for two weeks. Do not have sexual intercourse, use tampons (use sanitary napkins instead), douche or take baths or swim. Take all of your antibiotics until they are gone. For some people, antibiotics can cause nausea. To prevent this, it can be helpful to take antibiotics with food. Please call the clinic if you throw up your antibiotic.
- Activities: Avoid strenuous exercise such as jogging, hiking, dancing, weightlifting or aerobics classes for one week.
- Work: Try to arrange for one full day off from work to rest. especially if you must be on your feet all day. (Patients who work the same day may have increased bleeding and cramping.) We will be happy to provide a doctor's note if you wish.
- Fever: A fever is a sign that you may be developing an infection. Take your temperature every morning for seven days. If your temperature is above 100.5° F, call the clinic. You should also immediately take two of your antibiotics and two Tylenol.
- Bleeding: A variety of bleeding patterns are normal to experience after an abortion. Your bleeding may range from very heavy to light brown spotting to none at all, and stop and start for up to three weeks. This is NORMAL. It is not your period. Your first period will usually return in four to eight weeks.
- If you bleed through more than two sanitary napkins in less than two hours, take 800 mg of Ibuprofen immediately and call the clinic or after-hours physician number. If you pass clots larger than a plum, call the clinic. It's not an emergency, but we want to monitor the clotting.
- Cramping: Cramping may occur for several days. You might have cramping continuously, or off and on. To manage any discomfort you may experience, start by taking ibuprofen and using a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen for the first 24 hours. You can take 800 mg of Ibuprofen (aka Advil, Motrin or Aleve) every eight hours with food for up to seven days. If this does not relieve the pain or you experience severe pain or dizziness, call the clinic. If ibuprofen makes the cramping go away, this means that it is working and you should continue taking it three times a day for a few days.
- Sadness or depression: You may feel unusually emotional after the abortion. This is normal and may be affected by the dropping hormone levels in your body. Feel free to call us if you would like to talk or want a referral to a counselor. Lots of gentle care, sleep and healthy food will help.
- Contraception: It is possible to become pregnant immediately after the abortion, and therefore, you need to use some form of contraception before resuming sex. If you plan to take birth control pills, start them the Sunday after your abortion. If you plan on using Depo-Provera, we can provide this at your follow-up appointment. If you prefer to use a LARC (long-acting reversible contraception such as an IUD), we can usually insert this at your follow-up if you’ve told the receptionist to order one for you before the follow-up appointment.
- Pregnancy symptoms: Nausea and fatigue are usually the first two symptoms women experience in early pregnancy. Breast tenderness and bloating are also common. The nausea and fatigue should be completely gone within four days after your abortion. If these symptoms are still present after four days, please call the clinic. Bloating and breast tenderness can take up to one month to go away.
- Post-abortion examination: Return to the clinic for this important checkup three weeks after the abortion. Make an appointment with us at the time of your abortion appointment or give us a call sometime afterward. Be aware that a pregnancy test may register positive for up to eight weeks after your abortion.
When you arrive at the clinic, your visit will begin with filling out paperwork.
If you'd like to get a head start on some of our intake forms, please:
- Print and fill out the applicable forms below.
- Use BLACK INK only.
- Bring them with you to your appointment.
Links to forms:
Patient Info Sheet