Abortion

Termination of pregnancy

If you are considering a termination of pregnancy, call us to make an appointment to talk about your options.

Our direct line for appointments is 0191 445 3201 and clinics run on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.

You will be offered an appointment to come to one of our clinics in the Women’s Health Clinic which is situated behind the maternity unit.

Your questions answered

How long will my appointment take?

Your appointment will take approximately one hour. Please feel free to bring someone with you.

Who will I see?

You should go to the reception where the receptionist will ask you to confirm details of your name, address etc. When you are called into clinic you will be seen by either a specialist nurse practitioner or a consultant.

What will happen when I come to clinic?

We are here to discuss your options with you and to support you in the decisions you make about your pregnancy.

We will also help you decide which method of termination is most appropriate for you.

To help with this we will ask some questions about your general background, medical history, any previous pregnancies and contraceptive history.

You will have an ultrasound scan to check this pregnancy is developing in the womb and to accurately date the pregnancy. This scan is usually an abdominal (tummy) scan. You will need a full but not uncomfortable bladder for this.

Sometimes it is difficult to gain an accurate view and an internal (vaginal) scan may be necessary.

You will be offered vaginal swabs to identify any infections, such as chlamydia. This involves a vaginal examination to look at the cervix.

We will also take blood samples from you to check your blood group and to see if you are anaemic.  We will also speak to you about future contraception.

How will the termination be done?

There are two methods used to terminate a pregnancy. You can choose which you prefer. These will be discussed with you in more detail at your appointment but here is some information which may help you decide which is best for you.

Surgical termination

This procedure is usually carried out as a day case and is done while you are asleep using a general anaesthetic.  The doctor will gently open the neck of the womb and remove the pregnancy using suction.  This is done through the vagina, so there is no cutting.

Medical termination

This involves taking medication that will end your pregnancy and help your body to expel the pregnancy from the womb.

It involves two separate visits to hospital. At the first visit you are given a tablet to swallow called Mifepristone to make the womb sensitive to the second part of the treatment. You will need to stay for an hour after taking the tablet. You then return to hospital two days later. You will be given some tablets which are placed into the vagina. This softens and opens the cervix and makes the womb contract. You will get bleeding and the pregnancy is passed out with this. If you are less than eight weeks pregnant you may be allowed home immediately. If you are more than eight weeks  pregnant you will remain in hospital usually for the day.

Please note that treatment usually does not take place on the day of your first appointment but will be discussed and arranged with you.

The legal limit for abortion is 24 weeks. However at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital we can only carry out termination of pregnancy up to 12 weeks. An early appointment allows us to help you make decisions and arrange treatment as soon as possible.  If you are found to be over 12 weeks at your appointment we can give you more information or refer you to another centre.

Further information is available from:

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