Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect at my visit?
Each patient that comes to our office for care receives a thorough medical evaluation. These evaluations include blood tests for anemia and hemoglobin assessment, a blood test with RH typing, an ultrasound exam to determine your weeks of gestation, blood pressure, and a medical exam with our physician. All of our patients will sit down with our physician in a private one on one session so that we discuss the results of the testing. Afterward, we explore their options regarding the treatments available to them and take time to answer any questions that they may have. Comfort is an essential part of our practice, so support persons or significant others are encouraged to join the patient if needed.
What is the surgical procedure for abortion?
The surgical procedure is performed in our state of the art operating/procedure suite under conscious sedation anesthesia. After premeditation, patients are given intravenous medications, ie. a “twilight sleep”, general anesthesia is NOT necessary. A sterile tube or “cannula” is inserted into the uterus through the cervix. Then all pregnancy tissue is removed by gentle suction. Continuous ultrasound guidance is used throughout the procedure to ensure safety and completion of the process. Patients then recover for 30 to 60 minutes in private recovery areas attended by our recovery room staff and then are discharged home with instructions.
What is the non-surgical or medical procedure for abortion?
The non-surgical or medical procedure is an alternative to surgery for our patients ten weeks or less into their pregnancy. Approximately 90% of our patients qualify for this process. Most of those patients chose the non-surgical approach, which is done according to the latest FDA guidelines. One medication, Mifepristone, is given here in the office and four vaginal tablets are given to our patients to insert the following day. Once taken, most will experience cramping and bleeding much like a heavy menstruation for several hours which ends the pregnancy. This process is popular because it requires no surgery and is safe and effective in over 97% of women.
How long will it take me to recover and what are my limitations?
Recovery depends on each patient and the gestational age of their pregnancy at the time of termination. In general, surgical patients can recover at home the day of the procedure, but can resume work the following day. We do advise limiting heavy physical activity, like exercising, until their follow-up visit in two to three weeks. Patients undergoing the medical procedure can return to work the day of the visit, or can work the following day as the vaginal tablets are usually inserted the following night after work. Patients can work the next day, as by that time most of the bleeding and cramping will be significantly diminished. Again, patients are advised to limit heavy physical activity until their follow-up visit in one week.
What happens at the follow-up visit and is it necessary?
We encourage patients to follow-up in the office. At that time, an ultrasound exam is performed and any concerns are discussed. Importantly for patients who have opted for the medical procedure, we confirm that the pregnancy has ended. In rare patients who are still pregnant (on average less than 3%), they will be given a re-dose of the medications and return in one week. This visit is also an excellent opportunity for patients to discuss any concerns with the doctor and to start contraception if necessary.
Will terminating my pregnancy have any long term effects?
Almost all studies show that whether you end your pregnancy with the surgical or medical procedure, you will not experience any long term physical effects. The same studies confirm that future fertility and future pregnancies will not be affected. Complications from either procedure are quite rare. However, our staff is trained to handle all complications or emergencies. All staff members have completed extensive training in advanced life support and hold current ACLS certificates.
What services do you offer?
As medical care providers for your total women’s health, we can also provide you with regular annual gynecological exams including Pap smears, mammogram referrals, contraception, hormone replacement, and in-hospital treatments if necessary. Just ask anyone of our staff to schedule these services for you.
Are your fees affordable?
Not all insurances cover abortion services, but we can help to provide you with the necessary documentation to submit to your insurance if covered. In addition, we strive to keep our fees as low as possible and work with the National Abortion Federation. NAF can, in many circumstances, help to fund our services for those patients who have difficulty financially on a patient by patient basis.