How to prepare for an abortion?

How to prepare for an abortion.

Abortion procedures are outpatient surgeries, also called ambulatory or same-day surgery, does not require an overnight stay in the hospital, meaning you can go home the same day.

Before Your Visit

  • Please be on time for your appointment. If you are running late, please call us to reschedule.
  • Eat a light meal (nothing heavy or greasy)
  • No children are allowed in our clinics
  • One person may accompany you to your appointment, but are not allowed in the examination room
  • If you chose to have conscious sedation, you must have a ride home – you cannot drive yourself!
  • Your total time in the office can range from 2-4 hours so please plan your day accordingly.

Before Your Procedure

  1. After completing a basic HISTORY FORM you will be called for a sonogram to verify the estimated gestational age of your pregnancy.
    1. It is very important that you notify the Metropolitan Family Planning staff of any drug allergies that you have. Drug allergies are the leading cause of major morbidity and mortality associated with this procedure.
  2. You will then be called into the laboratory where a friendly and gentle lab Metropolitan Family Planning staff member will check your vital signs and draw blood to check your RH status as well as a current hemoglobin and hematocrit.
    • Approximately 15% of women are RH negative and will require a Rhogam injection after the procedure to protect future pregnancies.
    • There is a small fee for this injection if the need arises.
    • If you have further questions about RH status please ask one of our staff to discuss the information further.
  3. During this time, we encourage you to read our office provided information about the surgical abortion procedure. Our staff is available to answer any questions.

Once your decision is made and depending on your estimated gestational age you will be given a medication called Cytotec (Misoprostol) which will help to accomplish natural cervical dilation and aid in the process of making mechanical dilation easier and gentler.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions portion for more information about why we use Cytotec.

Our Process

Step 1: After about 30-60 minutes, we will call you to the procedure room where you will be asked to undress from the waist down.
Step 2: If you have elected to have Conscious Sedation, it will be administered at this time by one of our physicians.
Step 3: The physician will perform a pelvic and speculum exam.
Step 4: Betadine, an antiseptic, will then be used to cleanse the cervix.

  • It is important to let our staff know if you have an allergy to betadine or Iodine or other antiseptic agents.
Step 5: Next the physician will inject a local paracervical anesthetic block. This is done to help reduce pain during your procedure.

  • It is VERY IMPORTANT to inform our staff and physician if you have an allergy to any anesthetic or have had any allergic reaction to anesthesia in the past.
  • Most severe and sometimes FATAL complications during the procedure are as a result of allergy to anesthetic medications and NOT the procedure itself.
Step 6: After a few minutes have passed, we will perform the procedure using only vacuum aspiration and a plastic cannula.
Step 7: The actual procedure time is extremely short, usually no longer then 2-5 minutes.
Step 8: You will experience cramps like those of a normal period, which will subside shortly after the procedure has been completed. This cramping sensation, while uncomfortable, is the body’s natural way of preventing excessive bleeding.
Step 9: After the procedure you will continue to lie down until one of our medical staff helps you to get dressed. If you are having any dizziness or light-headedness please continue to lie down until it has resolved.

If you have any questions about how to prepare for an abortion — please contact us:

Camp Springs, MD (301) 423-3313

College Park, MD (301) 474-5300

Gaithersburg, MD (301) 921-0077

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