What is it?
Medical termination or medical abortion refers to the process of initiating a miscarriage using a combination of drugs (the ‘abortion pill’). These drugs replicate hormonal changes similar to those experienced in a natural miscarriage to terminate a pregnancy without surgical intervention. It is a very safe and effective method, however, does have time constraints on when it may be used. In our clinic, only a small percentage of women choose medical abortion over a surgical-procedural abortion after they have been given full information and reached an understanding of the methods.
Contraceptive Services use a drug combination recognised by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration), WHO (World Health Organisation) and other medical bodies.
When can it be used?
Medical terminations can be performed safely with a high success rate up to 9 weeks following your last menstrual period. We set a limit at this time to prevent increased levels of bleeding and discomfort in the form of cramps and pain for our patients, as well as to reduce ineffective termination.
If this method is chosen following your counselling session, we will schedule you in for a follow-up visit to monitor progress. The time frame for medical abortion is generally one to two weeks, however, it can vary up to three to four weeks.
Statistically, 70% of patients achieve successful termination in the first week,
- 90% by the second week, and
- 90-95% by the third and fourth weeks.
It is important to know that the method is not fail-proof, and may require surgical intervention should the medication not succeed. However, your progress will be explained at the end of each checkup with your doctor, and you will always be presented with any relevant information.
What happens after?
Following medication, miscarriage will occur sometime between 1 and 4 weeks. Blood loss and level of discomfort experienced in medical termination is usually more than that experienced with surgical termination.
Medical termination may also cause some drug-related side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, headache, and fever.
You may have multiple follow-ups with the clinic until the termination is complete.