Choosing an abortion method

Abortion methods at a glance

Both abortion methods are very safe, with low rates of complications . Both have no effect on future fertility or pregnancies unless there is an extremely rare complication. Please note: aspiration abortion is an option in very early in pregnancy and medical abortion is not the only good choice for early pregnancies.


Medical Abortion

Success rate: 95-97% by 1-2 week follow-up.

Appointments and time off: Usually three but the second two (several weeks apart) are usually by phone. May need more time to rest after using medications than with an aspiration.

Process: The first pill disrupts the pregnancy and the second one makes the uterus contract and push out the pregnancy, usually within 4-6 hours.

Cost: Covered under MSP. About $985 without MSP, about $410 with medical insurance from another province other that Quebec

Pain:  From mild to very strong cramping off and on during the abortion (usually 1 to 4 hours). Pain medication prescribed, used as needed. Off and on cramps can last for a few days.

Bleeding: Heavy bleeding and passing clots are normal during the abortion process.  Bleeding and/or spotting can last up to the first period 4-6 weeks after.

Side effects: Many have flu like symptoms for a few hours  including diarrhoea, fever, and chills.

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Aspiration Abortion

Success rate: More than 99%.

Appointments and time off: Usually one appointment and short recovery time.

Process: During a 7-8 minute procedure, a doctor uses gentle suction to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. Time at the clinic is usually 2-3 hours.

Cost: Covered under MSP. $700 without MSP.

Pain: From mild to very strong cramping during the abortion, often some cramping after. Pain medication given, including intravenous sedation.

Bleeding: Usually light to moderate bleeding, most often less than a period. Bleeding and/or spotting may last for up to two weeks, sometimes up to the next period.

Side Effects: May have dizziness, nausea or vomiting for a short time after the procedure.


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Detailed medical and aspiration abortion comparison

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Everywoman’s sits on the traditional, ancestral, and un-ceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples– xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam),  Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish).