Choosing an abortion method

Abortion methods at a glance

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to offer as much as possible the option of a medical abortion at a distance to enable you to stay home and stay safe. We will talk to you about this when you call to make an appointment.

Everyone is different in how they experience a medical or aspiration (often called surgical) abortion. Both are very safe medical procedures, with very low rates of complications . Both have no effect on future fertility or pregnancies unless there is an extremely rare and serious complication.

Medical Abortion

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

Appointments and time off: Usually three but can be by phone/video. 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. $735 without MSP.

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. $500 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

210 – 2525 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC
Phone hours: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Monday to Friday

Appointments: 604-322-6692
business inquiries only: 604-322-6576
Fax: 604-322-6632

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).