Comparing abortion methods

Everywoman’s Health Centre offers both aspiration (surgical) and medical abortion with Mifegymiso. This chart explains in more detail the differences between the two types. Both are very safe and neither one affects your ability to get pregnant again. Everyone’s experience can be different, but the following is some general information to consider in your decision as to what type of abortion is best for you.

What does it cost?

Aspiration Abortion

No cost with BC medical coverage (MSP), $500 without MSP.

Medical Abortion

No cost with BC medical coverage (MSP), $735 without MSP.

How does it work?

Aspiration Abortion

A doctor uses gentle suction to remove the pregnancy from inside the uterus.

Medical Abortion

The first pill – mifepristone – disrupts the pregnancy. The second medicine – misoprostol –  is used  24-48 hours later to make the uterus contract and push out the pregnancy.

How effective is it?

Aspiration Abortion

Over 99% success rate.

Medical Abortion

A 95 percent success rate  at one week follow-up, 97 percent under seven weeks of pregnancy.

When can it be done?

Aspiration Abortion

An aspiration abortion can be done as soon as there is a positive pregnancy test. Everywoman’s provides abortions up to 13 weeks 6 days and referrals for those over 14 weeks.

Medical Abortion

At Everywoman’s a medical abortion can be done as soon as there is a positive pregnancy test and up to 9 weeks 6 days from the first day of the last period.

How many appointments are required?

Aspiration Abortion

Most need one appointment that takes 2-3 hours. This includes counselling, the procedure, and recovery time.

Medical Abortion

Usually it needs three phone appointments including a one-week follow-up. A few will need a third appointment.

How long does it take?

Aspiration Abortion

The procedure itself usually takes about seven to eight minutes.

Medical Abortion

By the follow-up appointment 95 percent will be complete, 97 percent by the one-week followup. Most will pass the pregnancy tissue within four hours of using misoprostol.

How painful is it?

Aspiration Abortion

There may be strong cramping for a few minutes during the procedure and for a short time after. Medications including local anaesthetic, painkillers and/or intravenous sedation help manage pain. Milder cramps may continue for several days to several weeks.

Medical Abortion

It varies from mild to very strong cramping, with the strongest when passing the pregnancy tissue. There are medications to take at home to help manage pain. Milder cramps may or may not continue for several days to several weeks.

Will I be able to get pregnant again?

Aspiration Abortion

The chance of an early aspiration abortion affecting future fertility is extremely rare: one in 10,000 or more rare than that. In fact, fertility returns very quickly and it is possible to be pregnant again right away. An IUD can be inserted at the end of the procedure or another birth control method can be started right away.

Medical Abortion

A medication abortion has no effect on future fertility unless there is an extremely rare complication. In fact, fertility returns immediately; birth control methods like the pill should be started the day after using the misoprostol. An IUD insertion can be arranged after the follow-up visit.

How much will I bleed?

Aspiration Abortion

Bleeding afterward varies, but may be less than a period. Bleeding may start a few days after and can continue for up to several weeks. Some won’t bleed at all afterward.

Medical Abortion

Heavy bleeding and clots are common during the abortion process. Afterwards, there may be some spotting and/or bleeding up to the first period, which comes about about 4-6 weeks afterward.

Can the abortion fail?

Aspiration Abortion

There is about a one in 300 chance of needing the procedure repeated because of blood clots forming or tissue remaining in the uterus. A pregnancy continuing is very rare.

Medical Abortion

There is about a one in 200 chance that the pregnancy will continue and an aspiration procedure may be necessary. About 4 in 100 will require the misoprostol a second time, or will choose to have an aspiration procedure to complete the process.

What are the possible complications?

Aspiration Abortion

There is about a one in 300 chance of needing the procedure repeated because of blood clots forming or tissue remaining in the uterus. A continuing pregnancy is very rare.

Medical Abortion

There is about a one in 200 chance that the pregnancy will continue and an aspiration procedure may be necessary. About 4 in 100 will require the misoprostol a second time, or will choose to have an aspiration procedure to complete the process.

What are common side effects?

Aspiration Abortion

Some have dizziness, nausea or vomiting for a short time after the procedure.

Medical Abortion

Some have few or no side effects, but it’s normal to have some flu-like symptoms when using the misoprostol, the most common of which are .

 

Contact us

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).