Medication (medical) abortion


To have a medical abortion the pregnancy must be 9 weeks 6 days from the first day of your last period or less. We will confirm this with an ultrasound at your first appointment.

It is good to know ahead of time what to expect from a medical abortion and make an informed choice about whether it is the best option for you.

There are some important things to know about having an abortion with Mifegymiso, including the differences between medical and aspiration (surgical) abortion as it will be difficult to switch at the time of your appointment. You can find a comparison between the two different kinds of abortion here.

The cost

With valid BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage, the cost of the procedure and the medical abortion medication is covered, but there is an additional cost for the pain medicines of $30 but this cost may be covered by an extended health plan. If you have extended medical insurance, this may be covered in whole or partly.  If you have Fair Pharmacare, the cost of the  pain medications could be covered partly or entirely, depending on your deductible. If you have First Nations Status the cost  is covered. Bring your card with you (i.e. Blue Cross, Green Shield, Manulife, Fair Pharmacare, First Nations status card or number).

Without valid BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) the procedure and medication appointment will be $735 altogether, which includes the medications and the one week follow-up appointment. Please note: without MSP an aspiration abortion is $500. With either a medication or aspiration abortion, if additional testing or appointments are needed there would be additional charges. We accept credit (Visa, Mastercard), debit, or cash payments.

The appointments

Your first appointment will take about 1.5 to 2 hours and you can come by yourself if you want or bring someone with you. They will stay in the waiting room while you have your appointment.

You must also come back for a short (30 minute) follow-up appointment about one week afterwards so we can check to make sure the abortion is complete. This appointment is very important.

About 95 percent of the time the pregnancy will be gone and the abortion complete one week after starting the medications.  If you are in the 3-5 percent where the abortion is not complete, you may need more medications or an aspiration abortion. There is no cost for this aspiration whether or not you have BC medical coverage.

The process

The first medication, mifepristone disrupts the pregnancy. If you have a lot of nausea from the pregnancy we can give you Gravol before you swallow the pill but then you will not be able to drive afterwards and will need another way to get home.

If you are vomiting a lot because of the pregnancy you might be better to have an aspiration abortion procedure because with a medical abortion you need to keep the Mifepristone pill down for at least 30 minutes.

The second medication, Misoprostol, makes the pregnancy and blood come out. It must be used no sooner than 24 hours and no later than 48 hours after the first one. This is when the heaviest bleeding and cramping is likely to happen. You will be given medications to help manage pain.

There can also be other side effects such as chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or headache. You will need to be somewhere comfortable during this time and it is best to have someone close by in case you need help. It’s great if you can have everything ready that you need to be as comfortable as possible – such as a heating pad, medications, food – before you use the Misoprostol. Most women also need to rest for one or two days after using the Misoprostol.

The amount of bleeding varies. It is likely to be heavier than a period at first, and stay at least as heavy as a period for a few days. Ten days is the average time of bleeding, although some bleed on and off or continuously until their next period comes in 4-6 weeks. It is also possible that you may only have a few hours of heavy bleeding or no bleeding at all.

Fertility/birth control

Fertility returns very quickly after a medical abortion. If you do not wish to become pregnant soon after, it is recommended to start on birth control the day after taking the misoprostol pills. Research shows that those who do not start a birth control method at the time of an abortion have about a 50% chance of needing another abortion within two years.

We will speak with you about birth control options at your appointment.  If you want an IUD we can insert one for you after a medical abortion is complete or at the end of an aspiration abortion. If you do not have MSP coverage the cost of an IUD insertion is $160, plus the cost of the IUD itself.

Making an appointment

If you’re not sure of your decision or need information about the abortion procedure or your pregnancy options, we can make a counselling appointment. If you book an appointment for an abortion with us and then change your mind, please call us to cancel your appointment. We have a waiting list of women needing sooner appointments and we appreciate your consideration of their needs.

To contact our clinic call 604-322-6692. Please listen carefully to the menu options. If our phone lines are busy, you can always leave a message on our voicemail and we will return your call.