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HomeAbortion servicesMedical Abortion Services

HomeAbortion servicesMedical Abortion Services

Medical Abortion Services

Health Care Professional standing in modern clinic

What is medical abortion?

Medical abortion is a safe and effective method of ending an early pregnancy, up to 9 weeks gestation, using medication rather than surgery. You will receive personalised care from experienced doctors and nurses. Medical abortion is also known as non-surgical abortion and is available in-clinic across Australia.

If you are under 9 weeks pregnant (63 days), you may be eligible for an abortion by telehealth (also called teleabortion).

Medical abortion is a two-stage process. The first stage involves taking a tablet which blocks the hormone necessary for the pregnancy to continue. This is followed 24-48 hours later by a second medication which causes the contents of the uterus to be expelled. Overall, medical abortion is a low risk non-surgical option for early termination with a high success rate, up to 98%.

Download our clinical services guide for more information or read an accessible online version of this booklet.

It can be hard to know how best to support someone who has had an abortion. We provide this guide for anyone who wants to learn more about timely and empathic support.

How much does a medical abortion cost

People with Health Care Card

Your starting price is $580

People with Medicare Card

Your starting price is $620

  • The prices include the cost of blood tests, ultrasounds, follow up appointments and treatments.
  • Confirm your out of pocket price using our Cost Estimate tool.
  • Clients can access a discounted insertion of a long-acting contraceptive (LARC) method following their appointment. 

Comparison of abortion services at MSI Australia

For a detailed comparison of the two methods, read Understanding your options: surgical abortion vs medical abortion.

Abortion by telehealth

  • Up to 9 weeks gestation
  • No referral required
  • Ultrasound through local imaging provider
  • Phone/video clinical consultations
  • Medications delivered to your home
  • Support person recommended for Day 2
  • Less than 4% incomplete abortion risk
  • Medium to heavy bleeding
  • Variable pain
  • Self-managed follow up

Medical abortion in clinic

  • Up to 9 weeks gestation
  • No referral required (except WA)
  • Ultrasound in clinic
  • In person clinical consultations and support
  • Medications provided in clinic
  • Support person recommended for Day 2
  • Less than 4% incomplete abortion risk
  • Medium to heavy bleeding
  • Variable pain
  • Self-managed follow up

Surgical abortion

  • Up to 22 weeks gestation in some states
  • No referral required (except WA)
  • Ultrasound in clinic
  • In person clinical consultations and support
  • In a licensed day surgery
  • Sedation or local anaesthetic
  • Support person required for pick-up
  • Less than 2% incomplete abortion risk
  • Light bleeding
  • Follow-up not usually required

What kind of abortion can I have?

Your gestation (how far pregnant you are) will determine which kind of abortion you can have. To check which abortion methods are available to you, use our gestation calculator by entering the first date of your last period. This will provide you with a gestation estimate in weeks and days, which will later need to be confirmed by an ultrasound.

Contact our friendly staff

Make an abortion appointment, suited to your needs

Medical abortion process

As there is no surgical procedure performed for a medical abortion, you will not require an anaesthetic, and you are not required to fast before your appointment.

You will also be able to drive yourself home after the appointment. You can bring a support person with you.

As a general rule, when booking your medical abortion appointment, we recommend you give yourself a day or two to recover. You should keep this in mind when booking your appointment.

Call 1300 003 707 to speak to our friendly staff about making a medical abortion appointment or enquire online.

Expect to spend around 2 hours at the clinic.

1. You will have an ultrasound to check how many weeks pregnant you are.

  • We will not show you the ultrasound unless you ask to see it.
  • We need to check that you are no more than 9 weeks (63 days) pregnant to go ahead with a medical abortion.

2. You will have a consultation with both a nurse and a doctor. The nurse will talk to you by yourself. They will ask you about your decision and whether you are sure. Your support person is then allowed to join you in the consultation.

    • We will ask about your medical history and previous pregnancies.
    • We will explain the treatment, as well as any risks.
    • You can ask any questions you might have.
    • We will discuss your contraceptive options and sexual health screening.
    • Some contraceptive methods can be started immediately.

    3. Sexual health screening

    Unless you ask not to, we will screen you for sexually transmitted infections at your appointment. You can also choose to have a Cervical Screening Test (previously known as a Pap smear) at the same time.

    • These tests are free.
    • We will only contact you for positive or abnormal test results.
    • You can ask for a copy of your results to go to your GP.

    4. The 2 steps of a medical abortion

    Medical abortion happens in 2 steps. You will take 2 different tablets which work together to end the pregnancy.

     

    Follow up 2-3 weeks after your appointment is essential to make sure the abortion has worked.

    • You will be given a special urine pregnancy test to use at home and answer a set of questions. This should be done no earlier than 14 days after your treatment. You will be given an instruction sheet to help with this.
    • If you need to be seen in the clinic for any reason, we will make an appointment for you.

    Do not travel overseas until you have confirmed your treatment is complete.

    FAQs

    Is this safe? Will this affect future pregnancies?

    An uncomplicated medical abortion will not affect your chance of becoming pregnant in the future.

    How do I reduce the risk of infection?

    To reduce the chances of infection, do not insert anything into your vagina for 1 week.

     

    • This includes tampons, menstrual cups, fingers, or having vaginal intercourse.
    • If you intend to use the vaginal ring or a diaphragm for contraception, please discuss this with the doctor at your appointment.

    When can I start exercising again?

    As soon as you feel well enough, you can do your normal activities and exercise.

    When can I return to work?

    You may be able to have a medical abortion without any, or little, interruption to work (Note that you need to be resting at home for Step 2, until cramping and bleeding have reduced.)

    • If you have a physically demanding job, you may want to take some time off.
    • When you feel better you can go back to work.
    • Remember to ask for a medical certificate during your appointment. Your support person can also ask for a medical certificate.

    What can I expect during my medical abortion?

    These are some symptoms you will probably experience during your medical abortion. If you experience any of the uncommon symptoms or are worried about anything you’re feeling, you can call our free 24/7 support line on 1300 888 022.

    Bleeding

    You will probably bleed more than your usual menstrual period, bleeding should get lighter after the pregnancy has passed.

    • You may also pass some clots, which can be different sizes.
    • You can expect to have some bleeding for around 2 weeks.
    • You may have some light bleeding until your next period.

     Call us if you experience very heavy bleeding, such as:

    • soaking through a maxi-pad every 30 minutes for more than 2 hours
    • passing clots larger than a tennis ball size
    • heavy bleeding lasting more than 2 weeks.

     

    Abdominal pain

    Pain in your abdomen (lower tummy) is normal and can range from mild to strong. Pain should get better after the pregnancy has passed. Strong cramping does not usually last longer than 24 hours. If you have pain in your abdomen, there are some tips in the pain management section of this book.

     Call us if you have:

    • strong cramping that does not get better with pain medication
    • strong cramping for more than 24 hours
    • concerns about your health.

    Other side effects of medication

    Mifepristone (Step 1)

    can cause:

    • headache
    • breast tenderness
    • fainting
    • hot flushes
    • itching and rash

    These side effects are not common, but if you do experience them, they are usually mild.

    Misoprostoal (Step 2)

    can cause:

    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • diarrhoea
    • dizziness
    • fever and chills

    These side effects can be common, but they usually don’t last long.

    How painful is a medical abortion?

    Pain is variable and difficult to predict. You will be prescribed medication at your appointment to help manage pain. Your doctor will discuss this with you during your appointment.

    How early can you have a medical abortion?

    6 weeks is usually when we can confirm your pregnancy on an ultrasound. If we can’t confirm your pregnancy, then we might not be able to go ahead.

    Up to how many weeks can you have a medical abortion?

    Up to 9 weeks. If you are over 9 weeks’ gestation you will be required to call our National Contact Centre on 1300 003 707 to discuss your options. You are welcome to use this eligibility check form before proceeding with your booking.

    When can you get a medical abortion?

    • You are within the first 63 days of gestation.
    • You value a more private and convenient abortion option.
    • Generally suitable for most, but not recommended if you have bleeding disorders or experience adrenal gland problems.
    • You live in rural or remote areas. Learn more about our abortion by telehealth (teleabortion service)

    If you have any other questions, please get in touch.