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HomeAbortion servicesSurgical Abortion Services

Surgical Abortion Services

Health Care Professional standing in modern clinic

What is a surgical abortion?

Surgical abortion (also known as surgical termination of pregnancy) is a simple, safe day-surgery procedure used to end a pregnancy. It is one of the most common surgical procedures in Australia.

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

How much does a surgical abortion cost

People with Health Care Card

Your starting price is $700

People with Medicare Card

Your starting price is $730

People without Medicare

Your starting price is $1,120

  • Confirm your out of pocket price using our Cost Estimate Tool.
  • Insertion of a long-acting contraceptive (LARC) method is FREE for all clients choosing a surgical abortion at the time of their procedure. BYO contraception device or purchase one in clinic.
  • Price shown does not include what a surgical (admitted) procedure may cost if you choose to use private hospital insurance. Speak to your insurance provider for more information.

Choosing to have a method of long-acting reversible contraception fitted at the time of your appointment, or follow up appointment, can be a very cost-effective way of fitting reliable contraception. Ask us for more information when you enquire or make a booking.

    Add contraception at the time of Surgical Abortion

    • Intrauterine Device (IUD) – FREE*
    • Contraceptive Implant – FREE*
    • Contraceptive Injection – FREE*

    *Price does not include the cost of the IUD, implant or medication.

    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
    • 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

    Learn more about medical abortion in clinic.

    Surgical abortion

    • Up to 20 weeks gestation in some states
    • No referral required
    • 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

    Surgical abortion process

    You will have a consultation with both a nurse and a doctor. The nurse will talk to you by yourself first. You will be asked 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, previous pregnancies, and any operations you’ve had.
    • We will explain the procedure and anaesthetic options as well as any risks.
    • You can ask any questions you might have.

    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 may give you medicine to help soften and relax the cervix (the opening of the womb).
    • We will discuss your contraceptive options and sexual health screening.
    • These can take place at the same time as your procedure.

    Plan to spend 4 to 6 hours at the clinic. 

    What happens during the procedure?

    Depending on how many weeks pregnant you are, you may need extra steps before the procedure. We will give you more information if this is needed.

    • You will change into a gown before entering the procedure room.
    • Your support person will not be able to stay with you during the procedure. They may prefer to leave the clinic and return later.
    • We will give you your chosen anaesthetic before the procedure starts. If you are having IV sedation, it’s important you read the information in the Sedation Information Pack.
    • The doctor will then remove the pregnancy from the uterus using one of the methods listed.
    • The procedure usually takes no more than 15 minutes.

    Early pregnancy

    • If your pregnancy is early a soft, thin tube is passed through the cervix (the opening of the womb) and into the uterus (womb).
    • The pregnancy is removed using gentle suction.

    Later pregnancy

      • For later pregnancies, the opening of the cervix is gently stretched open using rods called dilators.
      • The pregnancy is then removed using gentle suction or forceps (surgical tools).
      • At the end of the procedure, the doctor will check to make sure the procedure is complete.

    What happens after the procedure?

    • You will spend a short time resting.
    • Our recovery nurses will check on you regularly and check for any unusual pain or bleeding.
    • Once you have recovered and are feeling well enough we will discharge you into the care of your support person (usually within 1 hour of your procedure).

    Remember: If you have had IV sedation you cannot drive for 24 hours. You should also avoid alcohol, operating machinery and signing legal documents during this time.

    Your recovery is important. Make sure you look after yourself.

    When you go home, you should relax for the rest of the day. As soon as you feel well enough, you can return to your normal activities and resume exercise.

    FAQs

    When can I return to work?

    Many people return to work 1 day after an early abortion, however, if you have a physically demanding job you may want to take a few days off.

    • If you have had IV sedation, please refer to the Sedation Information Pack for more information about what may impact your return to work.
    • If you and/or your support person need a medical certificate, remember to ask us on the day of your procedure.

    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/moon cups, fingers, or having vaginal intercourse. If you want to use the vaginal ring or diaphragm for contraception, please discuss this with the doctor at your appointment.

    What can I expect after the procedure?

    Below are some things you may feel after your procedure, or you may not feel any. If you are worried about anything you are feeling please call the free aftercare line on 1300 888 022

    Bleeding

    Bleeding can be different for each person and may last up to 2 weeks. It can vary during this time.

    • Bleeding is not normally heavy.
    • You may pass some small blood clots.
    •  Some people may have no bleeding following their procedure – this can be normal too.

    Call us if you experience any of the following:

    • passing clots larger than golf balls
    • bleeding heavier than a period for more than a few days
    • soaking through a maxi-pad every 30 minutes for 2 hours or more. 

    Abdominal pain

    Some pain in your lower tummy is normal after your procedure. Pain and cramping should not be strong and should get better in a few days.

    Call us: if pain is strong, does not go away, changes, or you are concerned.

    Nausea

    If you suffered from nausea (feeling sick) before your procedure, it may improve within 24 hours after the procedure. 

    Call us: if nausea stays more than 1 week after your procedure

    Breast discomfort

    Breast fullness or tenderness can last for 1 to 2 weeks. For some people, particularly those over 12 weeks’ gestation, your breasts may become fuller or leak a little fluid for a few days.

    For relief:

    • try wearing a support bra
    • take medication like paracetamol (e.g. Panadol) or ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen)
    • do NOT squeeze or massage your breasts.

     Call us: if your breasts are still sore after 2 weeks

    Menstruation

    You should get your first menstrual period 4 to 6 weeks after your procedure. Some contraceptive methods may affect this.  

    Call us: if your period has not come in this time

    Emotional effects

    Everyone has different feelings about their own procedure. There is no right or wrong way to feel after your abortion. If at any time you would like to talk to someone, we provide free counselling services.  Call us on 1300 003 707 to make a booking

    Can I do sexual health screening at the time of my procedure?

    Unless you ask not to, we will screen for sexually transmitted infections at the time of your procedure. You can also choose to
    have a Cervical Screening Test (previously known as a Pap smear) at the same time.
    • These tests are free, but you will be charged if you have had a Cervical Screening Test in the past 5 years or do not have a Medicare card.
    • 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.

    What are some potential side effects of a surgical abortion?

    Surgical abortion is a very safe procedure; however, all surgical procedures have some risks. Please refer to the ‘Surgical risk’ section on this page for more information.

    When can you get a surgical abortion?

    When you’re up to 22 weeks gestation in some states. Find out more about the surgical abortion service, including cost estimates here. To book a surgical abortion in one of our clinics, please call 1300 003 707.

    How long does surgical abortion take?

    Expect to spend at least 4 hours at the clinic. Your stay may be longer depending on how many weeks pregnant you are.

    How early can you have a surgical 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. If we perform the procedure too early, there’s a higher chance that it will be unsuccessful.

    Where in Australia can you have a surgical abortion?

    MSI Australia provides surgical abortion services in:

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