In May 2017 Women’s Health Services began providing medical abortions through 9 weeks of pregnancy. The medical abortion involves taking one medication at Women’s Health Services and taking a second medication 24-48 hours later. This causes the patient to have a miscarriage. Patients choosing medical abortion must have a safe place to have the miscarriage (preferably in their home without responsibility for work or childcare).
Patients coming for a medical abortion receive counseling regarding the medical abortion: how it is done, the instructions for how to take the medications, the side effects and risks, the success rate, and the required follow-up. After counseling and signing all consents for the procedure, patients will have lab-work done to make sure they are medically eligible for medical abortion. They will meet with the physician, who will go over the medical abortion procedure, how to take the medications, what side effects to expect and re-iterate the follow-up instructions.
The physician will perform an ultrasound exam to make sure that the pregnancy is within the appropriate gestational limits for a medical abortion. If all of the above are within the medical abortion guidelines, the patient will take the mefpristone pill at WHS, and be given 4 200mcg cytotec pills and the instructions for taking them 24-48 hours after the mefpristone, which will cause them to miscarry the pregnancy. In most cases, this occurs within 24-48 hours of taking the second medication.
They will leave with prescriptions for pain medication, nausea medication, and a prescription for their contraceptive choice.They will be instructed that they must have a second quantitative pregnancy hormone level at a Quest Lab, near their home or place of work, on a pre-determined date after taking the second medication. Alternatively, they may choose to come to WHS for a post-op exam on a predetermined date after taking the second medication, but they must have either the follow-up blood or post-op exam to make sure that they have successfully passed the pregnancy.
Patients scheduling a medical abortion, who ultimately decide against the medical abortion and choose to have a surgical abortion, may have the surgical abortion with local anesthesia (if they do not have a ride or have had anything to eat or drink after midnight), have the surgical procedure with anesthesia (if they have a ride and have had nothing to eat or drink since midnight the night before their appointment), or reschedule to have the procedure with anesthesia (and come with a ride and nothing to eat or drink after midnight).
First Trimester Abortion
Women’s Health Services a Licensed Clinic and Ambulatory Surgery Center provides surgical abortion using dilation and vacuum aspiration. It is a five-minute procedure that is very safe and effective. Women may choose to be awake or asleep during the procedure.
Appointments for first trimester abortion are available weekday and Saturday mornings. Please be assured that when you call for an appointment we will be able to answer your questions. We are well aware that many women who call our office are extremely anxious and upset. To schedule an appointment you will need to know the following:
- The first day of your last normal period
- Medical insurance information
- Medical history and contact information
When you come in for your procedure, you will check in with the receptionist who will give you a medical history form to fill out and information to read regarding the procedure and the associated risks.
Next you will be called into the lab for lab-work (blood count, Rh status and urine or blood pregnancy test). You then will meet with a counselor, who will review the procedure and the risks, explain the consent forms, and then go over birth control options and aftercare instructions. She will also discuss with you your situation, your pregnancy options and alternatives. The counselor is with you to answer your questions and to be a support to you. The counselor will meet with you alone initially and, upon your request, with you and your partner or parent.
After the counseling, a medical assistant will bring you to the dressing room where you will change into a gown. You will then be brought to the procedure room where you will meet the physician and the anesthetist who will answer any questions you have about the procedure or risks of the procedure. Unfortunately, no one is allowed in the procedure room with you.
The physician will do a pelvic exam and ultrasound to confirm gestational dating. Once this has been determined, the anesthetist will administer and monitor your anesthesia. The anesthesia will be adjusted so that you are completely comfortable. If you choose to only have local anesthesia it can be very uncomfortable and we do not recommend it for most women. Should you choose general anesthesia, you must have a ride/escort arrive with you and drive you home. They will be required to sign-in when you arrive and when you leave.
Following the procedure, you will rest in our recovery room. A nurse will monitor your vital signs and review with you all of your prescribed medications and prescriptions. If you are having your follow-up care with your own doctor, we will mail information regarding your procedure to your doctor, with your permission.
Second Trimester Abortion
Second trimester abortions require 2 or 3 visits. Day 1 includes the same registration, counseling and lab-work as a first trimester abortion appointment.
An ultrasound is performed to confirm gestational dating. If you have already had an ultrasound please authorize the release of that information and then fax us the results prior to your appointment time at (617) 277-3248.
When you call our office for an appointment, we will be able to schedule you within a few days. Our telephone counselors are ready to answer your questions and assist you in anyway.
At Women’s Health Services second trimester abortion is performed between 14 and 23 weeks gestation using the dilation and evacuation procedure.
Between 14 and 18 weeks Laminaria (sterile seaweed rods) are inserted in the cervix, which dilate the cervix overnight. The procedure begins with the insertion of Laminaria. The following day the abortion procedure is performed under anesthesia using suction evacuation and instrumentation.
For patients who are between 19 and 23 weeks, two consecutive days of Laminaria are required. This is to ensure a safe and medically sound procedure.
Anesthesia is available on Laminaria days and is optional.
Women’s Health Services offers gynecological procedures including post-abortion follow-up exams and annual exams with Pap Smears, and a full range of contraception counseling.
We are offering Essure sterilization procedures. This is covered by most insurance.
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