Abortion information

About Tooting Medical Centre

 

Tooting Medical Centre is a private medical practice. We provide medical abortion treatment up to 63 days of gestation for women over the age of 18.

 

Abortion

 

If you have found out you are pregnant and you are considering abortion here is some information for you about the services we provide at Tooting Medical Centre. We are here to help you in a professional and confidential way.

 

Pregnancy test

 

To make sure you are pregnant do a pregnancy test. You can buy one from a chemist, supermarket or have a test at a local family planning clinic.

 

Making your appointment

 

If you would like to make an appointment with Tooting Medical Centre to discuss abortion, call us on 020 8767 8389. Our information service is open from 9.00 am to 9 pm, 7 days a week.

When you telephone us, we can offer you a date and time to come to clinic. We will also book for you an initial consultation over a telephone in your preferable hours.

You will be asked for carry out a test for your blood type and bring the results with you on your first appointment with our doctor. You can carry out this blood test at our practice. Please book your visit with our Phlebotomist before your appointment with our Gynaecologist.

Counselling (paid additionally) is also available if you are not sure what to do. Please let us know if you would like to have counselling first.

Please note, that we will charge a fee for the TOP procedure. Please look at the Tooting Medical Centre fees section for more information about the costs for an abortion. Alternatively, you can go to a family planning clinic or your GP may be able to refer you for free NHS abortion services.

If you are travelling a long distance we would recommend that you stay overnight in a hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation after your treatment before you go home.

 

Your consultation

 

When you come to the Tooting Medical Centre first of all you will see a doctor who will talk to you to make sure you have reached a decision about having an abortion.

They will check your medical history, your general health, ask about any medicines you take and discuss contraception with you. You will have a few an ultrasound scan to check how many weeks pregnant you. We also advise that all women have a check for Chlamydia infection before treatment. We will also explain about the abortion treatment choices. Our doctor will need to fill in an official abortion form and we will need to obtain your signature to show that you consent to have the treatment.

To fulfil legal requirements the doctor will explore the reasons of seeking an abortion.

 

Abortion treatment

 

Tooting Medical Centre offers following type of abortion procedure:

 

Medical abortion – the abortion pill (to 9 weeks of pregnancy)

 

Tooting Medical Centre offers medical abortion. You would need to be less than 9 weeks pregnant to have a treatment in our clinic. It involves taking tablets and requires you to make two visits to the Tooting Medical Centre 24 – 48 hours apart. You have to stay in the country for minimum 4 days while this treatment takes place.

We will check that there is no medical reason why you could not have this method of treatment. You will be given tablets on the first and the second visit. These tablets will cause a miscarriage by stopping the pregnancy continuing and cause the uterus to expel the pregnancy. You must take all the tablets. You will experience heavy bleeding and cramping and may feel nauseous and will lose the pregnancy usually within 4 hours of taking the final tablets. Sometimes this can be a day or two after taking the tablets and some bleeding can continue for a couple of weeks. You may go home straight after taking the second dose of tablets and abort in privacy of your home or stay in the clinic for 4 hours.

 

 

Contraindications

 

Not all women are suitable for medical abortion and you will not be able to choose this method if you:

• Are over 35 and smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day
• Have a suspected ectopic pregnancy
• Have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease
• Are taking long term anti corticosteroids
• Have an IUD in place which will not be removed
• Have adrenal failure
• Are taking anti-coagulants or have any haemorrhagic disease or porphyria
• Have a poorly controlled inflammatory bowel disease

 

 

Risks of abortion

 

Although abortion is a safe procedure there are some risks which you should be aware about, these include small risks of infection, continuing pregnancy, incomplete abortion and in very rare cases damage to the uterus. We will discuss these with you when you have your consultation with us.

 

 

When you go home

 

We will give full aftercare instructions on how to look after yourself when you go home. There is a 24-hour aftercare help and advice line on +44 (0)7532 268219

We advise that you rest for at least 24 hours. We advise you not to take a bath or swim for one week, and not to use perfumed products until your bleeding has stopped. You should avoid heavy housework or physical work, as this may make you feel unwell and cause bleeding and pain. If your job is physical you should take a few more days off. All women will have some bleeding after an abortion that may go on for some time.

 

You may also feel:

– tired

– upset

– nausea

– weak

– anxious

 

You may also experience ailments like: vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, dizziness, and hot flashes.

 

All side effects are fully described below.

 

Our 24-hour aftercare service offers all the help and advice you need after an abortion and we are able to offer post treatment checks at the clinic if you are worried about anything.

 

 

Taking pain killers

 

Please make sure you have painkillers at home; we recommend Paracetamol and Ibuprofen (Only take Ibuprofen if you are sure you can take them) Do not take Aspirin products

 

 

Looking after yourself after an abortion

 

There is very little risk to your health or future fertility after having a medical or surgical abortion; but to reduce the risk of infection only use pads not tampons until your next period. Do not have sexual intercourse for two weeks.

There is a small risk of the pregnancy being missed or incomplete at the time of treatment. If you get signs of infection – including a high temperature and general flu like symptoms please contact us as soon as possible.

We are open 24 hours for advice on +44 (0)7532 268219.

 

What are possible side effects?

 

The medical abortion normally causes side effects such as pain and cramping, as well as bleeding accompanied by the passage of blood clots and tissue. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, dizziness, and hot flashes or fever may also occur.

An allergic reaction to the medication can cause hives (itchy welts or bumps on the skin.)

A fever that starts soon after Mifepristone administration and lasts less than 24 hours and is less than 100.4 F/ 38 C is a common side effect. If the fever lasts longer than 24 hours or is greater than 100.4 F/38 C, you should seek medical attention. We are open 24 hours for advice on +44 (0)7532 268219.

 

How do you know if you have complications and what should you do?

 

If performed in the first 9 weeks, a medical abortion carries a very small risk of complications. This risk is the same as when a woman has a miscarriage. A doctor can easily treat these problems. Out of every 100 women who do medical abortion, 2 or 3 women will have to go to a doctor, first aid centre or hospital to receive further medical care.

 

These are the possible complications, their symptoms and treatment:

 

Heavy bleeding (occurs in less than 1% of medical abortions)

Symptom: Bleeding that lasts for more than 2 hours and soaks more than 2 maxi sanitary pads per hour. Feeling dizzy or light-headed can be a sign of too much blood loss. This is dangerous to your health and must be treated by a doctor.

Treatment: a vacuum aspiration (curettage.) Very rarely (less than 0.2%) a blood transfusion is needed.

 

 

Incomplete abortion

Symptoms: heavy or persistent bleeding and/or persistent severe pain.

Treatment: a vacuum aspiration (curettage)

 

Infection

Symptom: If you have a fever (more than 38 degrees Celsius) for more than 24 hours, or you have a fever of more than 39 degrees, there might be an infection that needs treatment.

Treatment: antibiotics

 

If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention. We are open 24 hours for advice on +44 (0)7532 268219.

 

How do you know if you have a post-abortion infection?

 

Infections following medical abortions are very rare. If you feel weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever that lasts more than 24 hours or is higher than 100.4 F/ 38 C, pain in your belly, if your belly feels sore or tender, if you bleed a lot or for a long time, or if you have vaginal discharge that smells bad, you might have an infection and you should go to a doctor immediately. The infection should be treated with antibiotics.

 

A fever that starts soon after Mifepristone administration and lasts less than 24 hours and is less than 100.4 F/ 38 C is a common side effect. If the fever lasts longer than 24 hours or is greater than 100.4 F/38 C, you should seek medical attention.

 

Medical abortion is a safer alternative in places where surgical methods are dangerous for a woman’s health, or in places where the availability of safe abortion is restricted. The risk of infection is greater when a woman has a child than when she has a medical abortion.

 

How do you know if you have a continuing pregnancy?

 

Less than 1% of women experience ongoing pregnancy. This can be determined by a pregnancy test after 3 weeks or an ultrasound after 10 days. If the medical abortion treatment failed, there is a slight increase in the risk of birth defects such as deformities of the hands or feet and problems with the nerves of the foetus. To treat an ongoing pregnancy, you must repeat a medical or surgical abortion.

 

Continuing pregnancy is a pregnancy that continues to develop even after the use of Mifepristone and Misoprostol. In this case, the abortion has failed completely and the woman remains pregnant. Even if you bleed, you can still have a continuing pregnancy. Bleeding does not mean that you have had a successful abortion. If you still have symptoms of pregnancy such as sore breasts or nausea, you may be experiencing a continuing pregnancy. You should have an ultrasound or do a pregnancy test 3 weeks later to confirm that the pregnancy has ended. Most pregnancy tests that are done 3 weeks after the abortion are reliable. It is necessary to wait 3 weeks after the abortion because the pregnancy hormones can remain in the body and can make the pregnancy test falsely positive. If you have an on-going pregnancy after you did a medical abortion you can try to do a medical abortion again (in TMC, if you are still within 9 weeks of pregnancy), otherwise we will refer you to a different medical centre, or have a surgical abortion (we will refer you to a different medical centre).

 

Post-abortion counselling

 

Most women will feel a range of emotions following an abortion. If you find you have unexpected reactions and unresolved emotions then be reassured that this is quite normal. Specialist one-to-one counselling (additional fees applies) can help you work through these issues and move forward. If you would like to talk to a counsellor, we can arrange a session as part of our service. You may feel this is all you need but further sessions can be arranged as a private arrangement with the counsellor, at a small cost.

 

Your next period

 

Your next menstrual period may begin any time from 4 to 8 weeks. You should do a pregnancy test three weeks after your treatment, just to check that everything has been successful. Do not do it earlier as the pregnancy hormone will still be in your system and the result may still be positive.

 

Can I travel after an abortion?

 

Ideally it is best if you can get home as soon as possible, but we know that often women, especially those from abroad, may have to travel some distance after an abortion. A DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or blood clot in a vein has become an increasing concern especially following surgery; all women should be aware that this can occur after a period of extended immobility, whether it is in a car, train or aircraft, particularly if this period extends to more than four hours, as may be the case on a long-haul flight. The risk can increase during pregnancy due to the raised level of hormones. If you have to travel for more than four hours on an aircraft, this should ideally not be on the same day following your treatment.

 

Can I have more than one abortion?

 

Yes. Women are free to seek abortion services on more than one occasion. However, there are reliable methods of contraception available which if used properly should reduce the risk of unplanned pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion.

 

 

What happens to the pregnancy tissue?

 

All the tissue we obtain is processed differently from normal surgical specimens. It is not analysed by the laboratory, but throughout is treated with dignity and respect. It is not disposed of like hospital waste but kept separately packaged and sent for communal cremation. You have a choice to arrange your own cremation ceremony. TMC will assist you to arrange one, please ask your doctor for details.

 

 

Will abortion cause complications in the future pregnancies?

 

Abortion does not increase your risk of a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or a low placenta if you do have another pregnancy. You may have a slightly higher risk of a premature birth, but there is no evidence that this risk is caused by the abortion itself.

 

Does anyone have to know?

 

It is completely your decision who you tell about your treatment – this includes your partner, parents and GP. We will contact your GP with your permission, only.

Tooting Medical Centre promises to keep details of your appointment completely confidential.

 

Is it up to me if I have an abortion?

Can my boyfriend or parents stop me from seeking an abortion?

 

It is entirely your right to decide whether or not to have an abortion. No one else can make this decision for you – or stop you from making the decision that is right for you. We will always respect your decision.

 

Does abortion cause breast cancer?

 

An abortion does not increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

 

 

 

Call us on +44 (0)20 8767 8389 if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment.