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Abortion - what you need to know.indd
marijuana or “period” medications such as Midol or Anaprox may
increase bleeding. If you soak through several maxi pads in one
Pregnancy Options Series
hour, or soak through one maxi pad per hour for more than 3
hours, call your clinician or clinic immediately.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
What You Need to Know
Symptoms of pregnancy will end a week or so following the
abortion. Nausea is usually the fi rst symptom to end. Some women
Planned Parenthood Toronto (PPT) is a pro-choice organization.
may fi nd that their breasts become painful and swollen and have
When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, we believe that you
a watery discharge for several days after their abortion. Do not
have the right to access factual, caring and non-judgmental
press or massage your breasts. Putting ice packs on them for 10-20
information and services on all three of your options: abortion,
minutes a few times a day or wearing a tight bra can help.
Post Abortion Check Up
There are many myths about abortion. Below is some information
It is important to have a check up 3 weeks after your abortion (for
about abortion and abortion services in Toronto. Remember,
a medical abortion, 3 weeks after the pregnancy tissue has been
no one should ever pressure you into abortion, adoption or
expelled). You can get a check up at the clinic where you had
the abortion, your family doctor, PPT’s clinic for youth (13-29 years,
call 416-961-0113) or the BCBC (call 416-351-3700).
What is an abortion?
Emotions After an Abortion
• An abortion is a safe medical procedure that ends a woman’s
Some women have strong feelings after their abortion, some do
not. You may feel a sense of relief, a sense of loss or guilt. It may
• Abortions are fully legal in Canada.
help if you share these feelings and get support from a counsellor.
To see a counsellor for post-abortion counselling, contact the
Types of abortion
clinic that provided you with the abortion or contact the BCBC at
There are 2 categories of abortion provided in Canada: surgical
(416) 351-3700 and ask for an appointment with the social worker.
For further information or to book an appointment:
• A medical abortion uses drugs to stop the growth of the
For youth ages 13-29 - Planned Parenthood Toronto
pregnancy and then to expel the pregnancy tissue from the
Offers drop-in and scheduled appointments
Call 416-961-0113 or visit www.ppt.on.ca.
• This type of abortion must be done very early in a pregnancy
Teen Health Source
Offers anonymous and confi dential sexual health information for teens by teens.
- within approximately 7 weeks from the fi rst day of your last
MSN chat and email TeenHealthSource@ppt.on.ca, call 416-961-3200, text 647-933-5399
For women - Bay Centre for Birth Control
• There are 3 kinds of surgical abortions. The kind of surgical
Offers drop-in and scheduled appointments
abortion you can choose will depend on how long you have
Planned Parenthood Toronto is a United Way Member Agency and a Registered Charity,
Funding for Planned Parenthood Toronto has been provided by the Toronto Central Local
• For these procedures, the doctor will either freeze your cervix
After the abortion
using a local anesthetic (at clinics) or give you a general
Information about abortion aftercare may vary between different
anesthetic to put you to sleep (at hospitals). Depending on how
clinics and hospitals. Here is some general information about
long you have been pregnant, gentle suction-type devices and/
caring for yourself after an abortion.
or curettes (scoop shaped devices) are used to remove the tissue in the uterus.
• There is no cutting or stitches.
To help prevent infection, avoid the following for 1-2 weeks after
the abortion procedure (1-2 weeks after the pregnancy tissue has
See page 6 for more details on each abortion procedure.
Frequently asked questions about abortion
• No vaginal sex, including sex with fi ngers or sex toys• No tampons (use pads instead)
Will the abortion hurt?
Everyone has a different experience. Most women experience
menstrual-like cramps but some women report no pain at all.
Medication is given to reduce discomfort and help you relax.
Signs of infection can include fever, lower abdominal tenderness
Will I be able to have a baby in the future?
and vaginal discharge. Should you have any of these symptoms,
YES. Having an abortion will not prevent you from getting
contact your doctor or clinic. Infections that are detected early
pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy when you are ready.
can be treated easily and effectively with antibiotics.
Will anybody fi nd out?
Resuming Normal Activities
NO. This medical information cannot be released to anyone but
No heavy lifting or aerobic activity for 24 hours after the abortion
(with a medical abortion, for 24 hours after you expel the
you. No one needs to know unless you wish to tell them. After 2 - 3
pregnancy tissue). While some women return to work the same
weeks time, a doctor or healthcare provider will not be able to
day as their abortion (or the same day they expel the pregnancy
tell, even through a vaginal exam, that you’ve had an abortion.
tissue), others may need to rest. Return to normal activities when
Do my parents or boyfriend/husband/male partner have to give
you feel ready - listen to your body.
Next Menstrual Period
NO. In Canada, anyone over 12 years of age can legally have
Unless you have started using hormonal birth control like the pill,
an abortion in a clinic or hospital. You do not need the consent
your fi rst period will start between 4-6 weeks after the abortion.
or permission of your parents, boyfriend/husband/male partner or
Cramping after an abortion is normal. Some women do not
Will I have emotional problems afterwards?
experience cramps at all. Cramping can occur off and on for 2-3
The most common feeling women report after having an abortion
weeks after the procedure. You may feel some pressure or pain
is relief. Some women may experience sadness or grief, but grief
in your lower abdomen, lower back or inner thighs. You can use a
is a healthy response to loss. Having an abortion is not associated
hot water bottle or ask your clinician about using Advil or Tylenol.
with long-term emotional or mental health problems.
Do I have to take time off work or school?
Bleeding after an abortion is normal. Some women start bleeding
after the abortion and continue bleeding or have brown spotting
You may have to take time off for the procedure itself. Depending
for up to 2-3 weeks. Drinking alcohol, lifting heavy objects, using
on how long you have been pregnant and which procedure you choose, you are usually in the clinic or hospital for 2-3 hours. Some women choose to take the remainder of the day off to rest and
take care of themselves, but other women return to their usual activities immediately or the following day.
Does abortion make me more likely to get breast cancer?
Vacuum Suction and Curretage (VSC) and Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)
VSC/D&E are similar to DVSC. Gentle suction is used to remove the pregnancy. An instrument is inserted into the vagina and uterus.
Medication or a laminaria (a small, thin stick made from seaweed) may be used to dilate the cervix in procedures over 12 weeks gestation. This may require an extra appointment.
Medication is given for pain and relaxation. A local anesthetic is given by needle into the cervix at the time of the surgery. You will be awake. Intravenous medication may be used.
NO. There is no link between having an abortion or multiple abortions and developing breast cancer in the future.
How long will the abortion take?
For most procedures, the abortion itself takes only 10-15 minutes.
However, expect to be in the clinic or hospital for 2-3 hours.
Where can I get an abortion?
Where you go for an abortion in Toronto depends on how long you have been pregnant and the kind of procedure you want.
Dilation, Vacuum Suction and Curettage (DVSC)
Free standing clinics and hospitals (through the Bay Centre for Birth Control)
The day before or the morning of the procedure, medication or a laminaria (a small, thin stick made from seaweed) will be inserted to help open the cervix. Further dilation (opening) of the cervix may be required. Gentle suction is provided by a machine and instruments are inserted into the uterus to remove its contents.
intravenously. You will be asleep. Free standing clinics:
given by needle into the cervix at the time of the surgery. You will be awake.
-pregnancy assessment and counseling with physical exam, ultrasound, blood tests and infection check (3-4 hours) -preparation for surgery at the Bay Centre (1 hour) -abortion at the hospital (4-5 hours) -follow-up exam 3 weeks later (1/2 hour)
Free standing clinics:
FREE STANDING CLINICS
Free standing clinics are safe, professional clinics where medical
doctors provide abortions. You do NOT need a referral - you can contact the clinic yourself. Surgical procedures at clinics use local
anesthesia so you will be awake for the procedure. The process of gettting an abortion (including counseling, examinations, etc.) in a clinic generally takes fewer appointments than it does in a hospital. Each clinic has different polices and procedures. For
Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
Bay Centre for Birth Control and some free standing clinics
A syringe is inserted into the uterus. The syringe creates suction and gently removes the contents of the uterus.
Medication is given for pain and relaxation about one hour before the MVA. A local anesthetic is given by needle into the cervix at the time of the surgery. You will be awake.
Bay Centre for Birth Control:
appointments: -pregnancy assessment and counseling with physical exam, ultrasound, blood tests and infection check (3-4 hours) -abortion procedure (4 hours) -blood test in 2 days if necessary (15 min) -follow-up exam 3 weeks later (1/2 hour)
Free standing clinics:
example: • Clinics may have female and male doctors. • Most allow you to bring only one support person with you.
• Some clinics have interpretation services available.
• Most clinics require photo identifi cation, such as a health card.
• Some clinics have evening and weekend appointments. • Clinics cannot provide childcare for any children you have.
Methotrexate & Misoprostol (Medication)
Bay Centre for Birth Control, Women’s Care Clinic and Choice in Health
2 drugs are used: methotrexate is injected by needle into the hip muscle to stop the growth of the pregnancy. Misoprostol tablets are inserted into the vagina at home 3-5 days later which cause the uterus to expel the pregnancy tissue usually within 24 hours at home. In 35% of cases, it can take several days or weeks.
Tylenol #3 (with codeine) is given for relief of cramping.
4-5 appointments over one month: -pregnancy assessment and counseling with physical exam, ultrasound, blood tests and infection check (3-4 hours) -methotrexate injection (1/2 hour) -blood test in 1 week if necessary (15 min) -follow-up exam 2 weeks later (1 hour) Additional appointments may be required.
• Some clinics sell birth control methods at reduced cost.
• Not all clinics are wheelchair accessible.
• Some clinics may be targeted by protestors. Call the clinic or visit their website for more information.
Type of procedure
# of weeks from last menstrual period
Number and approximate length of time of appointments
Where can I get an abortion? (cont’d)
• If you wish to have your abortion at a hospital, contact the
LIST OF FREESTANDING CLINICS
Bay Centre for Birth Control (BCBC) at (416) 351-3700. The BCBC
Cabbage Town Clinic
Choice in Health
arranges all hospital abortions in the city of Toronto.
• You will have a 3 hour assessment appointment at the BCBC
that includes a vaginal ultrasound, a physical, blood work and
counselling. They will tell you at that appointment when your
abortion will be and at which downtown hospital.
Fully publicly funded
• If you have a high risk health condition, the BCBC may refer you
Fully publicly funded
to a gynecologist in private practice.
• The BCBC also provides early term surgical abortions and
medical abortions. Call the BCBC for more information.
• If you have been pregnant for 22 weeks or more, call the BCBC
The Morgentaler Clinic
The Scott Clinic
for information on where you can get an abortion. Travel to the
How much does an abortion cost?
• Medical and surgical abortions at free standing clinics and
Fully publicly funded
Fully publicly funded
hospitals are fully covered if you have a valid Ontario health
card. If you have a University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), Interim
Federal Health (IFH) or Canadian Military Insurance (DND), your
Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic Mississauga Woman’s Clinic
• Some clinics have administrative fees which you will have to
pay (clinics with these fees are noted in the chart on page 4).
• If you have a valid health card from another Canadian
province, you may be able to get reimbursement or partial
Admin fees: $70 - $100
Admin fees: $60 - $120
reimbursement from that province for an abortion done in
Ontario. You will have to pay for your abortion on the day of
Women’s Care Clinic
Dr. Kathy Chu
the procedure. The clinic or hospital will provide you with the
documents that you need to get reimbursement. Call your home
province’s health insurance plan to fi nd out if your province
provides any reimbursement for out-of-province abortions.
Admin fees: $40
• If you do not have a valid health card from a Canadian
province, you will have to pay for your abortion. Costs at free
Admin fees: $60 - $300
standing clinics range from $300-$900, depending on how long
you have been pregnant, the clinic and the type of procedure.
Some clinics may have funds to assist those without insurance -
call the clinics for more information. If you would like a hospital
procedure, contact the BCBC for more information.
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