Melbourne’s Most Trusted Women’s Health Clinic
Most termination of pregnancy in Australia are performed surgically. In Victoria, they must be performed in a Registered Day Surgery, or by the major Public and Private Hospitals.
At Hampton Park Women’s Health Clinic, we offer both Medical and Surgical Termination of Pregnancy.
Surgical Termination of Pregnancy – What You Need to Know
Once you’ve made your decision to undergo a surgical abortion, you can book your procedure with us. Please notify us of any medications you are taking and any serious medical conditions, such as insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus, Asthma etc.
On the Day
On the day of the surgery, you will need to fast for 6 hours before the operation – no food drink or smoking. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing. If you are having an anaesthetic, you will need to be dropped off and picked up by your support person.
Shortly after you arrive, you will be seen by our admission nurse who will go through your medical history and perform a preliminary abdominal ultrasound to confirm that surgery is suitable (e.g. that your dates are right and that the pregnancy is located within the uterus). The Nurse will discuss your decision to confirm that you are confident in proceeding with the abortion. Then, she will explain the operation to you, going through the possible complications and after care information, and informing you of the recovery time.
Immediately Prior to the Procedure
You will be given the chance to ask questions to help increase your understanding, such as what happens during the procedure. Following this, you will be seen by the operating doctor, who will answer any questions you have and double check that you remain confident in your decision. She/he will discuss your reproductive medical and contraceptive history with you to determine which contraceptives might be suitable for you after the surgery. For information on the various contraceptive options available. We encourage you to visit this section so that you are more informed and familiar with the various contraceptive options available and their side effects.
The Procedure – What Happens During a Surgical Procedure?
You will then be seen by the anesthetist who will escort you into the theatre. A speculum is inserted into the vagina so that the doctor can see your cervix. Swabs will be taken to check for Chlamydia and other bacteria that could possibly increase your risk of developing an infection after the operation. Cervical Screening (Pap Smear) can also be performed on request either by yourself or your doctor. These routine swabs take a few days to be processed and will allow the doctor to treat any infection discovered.
The doctor will then disinfect the area with an antiseptic. The cervix is then gently stretched in a process called ‘dilation.’ Once the doctor has stretched or dilated the cervix to an adequate width, a sterile plastic instrument is then slid into the uterus through the opening in the cervix. This instrument is called a ‘suction curette’ and resembles a curved plastic straw. Suction is created which then gently suctions the pregnancy and related tissues. Once the doctor feels the uterus is empty, she/he will then remove all of the instruments and finish by performing another ultrasound to confirm that your uterus appears empty and that the surgical termination of pregnancy has been successful. Most patients will have less than 50mls of blood loss when undergoing the procedure.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
The surgery will take about 10 to 20 minutes. You’ll also be required to stay in recovery for an hour afterward. You can read more about what happens during post op below.
What Does Post Op Involve and What is the Recovery Time?
You will be monitored throughout the procedure and once it has been completed, you’ll be transferred to your recovery bed for further supervision. All patients must stay in recovery for a minimum of one hour after the operation. You must be driven home by your partner or friend, who should then watch over you. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home, as you will be still drowsy from the anesthetic, which puts yourself and other drivers at risk. You must also not drive for 24 hours after the surgery. Once home, we recommend that you have a light meal and then go directly to bed for a few hours.
When Will I Get my Period After the Procedure?
Your period will usually start within 4 to 8 weeks. You may find that your first period is light to begin with, and it may be shorter than usual. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more information on what you can expect when it comes to your period after the surgical procedure.
How Long After the Procedure Can You Have Sex?
It’s recommended that you wait 6 weeks after a surgical procedure to have sex. Before resuming sexual activity, a reliable method of birth control should be organised to prevent future pregnancies. Learn about the contraceptive options available at Hampton Park Women’s Health Clinic.
What do I Need to Legally Know?
It is important to remember that the surgical termination of pregnancy is an operation. When you decide to have an operation of any kind, it’s important to understand the procedures and the possible risks involved. It’s also important that you understand all the post op and recovery information provided to you. If you would like to learn more, call us to arrange a pre termination of pregnancy consultation with one of our supportive staff members.