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What happens during an in-clinic abortion?

What happens during an in-clinic abortion?

If you are less than 20 weeks pregnant, it’s legal in South Africa to have an abortion. It’s critical that abortion takes place in an accredited women’s healthcare clinic, and the procedure is performed by a medical professional. In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the surgical, in-clinic abortion procedure.


What you must to do before an in-clinic abortion procedure

It’s important that you speak to a social worker or counsellor before you decide to have a surgical abortion. If you do decide that this is the right path for you, then you’ll be given all the information you need about how to care for yourself after the surgical abortion procedure.


How does the surgical abortion procedure work?

Before the abortion procedure, you’ll be given pain medication, which will help with cramping and antibiotics to prevent infections. It may be possible to be sedated during the abortion.

A medical professional may give you medication to help open your cervix before your abortion. During the procedure, there will be a staff member there to help the medical professional and support you during your abortion.

During an abortion procedure, the doctor or nurse will:

  • Examine your uterus
  • Inject a numbing medication into – or near – your cervix
  • Gently open your cervix.
  • Insert a thin tube into your uterus to clear the lining with light suction


The surgical abortion procedure takes approximately five to 10 minutes. However, but your appointment will take longer because you’ll need an exam, read, understand and sign forms, and stay in recovery afterwards for up to about an hour.

If you don’t want to have another unplanned pregnancy, it’s vital that you choose the right type of contraception for yourself. There are different kinds of methods available. Please visit our contraception page for more information.


Does a surgical abortion hurt?

You can expect intermittent mild to severe cramps after the surgical abortion procedure. However, pain can be managed by medication. The doctor will discuss this with you during the pre-procedure consultation.

Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)



You can expect intermittent mild to severe cramps whether you choose the medical process (often called the abortion pill) or procedure (a minor same-day procedure). However, the pain can be managed by medication.

The cost of our services varies according to:

  • the location of the Marie Stopes centre you choose
  • the stage of your pregnancy
  • the method you choose (medical process or procedure)

Please contact us for more information.

Yes. Neither abortion method will prevent you from getting pregnant in the future.

  • The abortion pill is 98 – 99 percent effective.
  • The procedure is 99 percent effective.

Medication abortion:
You will take two pills. The first pill is commonly known as the abortion pill (mifepristone). It stops the ovaries from producing the hormone, progesterone – which is needed for pregnancy. The second pill, called misoprostol, needs to be taken 6 – 48 hours after taking the first pill. It causes cramping and bleeding which empties your uterus.

Procedure abortion:
A doctor will stretch your uterus and insert a hollow tube, removing the lining of the uterus through aspiration of the tissue.

The most common after-abortion side effects include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sore breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Light vaginal bleeding

Emergency complications can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Excessive heavy bleeding
  • Strong-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Severe abdominal pain

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    By |2020-07-13T15:58:36+02:00July 11th, 2019|Safe Abortion, Surgical procedure|0 Comments