As abortions are legal throughout the UK (excluding Ireland), there are many abortion clinics located around the country.
Abortion clinics offer a range of services including medical and surgical abortions and much more. Both of these procedures are carried out at your chosen abortion clinic located near to you.
A medical abortion is often referred to as the early abortion pill. This includes two different types of medicines known as mifepristone and misoprostol. The first tablet to be taken is mifepristone and this ends the pregnancy by blocking a hormone named progesterone. This breaks down the lining of the uterus and ensures the pregnancy cannot continue. The second tablet is misoprostol. Once swallowed, it makes the womb contract which leads to cramping and bleeding and further, the loss of the pregnancy.
Medical abortions can be used up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
There are two types of surgical abortion and dependant upon how many weeks pregnant you are, will depend on what type of surgery you have, whether it be a vacuum aspiration or dilatation and evacuation.
Vacuum aspiration is carried out using local anaesthetic usually, however, can be carried out using general anaesthetic. But, if the patient is under 14 weeks, this procedure if carried out using local anaesthetic as the recovery time is less and it allows you to leave the clinic unattended and if needed, drive sooner. This procedure removes the pregnancy by a gentle suction.
If the patient is between 15 and 24 weeks of their pregnancy, dilatation and evacuation will be the procedure which terminates the pregnancy. The pregnancy is removed using narrow forceps through the neck of the womb and due to this, the procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic.