Coming to the Dublin Well Woman Centre for an Early Medical Abortion
An Early Medical Abortion is a safe and legal way to end a pregnancy, and it is an option that many women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy may choose for themselves. At the Dublin Well Woman Centre, we have been supporting women in crisis pregnancies for over 40 years, and now that Early Medical Abortions are available under Irish law, it is our aim to ensure women experience the best medical care in this procedure.
An Early Medical Abortion is free for all women living in the Republic of Ireland. The earlier in pregnancy you make your decision and speak to a doctor about it, the easier it is to get a medical abortion. If your pregnancy is under 9 weeks, you can access an Early Medical Abortion at a Dublin Well Woman Centre clinic. If you are between 9 and 12 weeks pregnant you can still have your initial appointment at one of our clinics, and we will refer you to a hospital for the procedure.
When you choose to have an Early Medical Abortion at the Dublin Well Woman Centre, you will come for 3 visits in total.
Your first visit
During your visit you will meet with both a doctor and a nurse. Many women may be anxious or worried coming for this visit, but our trained professionals are here to put you at ease.
We’ll ask you questions about your medical history, and the nurse will confirm that you are pregnant, and will take a blood test. The nurse will also talk to you about your decision, and ask if you want any other supports.
You will then meet with a doctor, who will examine you to check that you’ve been pregnant for less than twelve weeks, this might require taking an ultrasound. She will talk you through what’s involved in the procedure and let you know if there are any other tests needed.
Once the doctor has informed you that the procedure can go ahead, you can book your second appointment. This appointment may take place from 3 days after your first appointment, but it may take longer than 3 days if additional tests are required.
Your second visit
Once you are comfortable proceeding, and the waiting time and tests are done, you can return for your second visit. During this visit the doctor will go over the information about the procedure, and you’ll be asked to give consent by signing a form.
You will be given the first abortion pill to take in the clinic and the doctor will explain how to take the second set of pills at home.
It is normal that you will experience discomfort after taking the second set of pills. We will be supplying pain relief, and if you need support during this time, you can contact the Dublin Well Woman Centre (during clinic opening hours) or the 24-hour HSE Helpline (1800 828 010).
We will also be giving you a home pregnancy test to take two weeks after taking the second set of pills. You may also book your third visit at this time.
Your third visit
After you’ve had an abortion, even if this took place elsewhere in a hospital in Ireland or a clinic overseas (other Irish GP Services are excluded), you can choose to visit us for a follow-up from two weeks after the procedure.
In your final visit, the nurse will check to see that you are no longer pregnant. She will ask you if you want any other supports, and may suggest post-abortion counselling. You will see the doctor, who can discuss contraception options if you wish. If there have been any problems or difficulties, such as continued pain or bleeding, you may need to be examined, or have further tests.
You can always contact the 24-hour HSE Helpline (1800 828 010) or ring the Dublin Well Woman Centre (during clinic opening hours) for further support.
Post-abortion counselling in Well Woman
Every woman who has experienced an abortion will have different emotions.
It is possible to feel relief, anger, guilt or sadness. In the Dublin Well Woman Centre we find that some women will be very clear they made the best or correct decision, some may regret the experience, while others struggle on alone hoping the feelings will go away.
Abortion is not a simple matter of “right” or “wrong” and it is important to be able to talk openly about your feelings, as well as having appropriate support to work through any emotional pain or distress. It is possible to take a very positive attitude to all that has happened, and gain personal insight.
If you have had an abortion and would like to discuss your feelings – whether immediately afterwards or several years on – the Dublin Well Woman Centre offers sessions with highly trained and accredited professional counsellors in a confidential and supportive environment.
Post-abortion counselling is available free of charge, and is also available to men who need to discuss their experience around abortion.