Early Medical Abortion (Phone Consultation) – Step-by-Step
The current restrictions arising from COVID19 have led to some changes and adaptations in the way we deliver our healthcare services. Significant changes have been made to our Early Medical Abortion Service, which are outlined in the Step-By-Step guidelines below.
If you are unsure about the process of accessing an Early Medical Abortion, we can help you through whatever stage you are at in your pregnancy or throughout your decision-making process.
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 we aim to ensure that our patients 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, 2 visits are required, with a third being offered.
Now that we are implementing physical distancing measure, these “visits” will take place by telephone consultation. Please follow the Step-By-Step guide to ensure you understand how we are now operating in the current environment.
Step 1 - Make an appointment
Call one of our clinics to make an appointment.
The receptionist will ask you a couple of questions about your pregnancy and book you in for your first telephone appointment with one of our doctors.
You can also use the Appointment Request form
Step 2 - First Telephone Appointment with a Doctor
During your first telephone appointment, you will talk to one of our doctors. Our trained professionals are here to put you at ease no matter what your situation. We’ll ask you questions about your medical history and confirm the date of your last period to calculate how many weeks pregnant you are.
- If you are under 9 weeks pregnant, you can have an early medical abortion at home. This means you will take medication to end the pregnancy.
- If you are between 9 and 12 weeks pregnant, you will need to have the abortion in hospital. The doctor will organise this for you.
- If you are unsure of your dates, the doctor can refer you for an ultrasound which will then determine what stage you are in to access an abortion. We cannot provide ultrasound scanning in our clinics. If you need a scan, the doctor will tell you where you need to go to get an ultrasound scan.
The doctor will explain everything you need to know about the abortion process and, with your consent, will email you information regarding the procedure. She will also discuss contraception, if you wish. Once the doctor has informed you that the procedure can go ahead, you can book your second appointment by contacting our Receptionists. This appointment will take place from 3 days after your first appointment, but it may take longer than 3 days if additional tests are required. The 3 day waiting period is a mandatory, legal obligation which Dublin Well Woman Centre cannot change.
Step 3 - Information and Waiting Period
During the 3-day mandatory waiting period, we encourage you to familiarise yourself with as much information about the abortion process as possible. You can access any of this information on the HSE website and also from the documents the doctor has emailed you during your first consultation.
If you have not made your appointment for your second consultation, you can do so during this time once you are comfortable. You can make your appointment with one of our Receptionists at the clinic you choose.
If you wish to talk through your feelings about your decision with one of our counsellors during this 3-day period, or at any stage of the process, we can make an appointment for a telephone counselling session for you.
Step 4 - Second Appointment with a Doctor
Once scheduled, one of our doctors will contact you by phone for your second phone consultation. The doctor will require verbal consent that you want to proceed with the abortion and will ask you some more questions based on your situation. The doctor will also explain, in detail, the steps you need to take to carry out the abortion at home.
Step 5 - Collect your Home Care Pack
We ask you to come to the clinic to collect your Home Care Pack. We advise you collect the pack the same day as your second telephone appointment, and we will give you a specific time to do this. We will also email you a letter confirming that you are attending our clinic for purposes of accessing medical care, which may be used if you are stopped by Gardai during these days of ‘lockdown’.
Our staff will explain everything you need to know about what you will find in the pack and about the abortion process before you collect it. We will maintain physical distance and keep contact to a minimum when you come to the clinic.
If you cannot collect the pack yourself, a friend or family member can collect it for you. You will need to let us know the name of the person who will collect the pack.
Step 6 - Take the First Medication
Take the first pill, Mifegyne 200mg, on the day you collect your pack. Follow instructions on the medication information sheet provided to you in the pack.
Step 7 - Take the Second Medication
You take the second medication, MisoOne 24-48 hours after the first medication. Shortly after taking this medication, you will experience some pain: you can take three of the painkillers that are included in your Home Care Pack.
If you have no pain or bleeding after 4 hours, take the third MisoOne tablet.
If you have any problems, worries or concerns, you should contact the clinic or the HSE My Options helpline (1800 828 010).
Step 8 - Follow-up support
If you wish, one of our counsellors will call you a few days after the abortion to see how you are doing.
Step 9 - Pregnancy test
Two weeks after taking the second medication, you should take your pregnancy test. There is a pregnancy test provided in the Home Care Pack. If the pregnancy test is positive, you must phone the clinic immediately.
Step 10 - Follow-up
Our Patient Coordinator will phone you to check that your pregnancy test is negative. She will answer any questions you may have.
You can make an appointment with a specialist pregnancy counsellor before, during or after your abortion. These counselling sessions are free of charge, and are available to you at any time.