Coping with the abortion

Having an abortion can be an emotionally taxing experience. Even if you are certain, you don’t want a child (yet), an abortion is a difficult decision and many women struggle with ambivalent feelings. After the abortion, hormonal changes can also make you feel sad, gloomy or unstable.

It’s important to talk about your feelings with people you can trust. If you don’t have anyone you trust and can talk to, you can perhaps seek out support from a counsellor, social worker or psychologist.

What are my options if I am facing an unwanted pregnancy but don’t want an abortion?

Is your pregnancy unwanted but you are against an abortion? You can choose to carry the pregnancy through and give your baby up for adoption or foster care. Your GP can support you or you can contact FIOM. FIOM is an organisation specialised in support and guidance for unplanned pregnancy, abortion and adoption. For a location near you, please check their website at

Why is there a 5-day consideration period?

Dutch law stipulates a consideration period of 5 days. This means that after you have spoken to a doctor about a possible termination, you have to take at least five days to seriously think over your decision to terminate your pregnancy. The abortion can take place from the sixth day onwards.
If your pregnancy is shorter than 16 days, the mandatory 5-day consideration period does not apply.

I dread having the abortion. Can I share my experiences with someone?

If you feel uncertain or find it hard to come to a decision, you can contact FIOM. FIOM is an organisation that offers help with unplanned pregnancy. For a location near you, please check their website at On the day of your treatment, prior to the abortion, you can have an extensive talk with one of our nurses.

Do I need to have a follow-up after the abortion?

It’s important to have a follow-up 4 weeks after the treatment. You can have the follow-up at our clinic or at your GP surgery. A follow-up at our clinic is usually done by phone. If directly after the abortion you have been fitted with an IUD or there were some complications, the follow-up will take place at our clinic.

During the follow-up, the doctor or nurse will check if you have recovered physically, if you (still) have any symptoms and how you are doing emotionally. The doctor or nurse will also ask you how you have experienced the treatment and how you are coping. In addition to this, we will discuss contraception.

During a follow-up at the clinic, the doctor discusses the same things as during a follow-up by telephone. Also, you will take a pregnancy test and have an ultrasound scan.

When is there a heartbeat and what does that mean?

From about six weeks of pregnancy (about four weeks after conception), there may already be heart activity. This means that a few cells have been created that will later form the heart. These cells beat and circulate blood. However, this is not yet a fully formed heart; that doesn’t happen until about twelve weeks of pregnancy.