Frequently-asked questions

 

1.| WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAD UNPROTECTED SEX OR THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH THE CONDOM?

If the incident occurred less than 3 days ago, you can buy the morning-after pill (Norlevo®) from a pharmacy or drugstore. You do not need a prescription from your GP. However, a morning-after pill does not provide 100% protection. If you are more than 1 week late, take a pregnancy test. You can buy one from a pharmacy or drugstore.

 

If you had unsafe sex less than 5 days earlier, a copper intrauterine device can also be placed in your uterus. This prevents the pregnancy from continuing and also protects you from becoming pregnant again.

 

2.| WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM LATE?

If you are more than 1 week late, take a pregnancy test. You can buy one from a pharmacy or drugstore. If you are uncertain about the test result, you can repeat the test after another week. You can also make an appointment at the Beahuis & Bloemenhove clinic for a pregnancy determination.

 

3.| WHAT ARE MY CHOICES IF I BECOME PREGNANT UNINTENTIONALLY?

If you are pregnant unintentionally, you have three options.

  1. You have a wanted pregnancy. Contact your GP or a midwife practice for pregnancy care and support.
  2. You have an unwanted pregnancy and choose foster care or to give your child up for adoption. Your GP can support you or you can contact a family planning.
  3. You have an unwanted pregnancy and choose abortion. Please contact your GP, he or she can refer you to the Beahuis & Bloemenhove clinic. You can also contact us directly.

You should carefully examine your plans and feelings, and only then make the decision you feel is best. Although you must make the decision yourself, it is often a good idea to discuss your problem with someone else. If you are having trouble making a decision, you can make an appointment with your doctor, with the Beahuis & Bloemenhove clinic or a family planningfor a talk.

 

4.| UP TO HOW MANY WEEKS OF PREGNANCY CAN I RECEIVE TREATMENT?

Treatment is possible up to a term of 22 weeks at the Beahuis & Bloemenhove clinic.

 

5.| HOW CAN I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

You can make an appointment by telephone from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:00 and 17:00. Our telephone number is +31 23 528 98 90. You can also make an appointment via our website. To do so, click on the button 'Appointment via internet'.

 

If you use medication or have a medical condition, you must inform us when making the appointment.

 

6.| IS THERE A WAITING LIST?

You will usually be able to make an appointment within one week. If you are more than sixteen days ‘late’, we do have to take into account the five day consideration period when making appointments.

 

7.| WHY THE FIVE DAY CONSIDERATION PERIOD IF I'VE ALREADY MADE MY DECISION?

Dutch law dictates a five day consideration period. This means you must consider your decision to terminate the pregnancy for at least five days after talking about it with a doctor. Treatment may take place from the sixth day.
If you are not more than sixteen days 'late', the legal five day consideration period does not apply.

 

8.| CAN I COME TO THE BLOEMENHOVE CLINIC WITHOUT A REFERRAL FROM MY GP OR GYNAECOLOGIST?

You do not need a referral letter if you are not more than sixteen days 'late'.


If you are more than sixteen days 'late', a referral letter from your GP or another doctor serves as evidence you have considered your decision to terminate your pregnancy for at least five days. A sample letter may be found under the button 'Forms'.


If you prefer not to go to your own doctor, you may talk to one of our doctors about your intention to terminate the pregnancy. Treatment may take place from the sixth day after this discussion. You will not need a referral letter in this case.

 

9.| I AM UNDERAGE. DO I NEED PARENTAL CONSENT?

If you are 15 years old or younger, you and your parents need to consent to the treatment. If you cannot inform your parents, please contact us via telephone number +31 23 528 98 90.
If you are 16 years old or older, you do not need parental consent.

 

10.| WHAT DO I NEED TO TAKE ALONG TO THE CLINIC?

We ask that you take along proof of identity, such as a passport or driving license. We will also require an insurance card. If you are not insured, contact us via telephone number +31 23 528 98 90. We also ask that you take along a nightgown or long T-shirt, a bathrobe, slippers, socks, extra underwear, sanitary towels and toiletries.

 

11.| HOW LONG DOES THE ENTIRE TREATMENT TAKE, INCLUDING PREPARATION AND AFTERCARE?

For a pregnancy of up to 17 weeks, you can go home again in the course of the (late) afternoon. On average, you will spend 5 to 6 hours at the clinic.

 

Depending on how the treatment after 18 weeks’ pregnancy progresses, you might go home in the late afternoon or the evening. On average, you will spend 8 to 10 hours at the clinic.



12.| WHAT DO I HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO ON THE DAY OF THE TREATMENT?

It is important that you fast from three hours before the appointment time, so you are not allowed to eat or drink anything more, and you should preferably not smoke. Before this time, you may eat a light breafast without fat or milk products.

 

If you use medication or have a specific medical condition, you must inform us when making the appointment. You will generally be able to take your own medication as normal, also on the day of the treatment.


13.| WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DAY OF THE TREATMENT?

You report to reception upon arrival. Once you have completed a questionnaire, you will see one of our doctors for a talk and preliminary examination. Using ultrasound, a doctor will determine exactly how long you have been pregnant. A nurse will then come to get you. You can discuss your contraceptive choices with her. She can also answer all of your questions. Additional blood tests are sometimes necessary.


Treatment takes place on the first floor, where you will also be assigned a bed. Treatment methods and observation periods vary depending on the term of your pregnancy. After the treatment, you will be prescribed antibiotics to prevent infections.

You will visit the clinic after three weeks for a checkup. If you prefer, you may instead visit your own GP or gynaecologist.

 

14.| WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION BY THE DOCTOR?

Once you have completed a questionnaire, you will see one of our doctors. He or she will speak with you about your decision to terminate the pregnancy and about your health. The doctor will perform a medical preliminary examination and determine exactly how long you have been pregnant using ultrasound. This is required to determine the treatment method. The doctor will also advise you on contraceptives you can use after the abortion.

 

15.| TO WHAT DEGREE DOES MY WEIGHT AFFECT TREATMENT?

You have an increased risk during anaesthesia if you are seriously overweight or underweight. If you are seriously overweight or underweight, please contact us by telephone on +31 23 528 98 90.

 

16.| IS IT A PROBLEM IF I HAVE HAD AN ABORTION BEFORE?

A previous abortion does not cause any physical problems for the treatment.

 

17.| HOW IS AN ABORTION TREATMENT PERFORMED?

Up to a term of 12 weeks, suction curettage is possible under local anaesthetic or sedation. The cervix is numbed and dilated slightly via the vagina. A thin tube is then inserted and the tissue is suctioned out. Sometimes you may need to be given prostaglandin tablets a few hours before the intervention to make the cervix suppler

 

From 13 weeks, the cervix needs to be dilated further and the embryo is removed using instruments. The womb is then cleaned using curettage. You may need to be given prostaglandin tablets a few hours before the intervention to make the cervix suppler.

 

From a term of 18 weeks onwards, you will be given medication during the day to make the cervix supple and cause some dilation. The actual abortion is performed in the afternoon, during which the cervix is dilated and the embryo is removed using instruments. Thereafter, the uterus is always cleaned out by curettage.

 

18.| WILL I RECEIVE GENERAL ANAESTHESIA, AN EPIDURAL OR LOCAL ANAESTHESIA?

An epidural will not be given. For a pregnancy term of up to 17 weeks, you can choose between local anaesthesia and sedation. From 18 weeks of pregnancy, treatment always takes place under sedation. After an intervention under sedation, you may not drive cars, motorcycles, scooters, nor use a bicycle for 24 hours.

 

19.| IS THE TREATMENT PAINFUL?

During treatment under local anaesthesia, you are not asleep and you feel what happens. Whether the treatment is more or less painful is different for every woman. You will usually experience some cramping after the treatment. This feeling is similar to severe menstrual pain.


For treatments under seation, you will be given a sedative and pain medication via a needle in your arm. During the sedation, while you are asleep, you will not be aware of the treatment at all. You will only be woken up once the treatment is over. You will then feel somewhat sleepy and sometimes a bit dizzy.

 

20.| CAN MY PARTNER OR COMPANION BE PRESENT DURING THE TREATMENT?

Your partner or companion may be present during the meeting and preliminary examination by the doctor as well as the additional talk with the nurse. The doctor will also need a private conversation with you. Your companion may briefly visit the nursing ward. Your partner or companion cannot be present during the treatment.

 

21.| WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS?

The risk of a complication during or after the intervention is extremely low and increases with the term of the pregnancy. Possible complications include: excessive blood loss or damage to the womb. Additional treatment in a general hospital in our area that we have a working agreement with might be required in this case (risk less than 0.2%).

It can also happen that an early pregnancy fails to be terminated or that residual tissue remains behind in the womb. In this case, the doctor may decide that additional medication or curettage is necessary.


22.| WHAT DO I NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR IN THE DAYS AFTER THE TREATMENT?

After the treatment, you will be given antibiotics to prevent infections. If you have a fever higher than 38 oC after the third day, contact us via telephone number +31 23 528 98 90. Outside office hours, we may be contacted via the doctors' service on telephone number 0900-1515; if calling from abroad, dial +31 35 692 92 23.

 

If your breasts feel tense and painful after the treatment, you may take painkillers such as Paracetamol, Advil, Ibuprofen or Aleve. If milk comes out of your nipples, it is possible to stop this discharge. We do not prescribe these medicines as standard in connection with the side-effects. Contact your own doctor for this.

 

You may not have sex for the first two weeks after the treatment. You may also not use tampons, swim or take a bath during these two weeks. Showering is allowed.

 

23.| I FEEL VERY EMOTIONAL ABOUT THE PLANNED ABORTION. CAN I TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT MY EXPERIENCES?

If you feel uncertain or have difficulties making a decision, you can contact a family planning. On the day of the treatment, you can talk extensively with one of the nurses before the intervention.

 

24.| DOES AN ABORTION HAVE ANY NEGATIVE IMPACT ON AN INTENTIONAL PREGNANCY IN THE FUTURE?

In general, the treatment has no negative impact on future pregnancies. You may expect your next menstruation 4 to 6 weeks after the abortion.

 

25.| HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT TO HAVE SEX AGAIN AFTER THE ABORTION?

To prevent infections, you may not have sex during the first two weeks after the treatment. You may also not use tampons, swim or take a bath during these two weeks. Showering is allowed.

 

26.| CAN I HAVE AN IUD INSERTED AFTER THE ABORTION TREATMENT?

Up to a term of about 15 weeks, you can have an IUD inserted immediately after the treatment. You may contact us for the current price for the insertion of an IUD. A number of Dutch health insurance policies cover (part of) the costs of the IUD and the costs for placing it. Please contact your insurer about the reimbursement.



27.| ARE THE COSTS OF THE ABORTION COVERED BY MY HEALTH INSURANCE?

If you live or work in the Netherlands, you do not have to pay for the treatment, and the costs are fully reimbursed by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Your health insurer will not be informed and you will pay no excess (in contrast to an abortion in the hospital).

In order to determine whether you qualify for reimbursement, we require your valid insurance card or health insurance policy. We also ask that you bring along valid proof of identity, such as a passport or driving license.

 

If you do not live in the Netherlands, you must pay for the cost of treatment yourself. The price depends on the pregnancy term. Please contact us for current prices.

 

28.| I DO NOT WANT THE BIOLOGICAL FATHER, MY PARTNER OR FAMILY TO FIND OUT. HOW IS MY PRIVACY ASSURED?

We are extremely careful with your personal information, and only provide information to family members or friends if you have provided explicit consent. For example, if you know a family member or friend will call and should be informed, you must let reception know.