The day of the treatment
a. At home
See to good personal hygiene. Take a shower before your visit. Do you have any piercings in your tongue or genitalia? If you are having a day treatment, please remove them at home. False nails (of at least one finger) also need to be removed before your visit.
Don’t use drugs in the 48 hours before the treatment. It’s advised not to smoke in the 24 hours before the treatment.
Make sure to bring everything you need for your treatment. For all treatments, we need your ID, proof of insurance and (if you have it) referral letter. In case of suction curettage or day treatment, you also need some clothing.
Be on time! If you are running late, contact the clinic immediately. Depending on the reason of being late and the nature of your appointment, we will decide whether your treatment can go ahead or whether a new appointment is to be booked.
b. The intake
When you get to the clinic, please check in with reception. Give the requested cards and papers to the receptionist. The receptionist will give you a (medical) list of questions. Complete the list in the waiting room and hand it to the receptionist, who will give you back your cards.
c. Consultation with the doctor
The doctor will carry out a preliminary examination and will use an ultrasound scan to determine how long you have been pregnant. Depending on the pregnancy stage, the ultrasound is done either on your belly or internally (vaginally). If you want to see the ultrasound images or would like a copy, that’s fine. Please ask the doctor.
If the ultrasound scan does not (clearly) show a pregnancy, usually we will book you a new appointment.
d. Consultation with the nurse
The nurse will call you in for the second consultation and treatment preparation. If there are things you don’t understand, just ask the nurse. This consultation also offers the opportunity to discuss contraceptive choices.
And if you still feel unsure about your decision, please feel free to discuss this with the nurse. If you need more time, or your doubts prevail, that’s absolutely fine. You can book a new appointment or permanently cancel the treatment.
- Abortion pill The nurse will give you the first pill, which you take at the clinic. You will take the other pills home. The nurse will clearly explain when you can continue the treatment at home, and what this entails. You will also be given a comprehensive information leaflet and instructions. You are ready to go home.
- Suction curettage and day treatmentYou are now getting ready for the treatment. You walk to the ward and get changed. You share the ward with other women. Lockers are available to store your belongings. The nurse will administer a medicine (Misoprostol) to relax your cervix, which needs an hour to take effect. For pregnancies longer than 18 weeks the medicine needs 2 to 3 hours to take effect. For treatments under sedation (light anaesthetic), the nurse will now insert a cannula in your arm.
e. Blood sample
For pregnancies longer than 18 weeks, the nurse will also determine your blood iron level (haemoglobin). If this is too low (rarely), the doctor may decide to reschedule the treatment.
f. To the surgery
In case of sedation (light anaesthetic) you are given a short-acting sleep-inducing drug through a drip connected to your arm. Within 30 seconds you will fall asleep for the duration of the treatment. Sedation (light anaesthetic) is not the same as general anaesthetic. If you have chosen local anaesthetic, the doctor will administer a number of minor injections in your cervix. This is not painful. For pregnancies longer than 13 weeks, you usually get sedated (light anaesthetic).
Depending on the pregnancy stage, the treatment takes 5 to 25 minutes. You will wake up almost immediately after the treatment. The nurse will take you back to the recovery room.
g. After the treatment
You are not allowed to leave before the doctor or nurse has checked you. If you have been under sedation, you are not allowed to participate in traffic for 24 hours (driving a car or motorbike, riding a bicycle or moped). This is because the sleep-inducing drug stays in your blood for 24 hours, affecting your alertness. If you do participate in traffic and are involved in an accident, your insurance will not cover any costs involved.
Sedation is lighter than general anaesthetic. Your breathing is unsupported, so there is no intubation (no breathing tube is inserted into the trachea). After light sedation you wake up and recover much faster than after general anaesthetic.
The doctors in the clinic will always check if sedation is a safe option for you. For some illnesses, allergies or medication use, sedation is not a safe option. And if you don’t have an empty stomach, sedation can be dangerous. Your stomach content can transfer to your lungs, which can cause serious complications. That is why you have to be fasting prior to an abortion under sedation. If the doctor decides that sedation is safe for you, you will experience that this form of light anaesthetic is safe and comfortable. You will not be aware of the treatment, and many people quite like the feeling of the sedation.