What to expect

What to expect and what to prepare

On your first visit to the clinic, you can expect to be told what methods are going to be used and what may happen to you. If you are late and you need to have the procedure before the cut off  of 12 weeks or 20 weeks, you may be required to have the procedure on the day you are at the clinic.

It is a good idea to have your favourite fluids (a drink or tea in a flask handy), hot water bottle, Extra supplies of Brufen.


Pain relief

There are various pain relief options for different methods and stages of pregnancy

Medical abortion is viewed as possibly more painful but everyone is different. One should be given Brufen 2 hours or so after the second set of medicines (misoprostol). Paracetomol is not likely to be effective. If you are allergic to Brufen there are other prescription pain drugs (analgesia) please ask your health provider.

It is important to address possible pain and cramps as to ensure that one is relaxed s you can release the fetial sac. Following this the pains are moderate and similar to a painful period

In surgical abortion, Brufen is also generally used.

Other options can include conscious sedation where one is given a tranquiliser to take make one sleepy, or a paracervical bloc where local anaesthetic is injected into ones cervix. For survivors of rape and younger anxious persons more pain relief is regarded as good pain relief




Bleeding is often the first sign that the abortion has begun. If the abortion continues, bleeding and cramps become more severe. Bleeding is often heavier than a normal menstruation, and there can be clots. The longer the pregnancy has developed, the heavier the cramps and the bleeding will be. If the abortion is complete, the bleeding and the cramps diminish. The moment of abortion can be noticed with a peak of heavier blood loss and more pain and cramps.

Normally the bleeding will continue lightly for one to three weeks after the abortion, but times may vary. The normal menstrual period usually returns after four to six weeks.

The heaviest bleeding typically occurs 2-5 hours after using misoprostol and usually slows down within 24 hours. The most intense cramping and bleeding generally lasts for 3-5 hours, but it can last for less or more time. Some women bleed heavily for up to 48 hours and may pass clots days or even weeks after taking the misoprostol. This is common and is not dangerous, unless you soak through more than two maxi pads per hour for 2 hours or more or when you lose heavy clots bigger than an orange. It is normal for your body to take time to empty the uterus completely. Every woman’s body is different.