Frequently Asked Questions
You will need to take a home pregnancy test or a blood test to confirm your pregnancy before we can give you an appointment. It also helps if you have a BHCG count if you have a blood test available so that we can give you the earliest possible appointment. This information is not required because we always do an ultrasound the day of your appointment to determine the length of gestation. All you need to do is give us a call at 416.256.4139 if you are interested in making an appointment. It's also helpful to know when you last had your last menstruation.
- We offer medical abortions
- We offer early abortions starting at 4 weeks of gestation
- We complete abortions up to twenty weeks of gestation.
- We are all female doctor clinic. We have a very diverse, multi-lingual staff to ensure your comfort.
- All our doctors have over ten years of experiences in female reproductive health and have worked in other Canadian clinics and hospitals.
- At our clinic, the parental consent is not required for patients under the age of 18.
- Women's Care Clinic is accredited by the National Abortion Federation and follows NAF's practices and guidelines in patient care.
- The Medical Director of Women's Care Clinic has provided abortion services for 25 years and in 1996 received NAF's prestigious C. Lalor Burdick award for unsung heroes of the pro-choice movement. She specializes in larger pregnancies from 16 to 20 weeks (3 day procedure) providing a safe and gentle process lasting 2 to 4 minutes, which may enable the patient to have healthy future pregnancies.
- Nursing staff on duty have an Emergency Department background of 20 years or more experience providing highly skilled treatment management of patients in a compassionate manner.
Medical procedures utilize medication to terminate the pregnancy while surgical abortions use medical instruments to remove the unwanted tissue.
At our clinic we offer the medical abortion (a non-invasive procedure). In order to have the medical abortion you must be no more than eight weeks of gestation at the time of your first appointment. This procedure involves three separate appointments involving ultrasound, complete blood work, taking pills (MIFEGYMISO) and confirmation check-up. The success rate for this procedure is about 94%. The surgical abortion requires only one visit if under 12 weeks of gestation. It is our most commonly requested procedure because it is very effective, safe and least time consuming.
Yes, we do abortions starting at four weeks of gestation.
Yes, we do abortions up until 20 weeks of gestation. If you are more than 20 weeks of gestation you can also give us a call because we can help refer you to another clinic or the United States where in some states abortions are completed after this point depending on the medical circumstances.
Yes, we do not discriminate by age and we do NOT require consent for our clients who are under the age of 18. Furthermore, we do not tell your parents any information even if they call our facility inquiring about your whereabouts. We respect your confidentiality and we ensure your privacy.
You can schedule an appointment whenever it is convenient for you. We usually do not have any problems meeting your scheduling needs and we now offer Saturday appointments for your convenience. We do not use waiting lists. However, you do need to be at least four weeks pregnant to have an abortion so we may have to adhere to this time frame when scheduling your appointment.
If you are choosing to have a surgical abortion and are under 12 weeks of gestation you will only need to visit our facility the day of the procedure. Medical abortions involve three separate visits. Patients between 12 to 16 weeks of gestation will need to come into our clinic for two appointments on back-to-back days. Patients over 16 weeks of gestation will need to have three visits on consecutive days.
Patients are typically at our facility for two-three hours the day of the procedure. This time period includes paper work, counseling, the surgical abortion, and recovery. The abortion typically takes no more than five minutes to complete if one is less than 12 weeks of gestation.
We encourage one person to accompany each patient to the clinic. In case there are some issues and concerns or translation is needed, we will ensure that they accompany you into the counselling room. Only medical personnel are allowed in the surgical treatment areas. A comfortable waiting area or a coffee shop in the main lobby is available for your significant other until you are discharged from the recovery area.
- You will be required to have your Ontario Health card or other Health Insurance information ready. You will also be required to complete a medical chart outlining your past & present medical history, demographic information and consent form. All information is kept confidential.
- Expect some private time with a staff counselor to review your medical history, birth control plan and other information. This is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and raise any concerns you may have. Remember, being clear and resolved in your decision is our primary concern.
- You will have a finger prick blood test done for hemoglobin and the Rh factor.
- Your abortion will take place in a procedure room with the physician/surgeon and assistant nurse present. An ultrasound will be done to determine the gestational age of the pregnancy.
- The abortion is a safe, simple procedure that generally lasts 2-4 minutes. You will experience cramps similar to menstrual cramping. A nurse will be at your side during the procedure to ensure that you feel comfortable. You will NOT be asleep during the procedure. However, you will be given medication to distance you from the discomfort.
- IF YOUR BLOOD TYPE IS RH NEGATIVE, YOU WILL BE GIVEN A SHOT OF RHOGAM (WINRHO) TO ENSURE THE HEALTH OF FUTURE PREGNANCIES.
- After the abortion, you will be escorted to the recovery room. There you may rest and will be offered light refreshments. You will be offered Tylenol if you experience cramping. Generally, most women feel ready to leave within 20-30 minutes. A nurse will explain what is normal to experience in the next few weeks. Birth control options are discussed and birth control pills are given if you wish to choose this method. A prescription for antibiotics is given to avoid infection. You will be given an emergency contact number for after-hours attention, if necessary.
Women's Care Clinic and its staff take pride in providing a warm and friendly ambience in a comfortable environment.
On the day of procedure, to ensure your comfort at the clinic please observe the following guidelines:
- Do not eat for six hours or drink for two hours before your appointment.
- Its best to take a bath or a shower prior to your appointment because you cannot bathe after the procedure.
- Bring your photo OHIP or photo ID card (if you do not have OHIP).
- Medical abortions and post-operative prescriptions will require additional costs. Make sure to bring a form of payment to cover these out-of-pocket expenses with the pharmacy.
- Bring an extra pair of underwear.
- A long gown/T-shirt and socks that you will change into.
- Extra hygiene pads.
- Have someone accompany you for translation or to take you home.
- You should not be driving the day of the procedure but you can have someone drive you or take a taxi or public transportation.
- Do NOT bring children to our facility since this can be distressing for some of our patients.
A majority of patients return to work the same day. Everyone is different so it is up to you if you feel comfortable returning to work the following day. We do however; discourage patients from engaging in heavy lifting, intense exercise, and baths for two weeks. Patients should return to our clinic approx. two to three weeks after a surgical abortion and two to three days after a medical abortion with MIFEGYMISO.
The actual procedure is completed under local anesthesia and IV sedation. During the procedure, most women feel cramping, similar to menstrual cramps. Our care is personalized and so we will provide you with pain medications or mild sedatives according to your specified needs.
As with all surgical procedures, abortions have some potential for complications. Individual circumstances and medical conditions can cause problems if they are not assessed before the abortion.
It is very important to discuss your medical history with the counselor during your pre-op examination or specific issues with the doctor inside the operative area. Statistically compared, childbirth is far more dangerous than abortion.
Most women have no complications after an abortion. If complications do arise, they are usually minor and easy to treat. More serious complications are rare but require a follow-up treatment.
Scientific evidence indicates that abortion is NOT related to increased risk of miscarriage and infertility.
Regardless of prior abortion history, 1st trimester abortions are very low risk procedures. As long as you have had no previous gynecological complications you can safely have more than one abortion.
The Canadian Medical Association's abortion policy defines abortion as the active termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks in gestation. Canada does not have an abortion law, so abortion is governed by the same legislation as other medical procedures.
Abortions are performed when a pregnant woman asks a doctor to terminate her pregnancy and a doctor agrees to it. In general, an abortion is requested when a woman is not able to accept the unwanted pregnancy and the prospect of having a child.
There are usually several reasons why women decide to have an abortion. Some of these are:
- Not being ready to raise a child.
- Lack of partner's support, absence of a partner, being in an abusive relationship.
- Need to complete education or keep a job.
- Having to raise other children.
- Financial situation and the lack of social support.
- Health problems.
- Pregnancies caused by incest or rape.
- Fetal abnormalities.
- The hospitals require referral from a woman's physician, while our clinic does not.
- In a hospital, a woman is placed under general anesthesia, while in our clinic the procedure is done under local anesthesia, which decreases the recovery time since a woman is awake.
- At our clinic, the parental consent is not required for patients under the age of 18.
A majority of patients return to work the same day. We discourage heavy lifting, intense exercise, and baths for two weeks. Patients should follow up with our clinic approx. two to three weeks after a surgical abortion and two to three days after a medical abortion.
We advise you wait at least two weeks before having sex to avoid infection.
Yes, you can. It is very important to use a reliable method of birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy. You can start birth control the following Sunday after the abortion.
These values are given when you take a blood test for pregnancy. The BHCG count will tell our staff approx. the length of the pregnancy helping us give you the earliest appointment possible.
The HCG hormone level in the human body doubles approximately every 2.2 days during the first trimester of pregnancy. Detectable levels of HCG start at 5 mIU/ml during the first week of gestation and rise to 100,000 mIU/ml at 2 to 3 months. Values decline to 10% to l5% of peak concentrations during 2nd and 3rd trimesters. In normal circumstances, first morning urine samples approximate serum HCG levels which reach 5 to 50 mIU/ml within one(1) week of gestational age.
The D&E procedure is used for second trimester abortions. It is a 2-3 day process that includes preparations to gradually dilate (open) the cervix before the actual abortion.
The IUD is made of plastic, with a string attached to one end. The IUD contains either copper wire or progesterone to help it prevent pregnancy. We use the copper IUD (also called Paragard or the Copper-T), which lasts for at least 3-5 years. The IUD is approximately 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. After insertion, an IUD is effective immediately.
An IUD is usually inserted during a menstrual period when the cervix is slightly open and pregnancy is least likely. It may be inserted at any time, however. The procedure for insertion takes about 5-15 minutes. Most women feel cramping during and after insertion. Ibuprofen can help relieve cramping.
Laminaria tent is about 2 inches, rigid, fiber-like stick made out of the seaweed (Laminaria stenophylla). It is used for two and three-day procedures when cervix needs to be dilated more. The seaweed property is that it absorbs the moisture when in contact with the secretions of the body, while softening and swelling to several times its diameter. The result is the gradual dilation of the cervix, which in turn decreases the chance of cervical laceration and perforation. This is the safest and the least painful way of cervix dilatation as it takes usually 24 hours for it to fully expand. Women might get cramps within those 24 hours so adequate pain killers are prescribed to lessen the discomfort.
Abortion technique used for pregnancies from 4 to 7 weeks, if applicable.
Medical Abortion using medications induces an abortion non-invasively. After taking the medications the uterus contracts vigorously and the pregnancy then separates from the wall of the uterus, resulting in a spontaneous miscarriage. Cramping and bleeding may accompany this process.
Rh factor is an antigen that might or might not be present in a human's blood. This factor determines whether a woman needs to get the RhoGam shot or not during her pregnancy.
If a Rh-negative woman is carrying a baby who is Rh-positive (like the baby's father), the woman's immune system, which fights off invaders to keep her healthy, will recognize her baby's Rh-positive red blood cells as foreign to her Rh-negative blood and will begin producing antibodies intended to destroy her baby's blood cells. If this is the woman's first pregnancy, chances are everything will be fine. These crusading antibodies usually are not dangerous until the second and subsequent pregnancies, when they've had time to grow in strength and number. This is why you receive RHOGAM on the day of your procedure in order to neutralize the antibodies and ensure the safety of future pregnancies.
The speculum is a metal instrument that a gynecologist uses in order to examine the interior and to widen the opening of the vagina so that the cervix is more visible. Ideally, woman should relax her vaginal muscles so that the insertion is less uncomfortable.