We offer a wide range of services to women. We want to give you honest, straight-forward information so that you're well informed about what to expect before, during, and after you receive any of the services we provide. Whether you're just curious or gathering facts while making a decision, we hope this breakdown of what we do is helpful. As always, we are available to answer any questions you still have at our toll-free number (1-800-466-2205).
What We Do:
- Medical or Non-Surgical Abortion up to 6 weeks 6 days
- First Trimester Surgical Abortion up to 11 weeks and 6 days - Available at our Columbus & Toledo offices
- Second Trimester Abortion up to 19 weeks and 6 days - Available at our Columbus & Toledo offices
- Emergency Contraception
- Free Urine Pregnancy Testing
- Information on abortion procedures, options and support
Your visit to our center will include a consultation and an ultrasound by our professional staff.
During your visit we assess your medical and contraceptive history and perform ultrasound and blood work. Every appointment for an abortion includes a private discussion with a patient advocate. Here you’ll have the chance to ask questions and explore your decision in a confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere. We’ll also discuss alternatives to abortion, the procedure, including its risks and possible complications, and birth control methods.
Medical or Non-Surgical Abortion:
(Up to 6 weeks 6 days)
Non-surgical abortion (also called Medical Abortion) is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy using a combination of drugs. We use the drug Mifeprex® (also known as RU-486 or mifepristone) in combination with misoprostol (also called Cytotec). Mifeprex® causes changes in the uterine lining. Misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy. This method of abortion is safe and effective in terminating pregnancies up to 48 days (6 weeks 6 days) from the last normal menstrual period.
How it Works
After your first visit (the consultation) we will schedule your appointment to receive an oral dose of Mifeprex® from the physician. You will receive an oral dose of the second drug (misoprostol) in our office two days after receiving the Mifeprex®. About one to four hours after taking misoprostol, your uterus will begin to contract. You'll have cramping and bleeding, and the pregnancy will be expelled. The process is usually completed within 24 hours.
You will receive an oral dose of the second drug (misoprostol) in our office two days after receiving the Mifeprex®. During this visit we will perform an ultrasound to determine whether or not you are still pregnant. An advocate will go over your options which include a surgical abortion to end the pregnancy. During this visit we will perform an ultrasound to determine whether or not you are still pregnant. An advocate will go over your options which include a surgical abortion to end the pregnancy.
The Effectiveness of Abortion Using Mifeprex®
Studies have shown that non-surgical abortion using Mifeprex® is highly effective. Worldwide, millions of women have successfully used mifepristone for many years. There is a 5-7% chance that this abortion method will fail, making it necessary for the woman to return for a surgical abortion (at no additional charge). We have had 95% effectiveness with Mifeprex® and misoprostol.
Symptoms and Side Effects
Most women will experience cramping and bleeding, which usually means that the method is working. Bleeding may be similar to, or greater than, a normal heavy period. You may see blood clots and tissue that come from the uterus. This is an expected part of ending the pregnancy. Bleeding or spotting will usually last an average of 9 to 16 days and may last for up to 30 days. In rare cases (1 woman in 100), bleeding can be very heavy and may need to be stopped by a surgical procedure. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, fever, headache, dizziness, and diarrhea.
After the abortion, we’ll give you written and verbal instructions for after-care. We’ll also give you birth control if requested. No follow-up appointment is necessary although we will require the results of a pregnancy test to ensure the abortion is complete. Our staff is available twenty-four hours a day to answer any of your post-abortion questions or concerns.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Non-surgical Abortion
Women in the clinical trials cited several reasons for choosing non-surgical over surgical abortion, including avoiding surgery or anesthesia, greater privacy, a greater sense of control, and wanting a method that is "more natural, like a miscarriage." However, non-surgical abortion may require more visits to the clinic and may take several weeks to complete. If the method is unsuccessful, the woman will need to undergo a surgical abortion. Also, there are the side effects mentioned previously.
First and Second Trimester Abortion:
(Beginning 11 weeks and 6 days and ending at 19 weeks and 6 days)
Your initial visit to our center will include a consultation and an ultrasound by our professional staff. The abortion procedure can only be scheduled after your initial exam. A choice of anesthesia is offered which includes IV conscious, intra-muscular injection anesthesia as well as local anesthesia. We offer post-operative medications that can be purchased at an additional charge. We also provide post-termination check-ups.
A surgical abortion is the most common surgical procedure in the United States. It generally takes 5 to 15 minutes. During your initial visit, we assess your medical and contraceptive history, perform an ultrasound, and do blood work. Every appointment for an abortion also includes a private discussion with a patient advocate. Here you'll have the chance to ask questions and explore your decision in a confidential, nonjudgmental atmosphere. We'll also discuss alternatives to abortion, the surgery, including its risks and possible complications, and birth control methods. We believe this service helps women better integrate the abortion experience into their lives.
The Abortion Procedure
Our physicians perform first trimester abortions (4 through 12 weeks) using vacuum aspiration to minimize any stress and discomfort. We perform second trimester abortions (12 through 19 weeks) using the safe and gentle dilation and evacuation (D&E) method. For second trimester abortions, the physician may insert small dilators (laminaria) into your cervix overnight to dilate the cervix before performing the procedure. Some patients may also receive an oral medication to help the cervix dilate.
Pain Relief Options
Every patient will receive a local anesthetic to numb the cervix. If you choose this option only, as about half our patients do, you can expect to feel some uncomfortable pressure and menstrual-type cramping during the procedure. If you choose local anesthetic with additional pain medication you will receive a shot in your hip to help you relax and lessen the pain of the procedure. If you choose to have conscious sedation, we'll administer medication through an IV that helps you relax and further lessen any discomfort. Please be aware that if you choose additional pain medication or conscious sedation, you'll need someone with you to drive you home and you will have eating and drinking restrictions.
After the Abortion
After the procedure you will rest in our recovery room monitored by nurses and recovery room staff. We will give you written and verbal instructions on care after the abortion. We'll also give you birth control if requested. No follow-up appointment is necessary although we will send you home with a pregnancy test to take in 3-4 weeks and we offer follow-up appointments at no additional charge. Our medical staff is available 24 hours a day to answer any of your post-abortion questions or concerns.
Unlike abortion, which terminates a pregnancy, emergency contraception prevents pregnancy. As the name implies, it is not something you should use for regular birth control. Rather, it is an "emergency" method to prevent pregnancy if you've had intercourse and didn't use birth control or your birth control failed. To be effective, you need to take action as soon as possible, preferably within the first 24 hours and no more than 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. When used properly, it is 85% effective in preventing pregnancy.
How It Works
We use Plan B®, a hormonal method that consists of oral medication. Emergency contraception will not affect an existing pregnancy, and there is no evidence that emergency contraception will cause birth defects if you choose to continue an existing pregnancy.
About a fourth of the women who use emergency contraception experience nausea, and a small percentage experience vomiting. We will give you additional medication to help alleviate the nausea. Some women also experience breast tenderness, abdominal pain, and headaches. These side effects go away within a day or two after you complete your treatment.
We will give you home with a pregnancy test to take in 2 weeks. If it is positive you may be pregnant and can call us to explore your options. There are some circumstances in which a woman should not take emergency contraception. We would be happy to discuss these with you.