Category: When can a woman not have a medical abortion?

When can a woman not have a medical abortion?

When can a woman not have a medical abortion?, A woman cannot have a medical abortion if one of the following is present:

  • An entopic pregnancy is suspected (a pregnancy outside the womb)
  • Her adrenal glands will not function normally
  • If she is taking long-term corticosteroid medication. i.e. for asthma or blood thinning medication
  • She has a history of a bleeding disorder
  • and also has severe and uncontrolled asthma
  • She has porphyria
  • Also has an intra-uterine device in her womb
  • She has severe cardiovascular problems
  •  Has severe high or low blood pressure
  • And she cannot return to the clinic for her two-week follow-up visit
  • She cannot go to a clinic or hospital in case of emergency
  • She has severe anemia

How effective and safe is a medical abortion?

Medical abortion is effective in 95% of cases. When the abortion is not complete, the surgical procedure is performed at the follow-up appointment free of charge.

Having a medical or surgical abortion will not affect a woman’s chance of having a baby in the future.

How does medical abortion work?

Two sets of medication are administered to terminate the pregnancy

The first medication is given orally to the women at the clinic and will weaken the attachment of the pregnancy to the womb. The second medication is given 36 to 48 hours later to the women. The second set of medication causes the womb to contract and bleed. This expels the pregnancy.

Very important to remember

Once a medical abortion is started, it needs to be completed because of damage to the fetus. Both sets of medication, therefore, need to be taken correctly.

Both the medical and surgical abortion are appointment-based and include a counseling session beforehand, a sonar, and a two-week follow-up appointment after the procedure. Partners or significant others for support are welcome to accompany the woman.

Post Procedure Advice:

These notes will give you more information on what to expect after the procedures.


  • The termination is a very safe procedure and will not affect your future fertility in any physical manner.
  • This is a sterile procedure with a very low risk of infection.
  • We would advise you to try and “take it easy” for a few days after the procedure. Try to structure your day so you can rest if necessary.
  • Please remember to ask for a sick leave note should you require one.
  • Please remember to ask for a specified account if you plan to submit the account to your medical aid.


To Lessen the risk of infection, please adhere to the following:

  • Do not use tampons until you have had your 2 – 3 week check-up, use sanitary towels instead.
  • You may take a bath or shower as soon as you feel like it. It is preferable to shower.
  • Should you take a bath, use tepid water and do not add any bath oils, salts or disinfectants. This tends to change the pH in the vagina and can cause infection.
  • Do not use a vaginal douche/rinse.
  • Do not have vaginal sexual contact until you have had your check-up after two weeks.
  • Drink the antibiotics as prescribed.

Blood loss and first menstruation:

Most patients have very little or no bleeding directly after the procedure. Bleeding usually starts a day or two after the termination, but it can vary remarkably. This is not a menstrual period but occurs because of hormonal changes. Your first normal period will be 4 to 8 weeks after your termination.

We find that whatever bleeding you experience, it usually settles or stops after about two weeks. Some patients bleed a lot more than what they are used to.

Don’t worry if this happens – it can still be normal. It is important that the bleeding slows down after a few days. The color can vary from bright red with many clots, to a slight brownish discharge. This is a hormonal bleed and unpredictable. There is also the possibility that the bleeding will only start in the second week or that you will have no bleeding at all.  During this time you are advised to use sanitary pads only as tampons may cause infection. Your body is going through changes. It is therefore important to eat healthily and regularly. Make sure you take in adequate amounts of fluids. Should you at any stage feel uncertain or concerned, do not hesitate to contact us.


The discomfort you experience during the procedure should have subsided by the time you leave the clinic. You may experience pain – similar to bad period pain – especially when bleeding starts. If you bleed and pass clots, you can experience a great deal of discomfort. This is quite normal. Ordinary painkillers and a hot water bottle should give relief.  As the bleeding decreases, the discomfort will subside. Do not take Aspirin (Disprin, Anadin or Grandpa’s) as this has a thinning effect on your blood.

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