Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Every woman experiences the abortion differently. During the abortion procedure, you may feel some menstrual-like (period) cramping for about one or two minutes. Most women report having little to no pain. Your nurse will give you medications through an intravenous in your arm to relax you and help you feel more comfortable. The doctor will give you a local anesthetic (“freezing”). Throughout the abortion, you will be awake and will able to let us know how to make you the most comfortable.
Yes. All of our doctors are certified physicians with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC. They are all fully trained in doing abortions and have many years of experience in this field.
Fortunately, we rarely see any protestors outside our building or on the street. Our clinic has a legal “Bubble Zone” in front of our building that prevents protestors from picketing on the sidewalk in front of our building and several feet down the street, on both sides of our building. Within this “Bubble Zone”, it is illegal for any picketers to protest, take pictures, hand out anti-choice pamphlets, and verbally or physically try to stop or intimidate someone who is going to the clinic.

If you see or experience any of these things, you should tell us immediately. We are located in a large building with many other services so it is impossible for anyone to know where you are going when you are entering the building.

Your fertility will not be affected when you have a safe, legal and uncomplicated abortion performed by qualified health professionals. You will be tested for (sexually-transmitted) infections at the time of your abortion, and will get some preventative antibiotics. If your tests show that you have an infection, you will be contacted for further treatment.

You will also be given instructions on how to care for yourself after your abortion (click here). The abortion procedure will not prevent you from having children later on.

Recent scientific studies using proper methodology show that there is absolutely NO increased risk of breast cancer associated with abortion. Previous studies that claimed increased breast cancer risk have been scientifically shown to be inaccurate and biased.
No. The central nervous system of the fetus is not developed sufficiently to “feel” pain during the stages of pregnancy that we perform abortions (up to 16 weeks 6 days). There are some studies that suggest that the fetus may be reacting to stimuli after 24 weeks pregnancy, but there is dispute over whether the fetus is actually able to feel pain, as we know it.

Questions about your appointment

All women have to schedule an appointment in advance by telephone or by using the online booking. We are not able to book appointments in person or accept patients without an appointment. There is usually a 1 week waiting time to book an appointment. Please go to the “appointment” section of this website or call us at 604-736-7878 Monday to Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30 PM to book an appointment. The clinic is open some Saturdays, as well.
You do not need to get a referral or written note from a doctor to book an abortion at our clinic. However, if you do see a doctor beforehand or if a doctor or clinic refers you to our clinic, please give us their name when you book your appointment.

The clinic provides abortion care services Tuesdays to Fridays, as well as two Saturdays per month. The first appointment is 8:30 and the last appointment is 2:45.

Women who come to the clinic for an abortion can have an IUD inserted immediately post-procedure. The clinic also provides IUD insertions to new and returning patients by referral.

If you are less than twelve weeks pregnant, you should expect to be at the clinic for 2 to 3 hours. The abortion procedure, itself, is very brief but you will need time to see the counsellor and nurse, and then recover after your abortion. If you are more than twelve weeks pregnant and coming in for a one day appointment, you should expect to be at the clinic for 3 to 4 hours. If you are scheduled for a two-day abortion procedure, you can expect to be at the clinic for 1-4 hours on each day.

If you are a BC resident and have valid Medical Service Plan (MSP) coverage (BC Care Card), your abortion will be completely covered by the plan.

If you are from another province and have not been in BC for three months, you will have to pay a fee.

However, you can apply for reimbursement of some of that fee from your own provincial health plan.

If you are a visitor to BC, you can get an abortion at the clinic for the following fees:

  • If you are under 12 weeks pregnant: $500
  • If you are between 12 weeks and less than 14 weeks pregnant: $550
  • If you are 14 weeks pregnant and over: $660

If you require assistance in applying for BC Medical Insurance or to pay for your abortion procedure, please contact us at 604-736-7878.

Please confirm your appointment within the timeframe we asked or we will assume you no longer need this appointment and it will be cancelled.   Thank You!

The Day of the Procedure: Confirmation List

Please note the following:

  • Patients should not eat four hours before your appointment time. You can have clear fluids right until your appointment. Clear fluids include water, ginger ale or sprite/7 up, apple juice, tea with no milk and clear soup broth.
  • No alcohol, drugs or aspirin for 24 hours before your appointment.
  • The clinic is a “scent-free” area, no perfumes, scented lotions or cologne please.
  • Have a bath or shower on the morning of your appointment.
  • You will need:
    • a short sleeve shirt
    • full back underwear (not thong style panties)
    • socks (wear or bring)
    • flat, comfortable shoes
  • Please bring an extra pair of underpants as well as two maxi pads, you will not be able to use tampons for two weeks after your appointment.
  • Take all prescription medication as usual on the day of your appointment and bring all prescription medication(s) with you.
  • Anticipate a stay of 2 1/2 to 4 hours minimum.
  • You cannot drive for 24 hours after your appointment.  We recommend that you have someone drive you home or accompany you in a taxi or public transport. If you are alone you will need to take a taxi home.
  • You are welcome to have one escort (no more!) with you at the clinic. They will, however, only go as far as the waiting room.
  • Your escort needs to have a photo ID to get into the clinic.
  • Cell phones, and any electronic devices, are strictly prohibited in the clinic area.
    • if you must bring your phone, keep it turned off and out of view.   Thank you!

Children are not permitted in the clinic

Please do not eat for at least four hours before your appointment time, unless you have been instructed otherwise. Prior to this time you may have a light meal (nothing greasy or heavy). Clear fluids should be consumed up until your appointment. Examples of clear fluids include soup broth, apple juice, tea (no milk or sugar) and ginger ale. We encourage you to drink in order to remain hydrated. We would like you to drink something with calories so that you maintain your energy levels and respond well to the medication we will give you.

You will not be able to drink anything once you arrive at the clinic for your appointment. You will be able to eat and drink after the procedure. Please feel free to bring a snack for after your procedure.

You may bring one person, male or female, with you into the clinic. For the security and confidentiality of our patients and staff, you and your friend/partner must show photo ID at the clinic. Please provide us with the name of the person who will be coming with you when you book your appointment. No children are permitted into the clinic.
No, only patients are allowed in the medical areas of the clinic.

Yes, we offer both prescriptions and the opportunity to purchase contraception. You can buy contraception at the time of your appointment. If you would like to purchase contraception at a later date, please call the clinic at (604) 736-7878 Monday to Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM to book an appointment. The clinic is open some Saturdays, as well.

The contraception that we sell and the costs are as follows; our prices include tax where applicable:

  • Alesse – $10 per pack
  • Marvelon- $10 per pack
  • Depo Provera – $45 per injection
  • Evra patch – $15 per pack
  • Liberté copper UID – $75
  • Mirena IUS – $390
  • Jaydess IUS- $315
  • Yaz or Yasmin – $20 per pack

An IUD can be inserted on the day of your procedure. You may bring your own or purchase one from the clinic.

Research shows it is safe to insert an IUD (intra-uterine device) immediately following your procedure although there is a slightly higher rate of expulsion. You may bring a pre-purchased IUD with you to your appointment or you may purchase one from us.

The clinic has three types for purchase; all prices include taxes:

  • Liberté (copper IUD) $75, which remains effective for five years
  • Mirena (contains hormones) $390, which remains effective for five years
  • Jaydess (contains hormones) $315, which remains effective for three years

You can discuss the personal suitability of any of these devices with a counsellor.

Mirena and Jaydess costs may be partly or completely covered by extended medical coverage, Indian Health Status, and/or income assistance/BC Pharmacare.

Questions about after your abortion

There is a range of bleeding that can happen after an abortion. Some women don’t bleed at all. Some women may bleed for 1 to 2 weeks afterwards, like their menstrual period flow. Other women can bleed or spot for several weeks after their abortion.

For all women, the next regular menstrual period will come between 4 to 6 weeks after their abortion. You will be given instructions on what to expect after your abortion (click here).

NO baths, NO hot tubs or pools, NO douching for two weeks after your abortion as they can increase the risk of infection. Showering and washing is fine.
We recommend that you don’t put anything into your vagina for two weeks after your abortion to help prevent infection. Use menstrual pads instead of tampons for any bleeding. Using tampons during the first two weeks will increase your chance of infection.
No. We recommend that you don’t put anything into your vagina for two weeks after your abortion to help prevent infection. You can get pregnant after your abortion if you are not using a birth control method. Our counsellors can talk to you about birth control choices that would work for you.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF:

  • Do not drive for 24 hours
  • Avoid alcohol and street drugs for 24 hours (as when mixed with the medication we have given you it can cause vomiting)
  • You should rest for the remainder of the day
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for 3 – 4 days

Listen to your body, use common sense, and let how you feel be your guide

WHAT TO EXPECT:

BLEEDING

  • Normal bleeding can range from NO bleeding to bleeding like a heavy menstrual period.
  • It can be light for the first 3 days after an abortion. It may become heavier on the 4th or 5th day, often with clots and cramping.
  • Light bleeding or spotting may last for several weeks.
  • You should expect your next menstrual period in 4-6 weeks.

CLOTS

  • They are normal after an abortion.
  • The inside of the uterus is thicker at this time then during a regular period.
  • Cramping normally occurs during the passing of clots.

CRAMPING

  • If you have bleeding a heating pad, hot water bottle, rest and/or Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, Midol can help you feel more comfortable.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO CALL US IF YOU:

  • Soak 3 or more maxi-pads in three hours
  • Have a fever of 38.0 C or 100.4 F or higher
  • Feel chills or shaking
  • Are passing clots as large as a lemon
  • Have an unusual vaginal discharge or bad odour
  • Still feel pregnant two weeks after your procedure

Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm: call (604) 736-0995 press “0”
Evenings and weekends: call (604) 910-7121 (This number is for medical emergencies only and will connect you with one of our physicians)

** As we know your medical history, please call us first. If you are unable to reach us, please call your doctor or go to your nearest hospital emergency.**

Please let us know if you receive any hospital treatment within 30 days after your procedure at the clinic. This information is important to us so that we can follow-up on your care.

HOW TO PREVENT INFECTION:

After your procedure, you have a greater risk for infection.

For the NEXT 2 WEEKS:

  • Use PADS, not tampons
  • Do NOT douche or use vaginal sprays
  • Shower only – no baths, hot tubs or swimming
  • Do not have vaginal intercourse
  • If you have been given antibiotics, please finish them even if you feel fine

A routine follow up is not medically necessary. However if you want a follow-up visit arrange one with your own doctor, a walk-in clinic or book one with us.

NORMAL BODY CHANGES may occur during the next 1-2 weeks.

  • nausea & vomiting, breast tenderness, fatigue and bloating will decrease
  • emotional ups & downs may occur
  • appetite and bathroom habits will return to normal
  • your breasts may leak small amounts of fluid
  • Please do not do a pregnancy test as the pregnancy hormones take a while to leave the body. It will appear positive for several weeks after your abortion.

EMOTIONAL RESPONSES:

Most women have a variety of feelings after the abortion. If you wish to talk about your feelings, we have experienced counsellors who can help you. Please call us to arrange an appointment. All counselling services are free.

BIRTH CONTROL:

You can get pregnant again anytime after an abortion. If you are sexually active, and do NOT want to become pregnant, plan to use birth control. Choose the method that makes sense for you.

TO PREVENT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS: Always use condoms to protect yourself!

EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION PILL:

If you have had unprotected sex, your birth control method failed or your condom has broken, you can take the Emergency Contraception Pill (ECP) to prevent pregnancy. It is most effective if taken within 72 hours after intercourse.

You can get the ECP at doctors’ offices, most walk-in medical clinics, and hospital emergency departments. You can also get the ECP without a prescription at most pharmacies. You can find information about ECP at www.optionsforsexualhealth.org .

You can also have an emergency copper IUD inserted within 5 days of intercourse.

If you had an HIV test at the clinic we will only contact you if we need to do some follow-up. If you would like to know the result of the test, please call (604) 736-0995 after 6pm and press 3 at least two weeks after your test. Leave your name, care card number and a daytime telephone number and someone will try to call you within 2 business days.

No. Because you are having surgery and getting medications, you cannot operate a motor vehicle for 24 hours after your abortion. You must arrange for transportation to and from the clinic on the day of your abortion. We strongly advise you to have someone take you home after your abortion.
It is not necessary to have a pregnancy test after your abortion. In fact, it may take four or more weeks for your pregnancy hormones to disappear from your blood and urine after an abortion. We will advise you if you need further blood or ultrasound tests after your procedure. You may choose to have a follow-up examination 2 weeks after your abortion to make sure that your body is returning to normal.
Women experience a variety of feelings after an abortion that may include both relief and sadness. Understanding that these feelings are normal and talking about them may be helpful. We offer post-abortion counselling to women who would like additional support, and we can provide referrals for other counselling services. The rate of psychiatric illness after an abortion is LOWER than after childbirth.