Abortion Care

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Women’s Health Center of West Virginia (WHC) offers two methods of abortion – in-clinic abortion and medication abortion. Both methods are safe and effective. Our staff will assist you in determining which method is right for you.

In-Clinic Abortion

The in-clinic abortion procedure is available by appointment to women from 4 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. The in-clinic abortion method performed is dilation and vacuum aspiration. Each abortion patient receives a pregnancy test and an ultrasound prior to the abortion procedure to verify the pregnancy and its stage of development. WHC staff will assist patients with calculations to determine the stage of pregnancy at the time of the appointment.

In preparation for the abortion procedure, each patient receives a lab workup and history interview. When making the appointment, the patient should be prepared to discuss her relevant medical history including current medications, previous surgeries and allergies. The abortion procedure typically lasts no more than 10 minutes. After the procedure, the patient remains in the recovery room for approximately 20 minutes before discharge. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities the next day with minor restrictions.

Abortion Sedation Options

Patients may choose one of two options to maximize comfort and relaxation during the abortion. These options are a Valium/Ibuprofen combination taken by mouth or intravenous twilight sedation.

Patients choosing the Valium combination are awake and aware throughout the abortion procedure. The patient's cervix is numbed by injection. The patient is alert and able to drive herself home after the procedure. There is no additional fee for this option.

Twilight sedation is provided intravenously using a combination of medications that alters awareness and produces amnesia. Most patients feel no discomfort during the procedure and may not remember the events that occur while under sedation. The patient's medical history and medical status will be evaluated to determine whether she is a candidate for sedation. There is an additional fee for twilight sedation, and the patient must have a support person with her to drive her home.

Medication Abortion

Medication abortion, also called medical abortion, using the oral medications mifepristone (Mifeprex™) and misoprostol (Cytotec™), is available by appointment to patients whose stage of pregnancy is between 4 and 10 weeks.

The patient is given a dose of each medication to induce abortion. After receiving the initial medication, the patient returns home where the process is completed in privacy. Patients electing medication abortion services must be willing to undergo an in-clinic abortion procedure in the event that the medication abortion is incomplete.

Patients are carefully evaluated to determine their eligibility for the medication abortion option. Medication abortion is not available to patients under 18 years of age. Patients selecting this option must have access to a telephone and transportation to a medical facility equipped to give emergency care. Medication abortion patients receive a thorough medical screening, lab workup, ultrasound and extensive education and counseling prior to administration of the medication.

Abortion Counseling

A professional counselor is available to patients, at no additional charge, during their visit to our facility to receive abortion services. Counseling is optional for most women and does not increase the length of stay at the facility.

As a component of their counseling session, patients may choose to receive information about fetal development. Our counselors are available to answer questions about the abortion procedure and to assist patients with relaxation techniques or emotional support throughout the abortion procedure. Follow-up counseling is available on request.