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FAQs

FAQs

Abortion

Who can have an abortion?

  • Any woman under 20 weeks pregnant can have an abortion. There is no restriction on age and you do not need consent from anyone or a referral.
  • If you are under 16 years old, we encourage you to tell an adult for support.

Is there a fee for abortion?

  • No. Abortion fees are covered by Alberta Health Care and Saskatchewan Health Care. If you have coverage from another province, or have no health care coverage, please contact the clinic to inquire about fees.

What information do I need to have when I call to make an appointment for an abortion?

  • a positive pregnancy test
  • The first day of your last period or the results of an ultrasound
  • Your provincial health care number.
  • A password you will remember- this is for your privacy.
  • Your personal contact information- address, postal code, phone number.
  • Your pregnancy history, current medication use and health concerns.
  • If you do not know the first day of your last menstrual period and have not had an ultrasound, please contact the clinic for further information.
  • We need to know your blood type. We can access it on Netcare if it is there. If you have a blood donor card, we will ask you to fax a copy to us. If there is no other way to get your blood type, we can do a blood draw when you are here for your appointment.

Is abortion safe?

  • A surgical abortion is a minor surgery with little risk involved. According to Statistics Canada, the complication rate is only 1.3%; an abortion is about ten times safer than childbirth.
  • Woman’s Health Options is a highly regulated facility that follows evidence-based practice and the high standards set by regulating organizations such as Alberta Health Services, the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the National Abortion Federation.

How long will I be at the clinic for an abortion appointment?

  • It depends on the appointment, but generally 3- 5 hours for an abortion appointment, although the procedure takes less than 10 minutes.

Can I still have children after abortion?

  • Yes. This is one of the biggest myths about abortion.
  • An abortion will not prevent you from becoming pregnant or staying pregnant in the future. Woman’s Health Options is a regulated medical clinic that uses every precaution to ensure that there are no complications that would interfere with future fertility.

What if I have more than one abortion?

  • There is no research or statistical data to support the belief that having more than one abortion will damage or affect fertility. Most abortions are performed in the first trimester (under 12 weeks) and this is a low-risk procedure with minimal impact to the cervix and uterus.
  • For abortions done after 12-weeks, there is no indication that there is less chance of becoming pregnant or staying pregnant in the future.

Is the procedure painful?

  • The nurse will give you medication through an IV that will make you feel sleepy (but not all the way to sleep or ‘under’) during the procedure. You will also be given a local anesthetic on your cervix to freeze the area.
  • Women report feeling pressure and cramps ranging from a little to a lot. The procedure takes less than 10 minutes and you will have a nurse close to you, caring for you.

What about confidentiality?

  • You will use a password when you phone the clinic. No one will be able to get information about your appointment.
  • All personal records and services are kept confidential. We do not release information unless we are legally obligated to do so or you give us consent.
  • You can read our Privacy Policy for more information.

What should I bring with me to the clinic for an abortion appointment?

You should bring:

  • Photo ID
  • Your Healthcare card
  • A person to come to the clinic and escort you home. Whether you go home by car, cab or bus, you need a person with you. Yes, this is new.
  • An empty stomach (do not eat or drink 6 hours prior to the appointment)
  • And if you like:
    • Music on an iPod/ phone with headphones
    • Socks/ slippers and a house coat
    • A book to read while you wait

Is there anything I should not bring with me?

You should not bring:

  • Valuables. It’s better not to bring valuables with you. You can bring your phone and keep it with you IF it is on silent and any phone calls are taken in the foyer or outside. We cannot be responsible for lost/stolen phones or other valuables.
  • Children. The wait can be long (3-4 hours) and we ask that you make arrangements for childcare. There are some places (playground, McDonald’s) where your support person can take your children if he or she is waiting to drive you home, but we ask that children do not come into the clinic.

What about my support person?

  • You are welcome to bring 1 (or 2) support people with you. Please do not bring more as our waiting room can’t accommodate that.
  • Your support person will be asked for Picture ID when you arrive.
  • You can wait together up front, but when you see an ultrasound nurse or counselor, you will be asked to come alone at first. Then the nurse or counselor will get your support person for you if you ask.
  • There is a patient-only back waiting area where you will be without your support person, but you can meet up with your support person in counseling, the ultrasound room, procedure room and recovery area after.
  • Your support person can leave and come back. When you are close to being ready to go, you can call or text your support person to come back to pick you up.
  • You are required to have a support person with you on the ride home whether you are going by car, cab or bus. You cannot leave the clinic alone. If you want, you can arrange for an escort-driver through Driving Miss Daisy.

When can I go back to work?

  • As soon as you want. We recommend that women get back to their normal activities as soon as possible. Most women go back to work the next day.
  • If you do heavy lifting at work we recommend no lifting over 50 lbs for one week.
  • If you sit at a desk at work, make sure you are up walking around for a couple of minutes every hour. The more sitting still, the more likely you are to get cramps.
  • If you require a doctor’s note for work or school, we can provide one for the day of you appointment and the next day only. It is a generic doctor’s note and does not have the clinic name on it.

Will the abortion increase my risk of breast cancer?

  • No, abortion does not increase the risk of breast cancer, this is an abortion myth.
  • The Canadian Cancer Society states that there is no scientific evidence that indicates an increased risk of breast cancer among women who have abortions.

Will I get depressed?

  • It is a myth that women who have abortions experience psychological trauma. That said there are a variety of emotional experiences women have after an abortion.
  • Many women feel a mix of relief and loss. Women who have had the time and space to feel certain about their decision and have supportive friends/ family to talk with regarding their decision do well after an abortion.
  • Many women say that they feel relieved to be on the other side of the pregnancy crisis and look forward to getting back to normal and feeling like themselves again.
  • Many women also report feeling a sense of loss and sadness. These feelings can be more intense 4-6 days after an abortion when the hormones are leveling out. It is important to nurture yourself during this time and talk to others about how you are feeling. The intensity due to hormones will go away within a couple of days.
  • Often intense emotions- sadness, hurt, anger, anxiety- are worse for a woman who: has other stressful events/ people in her life; felt coerced into having an abortion; was against abortion before she had hers or feels like she cannot share her feelings with friends and family.
  • For a woman who continues to feel intense emotions after the abortion, talking to friends, seeking counseling, reading other women’s abortion stories or writing out her feelings are all ways to cope with the intensity.

You are welcome to email a counselor at counselor@whol.ca for support or call the clinic (780-484-1124) to make a confidential appointment with a counselor.