What to Expect on Your Appointment Day
When you come to Hope Clinic for an abortion, you can expect outstanding medical treatment that is offered with respect and compassion.
You should expect to be here for four to six hours. We know this is a long day, but we want to provide every woman with the excellent, complete care that she needs and deserves. Although each person's needs are different, your day will go something like this...
Before you leave home
- Eat a light meal.
- Be sure you have your IDs and payment.
- If you arranged for financial aid, bring your case worker's phone number.
- Bring bottled water.
- You must have safe transportation home.
- You may drive yourself for the medication abortion or surgical abortion under 14 weeks.
- You MUST have a driver and a car with you at your appointment if:
- You desire anesthesia/sedation medication
- Your pregnancy is over 14 weeks
- You require a multiple day procedure (most pregnancies over 16 weeks)
- Your driver MUST stay at the facility for your entire appointment.
- If you are planning a multiple day procedure you will need to stay within 30 minutes of our facility (hotel if you do not live close enough).
- Park in front of Hope Clinic for Women, or if that lot is full, in the back.
- Unfortunately, on most weekends there are protesters on the sidewalks. They do not know you and the circumstances of your life, so do your best to ignore their harassment. Please do not speak to them or take anything from them. It is illegal for them to touch you, block your path, or move onto the clinic property. If you believe they have done something illegal, please report it to the guard. Some women wear hoodies and headphones to block out the noise. On Saturdays, we have clinic escorts wearing purple vests who help shield you from the protesters as you enter the clinic. The ultrasound van on the street belongs to the protesters, not the clinic, so don't be fooled into going there.
- Move as quickly as possible to the guard's desk by the front door.
- First you and your support person will check in with the guard by the front door. She will make sure you have the proper IDs.
- Once inside, go to the front desk. Here you will show your IDs again. You will be given several papers to complete about your medical history.
- Your support person will remain in the waiting room. You will be with that person between all of the other steps today.
- In the waiting room, you may use the wifi, watch TV, or listen to music on headphones. Just be sure you can hear your name being called.
- The next step is to get your ultrasound. This is required, even if you had an ultrasound somewhere else. It is necessary for our doctor to verify the length of your pregnancy and to be able to see the pregnancy.
- After your ultrasound you will go back to the front desk.
- Learn the price of your procedure and confirm any pre-arranged financial aid.
- You will be given a booklet with complete information about your procedure.You can sit in the waiting room with your support person as you read.
- A counselor will call for you. They will be sure you understand and consent to the procedure. They will ask if you want contraception.
- If you want your support person to join you in your abortion counseling, the counselor will call for them after she speaks with you privately. This can be very helpful when the support person is nervous about your procedure.
- The lab technician will do a finger prick for blood work, and will check your blood pressure and temperature. These procedures are necessary for a safe abortion procedure.
- Women who are more than 11-12 weeks pregnant may be given misoprostol (Cytotec) to help prepare the cervix for the procedure.
- All patients receive pre-procedure antibiotics.
- After lab, you will return to the waiting room.
- A staff member will call for you. Acceptable payment methods are cash, credit, debit, money order, and traveler's check. You may divide the total into different payment methods if you like. Return to the waiting room with your support person.
- A staff person will call your name when they are ready to take you to the surgical area for your procedure. Your support person will reamain in the waiting room. Please leave any valuables with your support person.
- If you have chosen the abortion pill, the process will be explained to you in detail including emergency care information. You will receive medications and instructions for medications to go home. A doctor will administer the pills.
- If you are having a one day surgical abortion procedure. you will go to a dressing room to change into a medical gown. If you are receiving sedation, "the Comfort Shot," an IV port will be placed. In the operating room, the sedation will be given before the procedure. The procedure takes about 15 minutes. You will be taken via wheelchair to the recovery room.
- If you are having a second trimester surgical abortion procedure (16+ weeks,) it will be similar to the above, but will take two to three days. The doctor will use laminaria and medication to dilate the cervix to prepare for surgery.
- If your blood type is Rh negative, you will be given a shot of Rh immunoglobulin (i.e. Rhogam).
- In the recovery room, you will recline and rest while the nursing staff monitor your vitals and bleeding. Most women are in recovery for about 30-60 minutes, but some may take slightly longer.
- When you have met all criteria needed for discharge, your support person will be notified.
- You will be given follow-up instructions and a number to call if you have questions or concerns.
- Your support person will walk you to your car.
- Follow the post-abortion care instructions you were given.
- Most women can return to their usual routines in 1-2 days.
- Avoid tampon use, sexual activity, douching, or placing anything in the vagina as instructed.
- Phone the on-call provider if you have concerns.