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You will have a chance to learn more about abortion during your initial consultation, but here are some of the key abortion facts that might help if you are considering a termination.
A large number of women will choose to have an abortion at some point in their lives. Women of all ages and backgrounds have abortions, for all kinds of reasons. These include medical complications, financial worries, not being ready for a child, or having a complete family already.
Pregnancy termination is available in the UK up to 24 weeks, but most women will have an abortion much earlier than this. In some cases, a termination can be provided after 24 weeks, but this is only if there is a serious medical concern. Terminations must be carried out at a hospital, even if you are having a medical abortion. They also require the consent of two doctors, one of whom can be your GP.
A medical abortion simply involves taking two different kinds of medication. Surgical abortions and manual vacuum aspiration are slightly different procedures that both use suction to remove the contents of the womb through your cervix. You will get the full abortion facts on the procedure from your doctor during the initial consultation.
A medical abortion can be performed up to 9 weeks. Manual vacuum aspiration is available up to 12 weeks. Surgical abortion is usually carried out between 9 and 18 weeks.
One of the most important abortion facts to remember is that the procedures performed in the UK are very safe. There is a small risk of treatable complications such as heavy bleeding or infection, and an even smaller risk of more serious problems. Your doctor will help you to understand the risks so you can make an informed decision.
You can choose to have an abortion through the NHS or at a private clinic. You can see your GP for a referral first, or make an appointment at a private clinic directly.