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If you are thinking about having a pregnancy termination, you probably have lots of questions about how to arrange an abortion, what the procedure involves, and how it might affect you. Here are answers to some of the common concerns that people have before they see a doctor about an abortion.
We can tell you what to expect physically after each kind of pregnancy termination, but we can’t tell you what the emotional impact will be. Some women feel fine after an abortion, but others can find it more difficult. You may feel relieved, sad, or a mix of the two. If you need support, you can talk to your doctor or seek help from a support group.
You won’t feel anything during a surgical pregnancy termination or at the time when you take the abortion tablet, but you will usually experience some discomfort afterwards. It should feel a bit like cramps or period pain and it can usually be managed in the same way.
You do not have to tell anyone else about your pregnancy or the abortion, unless you want to. You can have a pregnancy termination without informing the father. You can also have an abortion without telling your family, even if you are under 16. The doctor will want to be sure that you are safe, but they will not talk to your parents and they will only inform social services if you are at risk and after talking to you about it. The abortion clinic will only inform your doctor about the procedure with your consent.
Some doctors choose not to take part in abortions, but they must still refer you to someone who can help. If your usual GP is unwilling to sign the consent form for an abortion, they may refer you to another GP in the practice. You can also visit a sexual health clinic or make an appointment at an abortion clinic without getting a referral from your family doctor, if you prefer.