Frequently Asked Questions about Abortion and Miscarriage Care

1. Am I going to be put to sleep?

Procedures outside of hospital are performed with IV sedation rather than general anaesthesia (“being put to sleep”). This makes the procedure much quicker and safer.

2. Will it hurt?

Under IV sedation, a person is conscious and therefore can still feel sensation. During a typical early termination or D&C most women feel menstrual-like cramps. These usually last only a few minutes.

3. Will I need to take time off from work or school?

Women are able to resume normal activities the day after the procedure. We recommend having some ibuprofen, extra-strength Tylenol and pads on hand however.

4. Will anyone find out?

Your visit and medical records are strictly confidential. If we need to contact you, we will only use the number you provide.

5. Do my parents need to know?

In Canada, any person, as long as they are capable of understanding the choices and consequences of a procedure, can give consent for an abortion procedure. You do not need others to be involved unless you chose to do so.


A surgical abortion, or a D&C, are performed by a physician using instruments rather than medication. It is a safe and simple procedure that takes less than five minutes. There is no cutting or stitching involved.

Some women are interested in a Medical Abortion. A medical abortion is another way to terminate a pregnancy , by taking two different medications and inducing a miscarriage at home. In Canada medical abortion is usually induced using the Abortion Pill - Mifepristone - up to 9wks gestation

There are differences between Surgical and Medical abortion options:

Medical Abortion

Surgical Abortion

1) Up to 9 weeks gestation

1) From 3 - 19.6 weeks gestation

2) One visit but a follow-up blood test or ultrasound is strongly recommended

2) The whole procedure can be done in a single visit

3) Miscarriage at home over one to two days

3) Takes place in a clinic or health care centre; visit for 2-3 hours, procedure takes about five minutes

4) 95% success rate; failures need to be treated with a surgical abortion

4) 99% success rate at the time of the procedure

5) Pain medication will be provided to take home

5) Intravenous pain medication available

6) Bleeding, cramping, nausea, and diarrhoea are side effects. You will need to have a free day (no work or childcare) in order to have the miscarriage. You will need to have access to emergency services in case of heavy bleeding.

6) There is a small risk of cervical or uterine injury. Both medical and surgical procedures have a small risk of heavy bleeding or infection. You cannot drive for 24 hours after receiving sedating medication.


7. Will my doctor know that I had an abortion?

No - there is no way anyone can tell whether you miscarried naturally or had an induced procedure. If you are uncomfortable discussing this with your doctor, we can give you a list of clinics for follow-up, or you can return to us.

8. Will having an abortion or a D&C stop me from getting pregnant in the future?

No - a safe and uncomplicated procedure will not interfere with your ability to conceive or to carry a pregnancy to term.

9. Do I need a doctor’s referral to book an appointment?

No. You can make an appointment yourself without a referral. At our clinic, we also welcome ‘walk-ins’ before 12 noon daily. Please check ‘walk-in’ requirements.

10. Is there a waiting period before I can get an abortion?

At our clinic, and across Canada, there is no regulatory waiting period. From the moment you realize you need a procedure, we are here to help.

11. Where is the emergency number listed?

The after-hour emergency number is given to each patient after the procedure. During normal working hours (daily 8:30 - 6:00, Sunday 11-5) you can reach us at 416-849-4595.

12. How common is abortion?

There are over 100 000 abortions performed in Canada each year.  Abortion is the most common surgical procedure in Canada, and it is very safe.  One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.

13. Is the procedure covered under my health plan?

OHIP covers the cost of the procedure, as well as the physician consultation and the ultrasound. However additional costs for dispensed medications are not covered and we charge a nominal fee.  If you experience financial hardship and cannot pay this fee, it can be waived on a case-by-case basis.
If you do not have OHIP then the cost of the procedure is $400 during the first trimester and $500 -$700 during the second trimester.