Before week 12

In Norway, you have the right to a self-determined abortion until week 12 (11 weeks and six days). You can make an appointment for an abortion directly with the hospital of your choice.

The earliest you can have an abortion is in week six of the pregnancy. Should you find out you are pregnant at an earlier date, you will have to wait until the six-week mark to have an abortion.

Medical or surgical abortion
There are two different abortion methods: medical and surgical. The method that is used will depend on how far your pregnancy has come, and possibly other medical assessments. You are free to choose between a surgical or medical abortion, as long as it is considered medically sound. The hospital will give you information about both methods at the pre-examination in hospital.

For both the medical and the surgical abortion, you will first get an appointment for a pre-examination with an ultrasound to check exactly how many weeks you have been pregnant. The ultrasound will be internal, which involves inserting a small oblong rod into the vagina. An external ultrasound, which is an ultrasound performed on the abdomen, cannot be used until the pregnancy has reached about 13 weeks.

Medical abortion
A medical abortion can be performed at home or in hospital. You are free to choose whether you wish to carry out the abortion at home or in the hospital, based on a few criteria:

In order to complete the abortion at home, you must be over the age of 18 and have an adult with you. You must also be healthy and less than nine weeks pregnant. Learn more about medical abortions here.

Surgical abortion
A surgical abortion is a minor procedure where you are normally given general anaesthesia. However, it can also be done with the aid of a local anaesthetic in the vagina. The procedure itself takes about ten minutes. A tube is inserted into the vagina and the contents of the uterus are aspirated and removed before the uterine lining is gently scraped away. This is also known as “curettage”. You will remain under observation in the department for a few hours before going home. Should you have any pain following the procedure, you will be offered pain-relieving medication. Learn more about surgical abortions here.