Home abortion

A home abortion means that the abortion will be performed in your own home. You are free to choose between having the abortion at home or in hospital. In order to do this at home, remember the following:

  • be over the age of 18
  • have an adult with you
  • be healthy and less than nine weeks pregnant

You should never be alone when carrying out an abortion at home. If you need help or are uncertain whether the abortion was performed correctly, or if you have any questions, you can always phone the hospital.

When scheduling an abortion, you will first be given an appointment for a pre-examination at the hospital. During the pre-examination, healthcare staff will measure your blood pressure, listen to your heart and lungs, and take an ultrasound to determine exactly how many weeks you have been pregnant. The ultrasound will be internal, which involves inserting a small oblong rod into the vagina.

Before an abortion
Only medical abortions can be performed at home. You will first take a pill that stops the development of the pregnancy. Usually, this pill is taken during the pre-examination at the hospital. You will take two pills home with you to insert into your vagina two days after the first pill was taken. These pills will cause the uterus to contract.

During the abortion
Once these pills are inserted into the vagina, it will take about four to six hours until the abortion begins. The uterus will then expel its contents, and you may experience strong pain. It is also common to see a few clots when bleeding (coagulated blood), and you must be prepared for bleeding more heavily than during normal menstruation. You can eat and drink what you like, and do what you normally do, as far as you are able. It helps to stay active, as this will speed up the process and help to alleviate some of the pain.

After an abortion
After an abortion, vaginal bleeding will gradually stop after two to three weeks. Use a menstrual pad as long as you are bleeding. Tampons present a risk of infection and must be avoided. You should avoid sexual intercourse, swimming and bathing after an abortion, or for as long as you are bleeding. Showering is fine.

The most common symptoms afterwards are bleeding and abdominal pain. There is little risk of infection. There is no regular check-up after an abortion, but you should take a pregnancy test after four weeks to make sure the pregnancy is terminated (around one in 100 are still pregnant after a medical abortion). If your menstrual period does not return after four to six weeks, you should take a pregnancy test or contact your doctor to find out if you are still pregnant.

There are rarely any physical complications after an abortion, whether medical or surgical. However, it is important to contact the hospital if:

  • you are bleeding through more than six overnight menstrual pads in two hours
  • you have a fever
  • you have had pain for more than 14 days
  • you have heavy bleeding with clots for more than 14 days
  • you have been bleeding for more than four weeks

Bleeding after an abortion
It is normal to bleed for two to three weeks after an abortion. You should use a menstrual pad as long as the bleeding lasts and avoid tampons and menstrual cups. Contact the hospital if you are bleeding through more than six overnight/extra-large menstrual pads in two hours, or if you have heavy bleeding with clots for more than 14 days.

Do you need someone to talk to?
At Amathea, you will meet healthcare professionals with extensive experience in counselling on abortion and miscarriage, regardless of the type or when it occurred. We are a neutral healthcare service, have a duty of confidentiality, and can help you in your situation and in making your decision. You may come alone or together with your partner or co-parent.

All of our services are free of charge. We offer sessions in Norwegian and English. We can also book interpreters for other languages. A session here lasts about an hour, and you can talk with us on video, by phone, or at one of our offices. You decide how many sessions you need, and we will schedule these together.

Source: Helsenorge