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Women's Options Center

The UCI Health Women's Options Center (WOC) provides specialized care for women seeking contraception, pregnancy termination and management of miscarriage or perinatal loss.

Our team is lead by board-certified, fellowship-trained obstetrician-gynecologists. With specialty training in family planning, they have expertise in high-risk pregnancy termination, contraception and perinatal loss.

Our team includes care coordinators, surgery schedulers and physicians, all of whom provide the highest level of supportive and skilled care.

We also provide seamless coordination with high-risk obstetricians, anesthesiologists, geneticists and other medical specialists to manage even the most challenging medical conditions. Our years of experience ensure that you will be in the best, most capable hands.

Our mission

The mission of our family planning team is to promote and protect women’s options for reproductive health. We provide compassionate, evidenced-based care that prioritizes our patients' autonomy and privacy. As faculty members of the UCI School of Medicine, we also are committed to medical training that ensures women and families have advocates for decades to come.

To make an appointment, please call 714-456-7188.

We look forward to discussing your birth control options in a confidential consultation so we can help find the method that is best for you.

Reversible contraception options

  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Contraceptive implant
  • Contraceptive injection
  • Oral contraceptive pill
  • Contraceptive vaginal ring
  • Contraceptive patch
  • Condoms
  • Barrier methods

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or inconsistent use of regular birth control. It may be used within 120 hours (five days) of unprotected sex.

At the Women's Option Center, we offer all three methods of emergency contraception:

  • Placement of an intrauterine copper IUD
  • Ella™, an oral tablet containing ulipristal acetate
  • Plan B One-Step®, one of several brands of the oral emergency contraceptive hormone Levonorgestrel

View frequently asked questions about birth control › 

Sterilization

Sterilization is an option for women who are sure they are done having children. It is a minor surgical procedure that can be performed on both men and women: 

  • Female sterilization — Also known as tubal ligation, this is a procedure done in the hospital under general anesthesia. Small incisions are made in the abdomen and the patient's Fallopian tubes are removed. This procedure is usually quick. The patient may go home the same day with pain medicine and a driver.
  • Male sterilization — Also known as a vasectomy, this is an outpatient procedure done on men in a clinic with pain medicine as needed. Vasectomies are safer, faster and less expensive than tubal ligation. Although we do not provide this service at the Women's Options Center, we can help find a highly qualified provider for your partner.

Resources

More information about choosing a birth-control method may be found at plannedparenthod.org and on the UCI Health Live Well blog.

Miscarriage of an embryo or fetus is extremely common, although few people talk about it. Up to one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage.

Signs that you may be having a miscarriage include bleeding, cramping or pain in the first trimester. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to contact a healthcare provider. As experts in early pregnancy complications, we can confirm your diagnosis and explain your options.

Having a miscarriage can be a very difficult experience. At the Women’s Options Center, we care for the whole patient, including your physical and emotional health. 

It can be difficult to determine exactly why a miscarriage happens, but it is almost never caused by something the person did. Normal activities such as exercise, working, lifting and taking most medicines do not cause miscarriages. Common causes of miscarriage include an abnormal number of fetal chromosomes, severe diabetes, severe infection or major injury.

Depending on your situation, we offer:

  • Expectant management — Waiting to see if your body passes the pregnancy on its own, with close follow-up.
  • Medical management — Giving you medication to help your body pass the pregnancy at home, with close follow-up.
  • Suction aspiration (D&C procedure) — This is a procedure to remove the pregnancy in the office or operating room.

Medical management

Medical management is available for pregnancies measuring up to 12 weeks. (The pregnancy may be farther along, but as long as the uterus measures 12 weeks or less, medical management is permissable.)

Two medicines are given. One is taken in the office and another taken at home one to three days later. The pills cause bleeding and cramping, which leads the pregnancy to be passed from your body at home, usually one to three days after your office visit. A follow-up visit for an ultrasound check is required.

Outpatient surgical management

Surgical management in the office is an option for women who measure 10 weeks or less (a pregnancy may be further along in weeks) and is comfortable with being awake for the procedure. Pain medicines are given at the cervix and by mouth. The entire process takes one visit and no driver is needed to take you home.

Surgical procedure in the operating room

This is an option for patients who want to be asleep (given general anesthesia) for their procedure, who are more than 10 to 12 weeks pregnant or are at high risk for complications. 

Most people need some dilation of their cervix prior to the surgery if they are more than 12 weeks pregnant in order to ensure the procedure is as safe as possible. A few patients will be given a pill to take the morning of the surgery.

The first day you will meet the doctor in the office to learn about your options and the procedure. If you choose to have a surgical procedure, the dilators will be placed with numbing medicine on the day before surgery, but you will not need a driver to take you home. Patients often feel better when they are able to rest at home afterward rather than returning to work. 

On the second day, you will meet the anesthesiology team at the hospital. They will provide sedation or general anesthesia. You will be asleep for the short procedure and when you are done, you will be required to have a driver to take you home.

Complications

Complications are rare in the case of miscarriage treatment. However, if you have an unexpected situation, you may reach out to our specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 714-456-2911.

Resources

The UCI Health Women’s Options Center is committed to helping every woman, regardless of her choice and circumstance. We offer abortion services for women in their first and second trimesters.

The treatments and procedures available to you depend on the length of your pregnancy, your medical history and your personal needs. We provide compassionate, confidential services to all.

Medical abortion

Medical abortion is applicable for pregnancies up to 10 weeks (or 70 days after your last normal period). 

Two medicines are needed for a medical abortion, one taken in the office and another taken at home one to three days later. The pills cause bleeding and cramping, which leads the pregnancy to be passed from your body, usually one to three days after your clinic visit. A follow-up office visit for an ultrasound is required.

Outpatient surgical abortion

Surgical abortion as an outpatient procedure is an option for women who are 10 weeks pregnant or less and who want to be awake for a procedure in the office. Pain medicines are given at the cervix and by mouth. The entire process takes one visit and you do not need a driver to take you home.

Surgical procedure in the operating room

This is an option for patients who want to be asleep (given general anesthesia) for their procedure or who are more than 10 to 12 weeks pregnant.

Most people need some dilation of their cervix prior to the surgery if they are more than 12 weeks pregnant to ensure the procedure is as safe as possible. A few patients will be given a pill to take the morning of surgery, but most will need to have dilators placed in their cervix. The dilators will be placed the day before the surgery.

One the first day, you will meet the doctor in the office to learn about your options and the procedure. If you choose to have a surgical abortion, the dilators will be placed with numbing medicine, but you will not need a driver to take you home. Patients often feel better when they are able to rest afterward rather than returning to work on day one.

On the second day, you will meet the anesthesiology team in the hospital. They will provide your sedation or general anesthesia. You will be asleep for the short procedure and when you are done, you will be required to have a driver to take you home.

In California, surgical abortions are an option from five to 23 completed weeks of pregnancy.

Induction termination during labor and delivery (L&D)

This is an option for women with fetal anomalies (complications) or fetal demise who are at least 18 weeks pregnant. You are seen first in the office and given a medication. One or two days later you go to the hospital, where you will receive more medication to induce a delivery. The delivery in the hospital may take hours and as long as one or two days.

Complications

Overall, abortion is very safe, and often safer than continuing a pregnancy to term. However, if you have any concerns after your visit, you may reach our specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 714-456-2911.

Post-procedure instructions

We want to make sure that you do well after your procedure. Please view our post-procedure instructions ›

Frequently asked questions

Learn more about pregnancy termination ›

Resources and information

We are sorry you are experiencing this. You are not alone. Our compassionate team is here to take good care of you and support you in any way we can.

When faced with a pregnancy with fetal anomalies, you can choose to:

  • Continue — If you choose to continue, we will be sure to coordinate the highest level of care for you and your baby. If your baby has a lethal anomaly, an additional option is to continue the pregnancy and receive support from UCI Health Paloma Comfort Care.
  • Termination — Women have the option of surgical abortion or induction termination.
  • Wait — Wait to make a decision. The more certain you are about your decision, the better you will feel mentally and emotionally. Some women find certainty quickly, while others struggle and may never experience it. Termination is an option in California for up to 23 completed weeks of a pregnancy.
  • Fetal demise — We recommend proceeding with care immediately to minimize health risks to the mother. We also can repeat an ultrasound in our office to reconfirm the diagnosis or provide images.

Termination options

Surgical procedure
This is an option for patients who want to be asleep (given sedation or general anesthesia). Most women need some dilation of the cervix if they are more than 12 weeks pregnant to ensure the procedure is as safe as possible. A few patients will be given a pill to take on the morning of the surgery, but most will need dilators placed in their cervix the day before. The process takes two days.

The first day, you will meet the team in our office. If you choose to proceed with termination, we will give you numbing medicine and place the dilators. You will be able to drive yourself home and we recommend taking the rest of the day off work to rest. The next day, you will meet the anesthesiologist in the hospital, be sedated and completely asleep for the procedure. You will need a driver to take you home after the procedure on day two.

Induction termination in labor and delivery (L&D)
This is an option for patients with fetal anomalies (complications) or fetal demise who are 18 to 23 weeks pregnant. You will first be seen in the office and given a medication. One to two days later, you will go to the hospital for labor and delivery. There you will receive more medication to induce a delivery.

Learn more about the differences between these two approaches ›

Post-procedure instructions

To ensure that you to do well after your procedure, please view our post-procedure instructions ›

Frequently asked questions

View answers to questions our patient frequently ask us about fetal anomalies ›

Grief counseling and support groups

Make an Appointment

714-456-7188