Make an Appointment

714-456-7188

womens options center illustration

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 obstetrician gynecologists who have completed specialty fellowship training in family planning. They have expertise in high-risk pregnancy termination, contraception and perinatal loss.

Our team consists of care coordinators, surgery schedulers and physicians who provide the highest level of supportive and skilled care.

We are located in a multispeciality academic practice which provides seamless coordination with high-risk obstetritcians, anesthesiologists, geneticists, and other medical specialists to faciliate management of even the most challenging medical conditions. Our years of experience ensure that you will be in the best, most capable hands.

Mission of the Family Planning Division

Our mission is to promote and protect women’s options with regards to reproductive health and choices. We provide compassionate, evidenced-based care that prioritizes our patients' autonomy and privacy. As an academic institution, we are committed to training to ensure that 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

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 can 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 with pain medicine in a clinic. Vasectomies are safer, faster and less expensive than tubal ligation.

Emergency contraception

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

At the UCI Health WOC, we offer all four methods of emergency contraception:

  • Placement of Copper IUD
  • Ella (Ulipristal Acetate)
  • Plan B

Resources

More information about choosing a birth control method can be found at Planned Parenthood and on the UCI Health Live Well blog.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is an IUD and is it safe to get?

A: An IUD stands for intrauterine device. It is one of the safest, most effective options for birth control. There are a variety of types out there, including hormonal (Liletta, Mirena, Kyleena and Skyla) and non-hormonal (Paragard).

They are placed inside your uterus in the clinic by a provider. Although they can last for many years, if you don’t like your IUD, it can be removed at any time.

Q: What is an implant?

A: Nexplanon is another very safe, effective and simple method of birth control. The implant is a small, matchstick-size device with a very low dose of progestin in it that blocks ovulation.

Your doctor will give you numbing medicine in clinic and then place the device superficially under the skin in your inner arm. The device can last up to four years, but it can be removed at any time.

Q: Is it safe for me to take the pill, patch or ring?

A: These methods are safe for most women.

However, they may not be safe for women with high blood pressure, migraine headaches, liver disease, blood clots (in their legs or lungs), or other medical problems. A conversation with your doctor is a good place to start.

IUDs and implants are safer and more effective birth controls than the pill, patch or ring.

Q: Can my partner get a vasectomy at the Women’s Options Center?

A: No, but if you call our office we can give you a referral to a urologist. Please call 714-456-7188.

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

Signs that you might be having a miscarriage include bleeding and cramping or pain in the first trimester. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to contact a provider.

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

As experts in early pregnancy complications, we can confirm your diagnosis and explain your options.

Depending on your situation, we offer:

  • Expectant management: Waiting to see if your body will pass 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.

Complications

Complications are rare in the case of miscarriage treatment. However, if you have an unexpected situation, you can reach our specialists 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

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 (70 days after your last normal period). 

Also called the abortion pill, it requires taking two pills to pass the pregnancy. The pills cause bleeding and cramping, which leads the pregnancy to be passed from your body at home one to three days after your clinic visit. Follow up with an ultrasound during an office visit is required.

Surgical abortion in the clinic

Surgical abortion in the clinic is an option for women who are ten weeks or less and who want to be awake for a procedure in clinic. Pain medicines are given in the cervix and by mouth. The entire process takes one visit and you do not need a driver.

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 10-12 weeks pregnant.

Most people need some dilation of there cervix prior to the surgery in order to keep it as safe as possible. A few patients will be given a pill to take, but most will need to have dilators placed in their cervix. The dilation process takes two days.

The first day is in clinic the dilators are placed with numbing medicine, but you do not need a driver. Patients often feel better when they go home to rest afterward rather than returning to work on day one.

The second day is in the hospital where you will meet the anesthesiology team. They will provide your sedation or general anesthesia. You will be required to have a driver to take you home on day two.

Induction termination on 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 clinic and given a medication. One to two days later you are scheduled to go to labor and delivery and receive more medication to induce a delivery. The delivery in the hospital can take hours to one or two days.

In California, surgical abortions are an option from 5 to 23 completed weeks of pregnancy.

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 can reach our specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What will happen at my visit for pregnancy termination?

A: Your doctor will:

  • Learn about your medical history
  • Determine how far along your pregnancy is, either by ultrasound or reviewing outside records if you have already had an ultrasound
  • Discuss all of your pregnancy options, including continuing and parenting, continuing and placing for adoption, terminating now, or waiting to make a decision
  • Draw your blood if you choose to proceed with termination
  • Discuss future pregnancy goals and birth control options

Q: Will I be able to have children after an abortion?

A: Yes, abortion is very safe and barring any rare complication, most women go on to have a normal pregnancy after abortion, if they choose to. Abortions do not cause breast cancer, depression or problems with fertility in the future.

Q: How long will I bleed and when will I get my next period?

A: Women can bleed on and off for up to four weeks after a pregnancy termination and it is normal. The blood can be red, black, brown or even yellow. It can come and go and be light or heavy.

As long as you do not need more than two pads an hour for two hours and you are not worried about the bleeding, there is no cause for concern. However, if any amount worries you, call 714-456-7188 or come to our clinic. It can take one to two months to get your next period.

Q: Will my milk come in?

A: Usually your breasts may become more full, tender, and hard after the procedure if you are farther along or if you have breastfeed a baby before. 

To minimize this:

  • Wear a tight-fitting sports bra 24 hours a day after the procedure.
  • Ibuprofen and ice can help reduce the pain and the swelling. 
  • Minimize touching your breasts or moving. Any breast stimulation will increase the production of hormone, which will cause you to make more milk.

Usually breast tenderness gets better by 7-10 days after the procedure.

Q: Can I get birth control at the same time?

A: Yes! We are happy to discuss whatever method you would like. If you would like an IUD or an implant, it can be placed after most procedures.

Q: Can I use a rideshare company or a taxi instead of a driver to pick me up after my procedure?

A: Unfortunately, it is not safe to let you go home with a driver you do not know after you have received sedation. It is hospital policy to have someone you know pick you up to ensure that you safely get home.

Q: Will it hurt to get the dilators placed?

A: Dilator placement can cause cramps. Your doctor will give you numbing medicine and oral pain medicine.

Q: Do I need to take time off of work after the procedure?

A: Most people are safe missing just one day of work for their procedure day. There are no lifting restrictions after this procedure.

Q: Can I lift heavy things or go up and down stairs after the procedure?

A: Since there are no incisions involved, you can lift items as you did before without restriction. You can also safely walk up and down stairs once the anesthesia has worn off.

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 the UCI Health Paloma Comfort Care Program.
  • 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.
  • Fetal demise: We recommend proceeding with care now and not waiting any longer to minimize health risks to the mother. We can also repeat an ultrasound in the clinic to reconfirm the diagnosis or provide pictures if you would like.

Termination surgical procedure

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

Most women need some dilation of there cervix prior to the surgery in order to keep it as safe as possible. A few patients will be given a pill to take, but most will need to have dilators placed in their cervix. This process takes two days. The first day is in clinic the dilators are placed with numbing medicine, but you do not need a driver. Patients often feel better going home to rest afterwards rather than returning to work on day 1. The second day is in the hospital where you will meet the anesthesiologist who will give you sedation and you will be completely asleep. Due to receiving sedation, you will need a driver to take you home on day 2.

Induction termination on 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 clinic and given a medication. One to two days later, you will be scheduled to go to labor and delivery and receive more medication to induce a delivery.

Grief counseling and support groups

Frequently asked questions

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of induction vs. surgery if you have fetal anomalies?

A: This is a very personal decision and we will support you in whatever you choose. During your visit, you and your doctor will discuss and make sure that you are safe for either a surgical procedure or induction.

Reasons people choose a surgical procedure

  • This is a quicker procedure
  • You can be asleep
  • You can avoid going to labor and delivery
  • You can still choose to have footprints and a cremation and get the ashes if you choose
  • If you do not want to choose a funeral home you do not have to (the WOC will help you get information on this)
  • It is slightly safer than an induction for women who have had prior surgeries and some other conditions (your doctor will describe this in more depth)

Reasons people choose an induction

  • If you want, you can see and or hold your baby
  • You can get footprints and photos
  • You have to choose a funeral to arrange for a burial or cremation of you are over 20 weeks (the WOC will help you get information on this)
  • You can choose to have an autopsy
  • You avoid a surgical procedure

Q: What is the Paloma Comfort Care Program?

A: The UCI Health Paloma Comfort Care Program was designed to help patients and families who babies have been diagnosed with lethal anomalies (meaning life threatening conditions who may not live for very long if at all).

UCI Health has developed a group of caregivers and coordinators to help prepare you and care for you during and after your delivery.

Q: What will happen at my visit for pregnancy termination?

A: Your doctor will:

  • Learn about your medical history
  • Determine how far along your pregnancy is (either by ultrasound or reviewing outside records if you have already had an ultrasound)
  • Discuss all of your pregnancy options, including continuing, terminating now, waiting to make a decision or possibly seeing another specialist
  • If you choose to proceed with termination, we will discuss the surgical and induction termination methods
  • Discuss your future pregnancy goals

Q: Will I be able to have children after an abortion?

A: Yes, abortion is very safe and barring any rare complication, most women go on to have a normal pregnancy after abortion, if they choose to. Abortions do not cause breast cancer, depression, or problems with fertility in the future.

Q: Will my milk come in?

A: Usually your breasts may become more full, tender, and hard after the procedure if you are farther along at the time of the procedure, or if you have breastfeed a baby before.

In order to minimize this, wear a tight-fitting sports bra 24 hours a day after the procedure. Ibuprofen and ice can help reduce the pain and the swelling. Lastly, minimize touching your breasts or moving. Any breast stimulation will increase the production of hormone, which will cause you to make more milk.

Usually breast tenderness gets better within 7-10 days of the procedure.

Q: How long do we have to wait to try to get pregnant again?

A: We used to tell patients that they needed to wait at least three cycles before trying to get pregnant again. Since then we have learned that there is no harm in trying to get pregnant earlier. It is therefore up to you to decide what is best for you and your current situation.

Q: How long will I bleed and when will I get my next period?

A: Women can bleed on and off for up to four weeks after a procedure and that is normal. The blood can be red, black, brown or even yellow. It can come and go and be light or heavy.

As long as you are not using more than two pads an hour for two hours and you are not worried about the bleeding, there is no cause for concern. If any amount worries you, call 714-456-7188 or come in to clinic. It can take one to two months to get your next period.

Make an Appointment

714-456-7188