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Pregnancy Termination FAQ

At the UCI Health Women's Options Center (WOC), we provide specialized care for women seeking pregnancy termination and management of miscarriage or perinatal loss. Here are answers to questions patients frequently ask us about pregnancy termination.

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 already have had an ultrasound
  • Discuss all 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. Barring any rare complication, most women go on to have a normal pregnancy after abortion, if they choose to do so. 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: It is normal for a woman to bleed on and off for up to four weeks after a pregnancy termination. The blood may 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 menstrual pads an hour for a two-hour period, and you are not worried about the bleeding, there is no cause for concern. However, if any amount worries you, call 714-456-2911 or come to our office. It may 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 your pregnancy is 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 the hormone that will cause you to make more milk.

Usually breast tenderness improves seven to 10 days after the procedure.

Q: May 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: May I use a rideshare company or a taxi 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 been under sedation. It is hospital policy to have someone you know pick you up to ensure that you get home safely.

Q: Will it hurt to get the dilators placed?

A: Dilator placement may cause cramping. 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.

Q: How long is the pre-operative visit?

A: One to three hours

Q: How long will I be in at the hospital on the day of my surgery?

A: You will usually be in the hospital for four to six hours.

For more information, please call 714-456-8179. To make an appointment, call 714-456-7188.

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