We understand that the decision to end a pregnancy can be difficult. Our highly experienced doctors and counselors can provide you with the best care possible: confidential, supportive and non-judgmental in a physician’s office atmosphere. We provide care for those who have decided not to continue with their pregnancies and who prefer to take medication.
We offer medication abortions up to ten weeks from the first day of your last period.
Please read our Medication Abortion information (below) about the medications available,
and review our appointment information and costs.
We are fully accredited by the National Abortion Federation.
If you are interested in having a medication abortion, please review our information below, or listen to our 24 – hour, recorded information line at 604-874-9897 before calling our office to book an appointment.
Medication Abortions with Mifegymiso
We will schedule you an in clinic visit. This will include you filling our forms, providing a urine sample, having a virtual visit with one of our counsellors and picking up your medication at the pharmacy. The appointment will be approx. 1.5 – 2 hours from the time you arrive until you finish at the pharmacy.
Your Ultrasound and Counselling Appointment
You will be booked for an in-clinic appointment for a vaginal ultrasound on the same day as your counselling appointment. We will ask you use your phone and have a private space (your car) to have the counselling appt. If you can not do that – we will arrange an area for you to talk to her from. The counsellor will explain how to take the medication, get verbal consent from you, discuss birth control if you wish and answer any questions you may have. Once you are finished with the counsellor you will come back to the main office to pick up your prescription and take it to the pharmacy on the main floor of our building. We will book a virtual follow up for you in approximately 1 week.
You may need to go to a local lab to have a blood test done on the day you will be taking the Mifegymiso. You will then need to go for another blood test at your local lab 1 week later. These blood tests are very important as they will be the only way that we will be able to assess whether the abortion is complete and you are done.
There will be a charge of approx. 28.00 at the pharmacy for some of the medications you will be getting. If you have extended health insurance this may cover it. There is no cost for the Mifegymiso if you have a BC Care Card.
When and where does the abortion actually happen?
You will take the mifepristone when you are ready. 24 – 48 hours after taking the mifepristone, you will insert misoprostol tablets into your cheeks or into your vagina. The misoprostol tablets make the uterus cramp, you should bleed heavier than a period and the pregnancy will come out. You may experience some side effects from the medication. This usually goes away within a few hours. If you bleed less than a normal period – 24 hours later you will take a second set of 4 pills of misoprostol pills.
How well do the drugs work?
95% of patients will be done after taking the misoprostol. About 0.5% of abortions with mifepristone fail and require surgery because the pregnancy is still growing. About 2% of patients request surgery because they don’t want to wait for the bleeding to start (a delayed reaction).
What about side effects?
There are few side effects from the mifepristone. After the misoprostol you can expect bleeding, cramping and some patients get flu-like symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, headache, fever and chills. Many patients have few or no side effects.
What are the costs?
If you have BC medical (MSP), your office visits for the medication abortion is covered in British Columbia. The cost for the Mifepristone is also covered by the government. There will be a cost of approx. $28.00 at the pharmacy for pain medication. If you have extended health insurance this may cover the cost.
If you do not have valid BC medical the cost is $400.00 for the office visits and approx. $385.00 for the medications. There may also be extra fees (for example, for lab tests when necessary). We accept out of province medical (except Quebec) for the office visits but the cost of the medication will not be covered. The fee for the medication will be $385.00.
How can we know if the abortion is completed?
We will schedule a virtual follow up visit a week after you have taken the Mifegymiso. This visit will be about 10 minutes. The physician will ask you questions to determine if she feels the abortion is complete. If she feels that the abortion is not complete she may request that you book an appointment to come in for an ultrasound, send you for some blood tests or give you more medications. This is called a delayed reaction and we will watch your progress until the ultrasound shows an empty uterus.
If it is difficult for you to come back to our clinic, we can follow the progress of the abortion with blood tests instead of ultrasounds and arrange skype/facetime follow up visits.
What if it doesn’t work?
In about 1% of patients an aspiration will be required. We will make the arrangements for you at a local clinic. Another 2% of patients choose surgery because they are having delayed reactions to the medication and don’t want to wait. Less than 1% have complications such as infection or serious bleeding.
What are the possible complications?
Mifepristone and misoprostol have been formally studied and used safely. The risk of excessive bleeding or serious infection is very low. Rarely, patients may be allergic to the medications.
Are there emotional issues specific to this method?
Some patients are anxious waiting for the abortion process to complete. Viewing the pregnancy tissue can also be difficult for some.
What are the advantages of Medication Abortions?
They are effective and safe for very early pregnancies. You can avoid anesthesia, instruments or vacuum aspiration, unless it fails (however, blood work and a vaginal ultrasound may be required. Mifegymiso induces a miscarriage-like process, so if you need someone in your life to think it is a miscarriage, this may be the best option. Being at home instead of a clinic during the actual abortion may seem more comfortable and private.
What are the disadvantages of this method?
It is not predictable – there is uncertainty about when you will bleed and pass the pregnancy. Bleeding can be heavy and last longer than with a surgical abortion. Cramping can be strong and last longer than with the surgical abortion. At least two visits are required, sometimes more. Failure rate is higher than with surgical abortion.
Who should not use this method?
If it is more than 10 weeks from your last period, you are on blood thinners, have an allergy to the medications, blood clotting problems, porphyria, severe anemia or uncontrolled seizures.
Are there any long term effects?
The medications leave your body within one week and will not affect future pregnancies or general health.
What do Abortions Cost?
If you have a VALID BC MEDICAL CARD, there will be no charge for the office visits or the cost of the Mifegymiso. There will be a charge of $25.00 to cover the costs of pain medications and blood work required for the procedure.
If you have COVERAGE FROM ANOTHER PROVINCE (except Quebec) we will bill your plan directly for the office visits BUT the medication will not be covered. The medication cost is $365.00. We do not have any way of knowing if this can be reimbursed by your province but we can give you a receipt to submit.
NO PROVINCIAL MEDICAL COVERAGE: Patients who do not have provincial medical coverage are required to pay $400.00 for the office visits and approx $400.00 for the other medications at the pharmacy. If we need to send you to the lab for any additional blood work (usually not necessary) there may be other charges. If this procedure fails and you need surgery, there will be no additional cost if the surgery is done at Everywomans’ Health Centre but there will be additional costs if it is done elsewhere. If you attend our office for the doctor portion only, the cost is $190.00 and if you are unable to have the medication abortion, for whatever reason, you will have to pay the full cost at another clinic. The other clinics in Vancouver are government funded and are free for BC residents.