Surgical abortion is a safe and straightforward day-surgery procedure that is most commonly performed in the first trimester (up to 12–14 weeks’ gestation). Second trimester termination of pregnancy, also known as late term abortion, may be performed up to 20-22 weeks’ gestation, depending on where you live.
Surgical abortion in the first trimester is a low-risk procedure with a high success rate of greater than 98%. A doctor uses gentle suction to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. The procedure takes between 5–15 minutes and is usually performed under intravenous (twilight) sedation. Local anaesthetic can be used if preferred.
When you book you will also be given the option of having a long-acting reversible method of contraception fitted post-procedure. Combining procedures can be convenient and cost-effective.
For more information about what’s involved in a surgical abortion you may wish to read our surgical abortion FAQs below.
This short patient information video can also help to explain what to expect from your Marie Stopes surgical abortion clinic appointment. To watch the video with subtitles in your preferred language, click the settings (cog) symbol, then subtitles, then auto-translate.
It can be hard to know how to support someone who has had an abortion, so we put together a guide for anyone who wants to learn more about providing timely and empathetic emotional support.
Please note, if you are over 16 weeks gestation you will need an ultrasound and blood test and blood test done prior to your appointment. We can provide you with the pathology request forms for you.
To enquire further or to make an appointment, please contact us.
Surgical abortion cost
Surgical abortion costs are based on the minimum price for patients holding a valid Medicare card. Further discounts apply for Healthcare Card holders in many cases. Visit the prices page to understand the factors that influence cost, or contact us to get an exact price based on your personal circumstances such as gestation and anaesthetic preference.
Private health rebates
If you do not hold a valid Medicare card, please contact us for a cost estimate, or speak to your private health insurance provider if you hold private health insurance, as rebates may still apply. Check our locations page to find out which clinics are eligible for private health rebates. Rebates only apply for surgical abortion (IV sedation at select clinics).
Surgical abortion procedure
You must follow these important fasting guidelines prior to your surgical abortion procedure. If you don’t we will need to cancel or reschedule your appointment.
- If you are having IV sedation it is very important that you do not eat anything (including lollies or gum) for 6 hours prior to your appointment
- You may continue to drink a small glass of water each hour up to 2 hours before your appointment, but no other fluid
- You should also take any regular medications (except blood thinners) with a small amount of water
- If you are having a local anaesthetic you may have a light breakfast
When you book your appointment, you will be provided with an information pack by email, which has important information about your procedure. Please ensure that you read it carefully.
It is important that you inform us when making your appointment if you are a diabetic.
If you are having IV sedation you must not drive a motor vehicle for 24 hours following your appointment and you must have someone to accompany you home. You cannot travel home alone by taxi.
Please note that due to the current Coronavirus, we ask that your support person does not come into the clinic with you. This is so we can practice safe physical distancing. For more information, please head to our COVID-19 page.
In addition to the above preparations we suggest that you have a bath or shower before you leave home.
If your arrival is delayed for any reason, please call in advance to let us know.