North Carolina abortion clinic Family Reproductive Health
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surgicalnon surgical
abortion
Surgical Abortion up to 17 Weeks

Included with your abortion:
Pain Medication and Local Anesthetic
Injection Sedation Available
Ultrasound and Lab Tests (Rh Typing, Anemia Screening & Pregnancy Test)
Follow-up Examination
Sample Package of Birth Control Pills if eligible


Ask About Private Abortion Appointments.

1) What to expect
We strive to provide excellent medical care and emotional support. Your decision to have an abortion is very important and confidentiality is absolutely respected. Tell us if you have any special concerns or problems. You will be at the clinic for approximately four hours. During this time there will be some waiting in between ultrasound, lab work, counseling, and recovery. If you have someone with you they may leave after you have been to the business office, but they should return within two hours.

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2) Before your appointment
There are several things that you can do before your appointment to make your time here go more smoothly:
Have a light meal before you come to the clinic. We suggest avoiding heavy or greasy foods.

Wear comfortable clothing. Dress in layers, as the clinic is kept fairly cool. Wear or bring a pair of socks with you. Wear underwear that will accommodate a maxi pad.

You will need a government issued photo ID. Please make sure that you have this before your appointment. Driver’s licences, state ID’s, passports, and Resident Alien ID’s are all acceptable. If you are having trouble getting an appropriate ID please call the clinic to discuss alternatives.

North Carolina has a parental consent law. If you are under the age of 18 you will need a parent or legal guardian to come with you and bring their ID. They will also need to sign forms consenting to your abortion. If you feel that you are unable to obtain this consent there is a process called Judicial Bypass that may be available to you. Please call the clinic to discuss any concerns.

Think ahead about any comfort items you would like to have when you get home. Your favorite foods, a heating pad, and a good book or movie may make your recovery easier. You will also need maxi pads and a thermometer.
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3) While you are here
Because we pay attention to your body as well as your head and heart, your visit will include several steps.
Reception: You will check in at the front desk and be asked to complete a basic medical history. You will then be asked to present your photo ID so that a photocopy can be made. You will be given a packet of information and forms to complete.

Ultrasound: A staff member will do an ultrasound to determine where you are in your pregnancy. An ultrasound does not hurt and is the most accurate way to find out how many weeks pregnant you are.

Laboratory: Several simple laboratory tests will be performed. The lab tech will take your vital signs and prick your finger. Blood tests to screen for anemia and check your blood type are necessary. If you have a negative blood type you will need a medication called Rhogam after your procedure. This blood type is rare, so most people do not need this medication. There is an additional fee if you do need this medication.

Business Office: You will be seen privately in the business office to review your medical history and pay your fee. We accept cash, money orders and all major credit cards. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept checks.

Counseling: You will meet individually with one of our trained counselors to review the abortion procedure, possible risks and complications, after-care instructions and your decision. This is an opportunity to have all of your questions answered and to discuss any concerns, fears, or doubts you are having.

Please understand that we are not here to make decisions for you or to talk to you into or out of anything. Deciding to have an abortion is a difficult decision for many women. Being pregnant when you do not want to be is hard. Religion, spirituality, family, physical conditions, and many more things play an important role in making this choice. It is important to pay attention to your whole self when making this important decision. Making the decision that is best for you is very important. If you make your own decision, based on your own beliefs, wants and needs, you are likely to experience relief, not guilt. If you allow yourself to be guided or pushed into a decision that is wrong for you, you are likely to experience guilt, anger and regret.

Even if you are making a good decision, your own decision, you may feel sadness after your abortion. It is sad to lose opportunities, to say no to important life changes. Sadness is normal, and is an important part of the healing process. It may last for a few days or longer. You will pass through it. If you find that you need help getting to the other side of sadness, please talk to us. Our purpose is to provide you with truthful information, help you clarify your feelings, and above all support whatever decision you make regarding your pregnancy.

Medications: A nurse will bring you pre-operative medications. You will be given valium to help you relax and a pain medication to help reduce cramping during the procedure. You may choose to have an IM (injection) medication for stronger pain relief and relaxation. These medications are available at a small additional charge.

Surgery: A surgical assistant will call you to the exam room. We suggest using the restroom before you are seen by the doctor. The assistant will stay with you during the entire procedure. She is there to assist the doctor and provide you with support and a hand to hold. The procedure lasts five to ten minutes. The abortion procedure used at this clinic is called vacuum aspiration or “suction” method. This procedure is the most commonly used and is very safe. Complications are rare. The doctor will do a routine pelvic exam and numb the cervix with a local anesthetic. The cervix is the entrance to the uterus and will be gently dilated to about the diameter of a ball point pen for an early abortion. A small tube called a canula will be inserted into your uterus. Gentle suction will remove the pregnancy. This usually takes 60-90 seconds. For second trimester pregnancies the cervix will be dilated to about the size of your middle finger and a combination of suction and sterile instruments will be used to empty the uterus. Because we all experience pain differently, women have a variety of abortion experiences. Most women experience mild to medium menstrual type cramping, while some experience stronger cramping. Relaxation and deep breathing will make this cramping more bearable.

Recovery: After the procedure the assistant will walk you to the recovery room. Most patients find that any cramping they are experiencing quickly subsides. The nurse in the recovery room will give you something to drink and more pain medication if you need it. She will check your vital signs and bleeding to make sure it is safe for you to go home. She will also give you your take-home medications and review after-care instructions. Most patients are able to begin birth control the Sunday after their procedure. The nurse will discuss these options with you and help you choose a good method.
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4) After-care
Complications are rare and you will soon return to normal. Most patients feel good enough the day following their procedure to resume their regular activities. It is important to follow the instructions we give you and to call us if you have any problems.
Emotions - Many women feel a sense of relief after their abortions. However, some women feel weak, tired or depressed. These reactions are usually due to abrupt changes in hormone levels. We suggest you relax for a day or two and resume your normal activities when you feel comfortable. If you have trouble shaking the depression after a few days, contact a counselor here who can discuss the problem and refer you for further counseling if indicated.

Bleeding - Bleeding following an abortion is normal. The amount of bleeding varies from woman to woman. Usually bleeding is no greater than a heavy menstrual period. Bleeding may stop and start again or you may only bleed for a day or two. Spotting may continue for two or three weeks. There may be clots in the blood. These are all normal conditions. Heavy bleeding is usually caused by the relaxation of the muscles of the uterus. We consider too much bleeding to be soaking one pad in an hour. If you were given medication to control bleeding, please take it. If you take all of the tablets and the bleeding does not decrease, call the clinic. This medication may increase cramps because it causes the uterus to contract.

Cramping - Some women may experience cramping. This usually only lasts a day or two. Cramps can usually be relieved with a heating pad or hot water bottle. These cramps are usually caused by clots in the uterus or the uterus contracting back to its normal size. We do not recommend aspirin or Ibuprofen for relief of cramps. You may use acetaminophen or Tylenol for cramps. You will be given a prescription for stronger pain medication that you may use.

Fever - Infection, although uncommon, is one of the most concerning complications following an abortion, and fever is often the first sign. For that reason, we’ve asked you to take your temperature once every afternoon for 5 days. Fever which may indicate infection usually shows up on the second or third day. If you have an infection, it can almost always be treated with oral medication. If your temperature goes above 100.4 degrees, call us for advice. Severe or persistent abdominal pain or urinary discomfort may also be signs of infection or other problems. It is important for you to take all of the Tetracycline or other antibiotic that you are given. To prevent infection, DO NOT have sex, use a tampon, douche, go swimming, take tub baths, or insert anything into your vagina until after your follow-up exam.
There is a staff member on call 24 hours a day for our patient's medical concerns. Please call (704) 551-0808 or (800) 952-9034.

Getting Back to Normal
Tender Breasts - Breast soreness and tenderness are normal for the first few days. You may even have some breast discharge for a day or two. Do not try to expel the fluid because this may cause more fluid to be formed. You’ll probably be more comfortable in a tight-fitting bra. If discomfort is severe, ice packs may bring relief.

Menstruation - You can get pregnant even though you have not yet had a normal menstrual period. If you have intercourse, you should use a method of contraception or you run the risk of another unwanted pregnancy. I f you started on birth control pills the Sunday following your abortion, you should have a normal menstrual period following your first packet of pills. If you do not start birth control pills, you can expect a period within 3-5 weeks.

Sexual Relations - No intercourse for at least 3 weeks, and preferably not until after your first normal menstrual period or check-up. Your chances of getting an infection from intercourse are much greater during this time.

Activities - You can return to normal activities such as going back to work, school, or housekeeping the day after your abortion or as soon as you feel good enough to return.
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5)Fees
Our fees are all inclusive. Everything that you will need on the day of your appointment, including all labwork, your ultrasound, medications and take-home antibiotics as well as your check-up visit are included in the fee. Your counselor will discuss the fees for your surgical abortion.

Payments must be made in cash, credit card or money order. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept checks. Payment must be made before you are seen by the doctor. We do not accept insurance, but we are glad to help you complete the forms necessary for you to be reimbursed. Call your insurance provider to determine if abortion a covered benefit.

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Family Reproductive Health abortion clinic in Charlotte, NC