Surgical Abortion FAQ

A: 1st & 2nd Trimester Abortions up to 24 weeks are free in Ontario with a valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Reasonable fees for patients not covered by OHIP.
Out-of-Province patients, patients covered by University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), Interim Federal Health Plan (IFHP) or private insurance may have the fees reimbursed in part or in full by their relevant Plans.

A: The following is the sequence of events once you come for your appointment:

  • A female staff member will meet you at the front porch of the clinic. For security reasons, she will ask for an ID/OHIP card to ensure that you have an appointment with the clinic.
  • The staff is there to ensure patients are not misled to the adjacent building (Aids to Women) who are a pro-life affiliate.
  • Patients will be instructed to fill out medical forms. (i.e. medical history, allergies, etc.)
  • A counselor will meet each patient in a separate room to explain the procedure and to address their concerns and answer their questions.
  • The doctor will then see each patient after counseling to perform an ultrasound.
  • A nurse will prep the patient for the procedure.
  • Expect to be in the clinic for approximately 2-3 hours.
  • Birth control teaching, post-op instruction and care, etc.
  • Following the procedure, patients can contact the clinic for follow-up care or can see their own physician.

  • The patient is brought to the Recovery room to be monitored by the nurse for bleeding, cramping, vital signs (i.e. blood pressure, pulse, etc.)
  • The nurse will provide information regarding the requirements for the recovery period, birth control, follow-up care, etc.
  • The patient has the opportunity to have their concerns and/or questions addressed by the nurse.
  • Once the patient has recovered and the above items have been addressed, they are discharged and can go home.

A: You may experience slight cramping discomfort during the procedure. We try our best to minimize the discomfort by administering adequate local freezing and to provide patients with sufficient pain medication.

A: There are always risks associated with any kind of medical surgery. There are different factors contributing to the risk of a procedure, such as pre-existing medical conditions, which prescribed medication(s) a patient may be taking, the position of the placenta (previa), previous child birth history (C-section), etc.

A: When a woman is pregnant, she has 3 options. First, she has the choice to continue her pregnancy and care for the child. Second, she has the choice to continue her pregnancy and arrange for an adoption. Third, she has the choice to terminate her pregnancy.

A: We respect all the choices women make concerning their pregnancy. We offer counseling to ensure the choice you make is really the right one for you. Other resources that help you with your decision include:

  • Pregnancy Options, a website that covers equally the options of parenting, adoption or abortion and offers interactive tools so that you can discover for yourself which option feels right for you.
  • For those more comfortable with talking to a person, you can call Backline at 888-493-0092 and speak with a trained counselor and work through all of your options in detail.

A: Do not consume alcohol or use aspirin for at least a day before your appointment as both these things thin your blood and inhibit clotting. Do not use non-prescription or recreational drugs for at least two days before your appointment because these can cause serious complications in conjunction with the required medications needed for your recovery. Do not eat at all and drink only water after midnight prior to your appointment. On the day of your clinic appointment, dress in a comfortable short sleeve shirt (so your blood pressure can be easily taken) and pants that do not restrict movement.

A: It is a very good idea to bring someone that will support you during your appointment. For insurance and security reasons they may be unable to accompany you through all parts of our Toronto clinic.

A: The length of the actual procedure depends on the gestational week of the patient during the termination of the pregnancy. It can range from between five minutes to half an hour.

However, your stay at the Cabbagetown Women’s Clinic will be between three and five hours as it also includes filling out documents, various tests (blood and urine), an ultrasound exam and counseling concerning birth control, the abortion procedure, post-procedure medications and recovery. After the procedure there is also an in-clinic recovery period of 20-60 minutes or as needed.

A: Most women fully recover from the procedure within 1 to 2 weeks. In order to help prevent infection during that time, do not:

  • lift anything over 15 lbs.
  • engage in strenuous exercise.
  • have intercourse, use tampons or cleanse yourself using a douche.
  • go swimming or take a bath (showers are okay).
  • consume alcohol, aspirin or marijuana (which can prevent proper blood clotting)

The pregnancy hormones that are still in your body cause some women to experience engorgement of their breasts. Although this is completely normal, you can remedy this by wrapping your breasts in a large bandage or towel for a few days. Don’t touch or stimulate your nipples in any way, even by letting shower water fall on them because this could stimulate milk production.

Your normal menstrual cycle usually takes one or two months to restore itself. However, since it is possible that you could ovulate any time after your abortion, birth control will still be required in order to prevent pregnancy. A condom, or secondary method of birth control is recommend for the first month only if you are using birth control pills as your primary contraception method.

A: Click contact us to proceed to the appointment booking information.

Appointment Instructions
To book an appointment, please have the following information available:
1. The first day of last menstrual period.
2. The type and date of pregnancy test done (i.e. urine, blood, ultrasound).
3. Health and medical history (malignant hyperthermia, HIV, etc.).
4. Any prescription or over-the-counter medication presently taking.
5. Allergies to any medication/s.

Cabbagetown Women’s Clinic: your choice for abortion in Toronto.
Call between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm Monday to Sunday for more information: