Early Abortion (First Trimester)
A pregnancy up to 14 weeks after the last menstrual period is considered early. It is also known as the first trimester of pregnancy.
What is an early abortion?
An early abortion ends a pregnancy during the first trimester. There are few risks, minimal follow-up, and affordable fees for early abortions.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization both agree that abortion by an in-clinic procedure or medication is safe during the first trimester. Both organizations provide safe medical guidelines for family planning and abortion care that are based on medical evidence,
Despite the medical evidence, a Georgia Law was recently passed that only allows termination of a pregnancy before cardiac activity occurs. This usually happens around 6 weeks.
How is an early abortion performed?
During the first trimester, surgical abortion and medical abortion are both safe and effective for most patients. Patients will be able to talk over both options with our doctors and select the best process.
When patients check in for your appointment, ACWC staff will confirm the weeks of the pregnancy, provide options counseling, collect payment and confirm completion of all forms. Termination services at ACWC are integrated into the general primary care practice. Women are not identified in the waiting area as wanting pregnancy termination and there are no signs advertising this service in the main areas our clinic. This safeguards the confidentiality and security of our patients and staff.
Once these steps are completed you will meet with a physician to discuss your health history and the option you selected to manage your pregnancy. If you desire to end the pregnancy the doctor will review the available abortion options.
In most states of the U.S. first trimester surgical abortion is available at the time pregnancy begins up to 10.0 weeks. In Georgia abortion is only available before fetal cardiac activity which usually happens near 6 weeks.
There are several medications that can be used during a medical abortion. Mifepristone and misoprostol are included your care at ACWC.
Mifepristone is a medication that ends the pregnancy. It is taken by mouth.
Misoprostol are tablets that starts bleeding, like a menstrual period for many patients. These tablets are allowed to dissolve in the mouth or vagina after mifepristone is taken.
The medications can cause nausea and pain. The doctor will provide medications and instructions to control these symptoms.
Follow-up consultations are scheduled 1-5 weeks after both medications are taken. These visits will be scheduled at the initial ACWC visit.
In most states of the U.S. first trimester surgical abortion is available at the time pregnancy begins up to 14.0 weeks. In Georgia, abortion is currently available before fetal cardiac activity which usually happens near 6 weeks.
The surgical abortion procedure is also known as uterine aspiration or vacuum aspiration. Cutting or surgical incisions are not needed. Surgical abortion can be accomplished in a one-day procedure in the first trimester of pregnancy. The normal time to complete the procedure is 15 minutes.
The procedure is completed in the doctor's office with pain-relieving medications given through a vein (IV sedation) or an injection near the cervix (local).
A trusted member of the ACWC staff will be with you throughout your health education, examination, aspiration procedure, and recovery. The entire visit will take around three hours. Please make arrangements to have a driver available to take you home after the procedure if IV sedation is desired.
Shortly after you arrive, one of our medical assistants (MAs) will bring you into a triage room, where she will take your blood pressure, pulse and weight. After your vitals are taken, the MA will bring you to a private examination room where you will meet a member of our medical team. We will review your medical history, perform an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of the pregnancy, and give you medications. You will receive oral pain medications as needed. We may give you additional medicine to soften your cervix. If you brought a support person with you, he/she/they must wait for you until after your visit is complete.
The doctor will:
- Use a speculum to inspect your vagina
- Sanitize your vagina and cervix with gauze and soap
- Apply numbing agent to your cervix
- Dilate (open) your cervix.
- Inset a narrow, flexible tube into your uterus
- Apply mild suction to the other end of the tube to remove the pregnancy tissue
Ultrasound guidance may be used during your procedure. Toward the end of the procedure, you may feel uterine cramping that feels similar to menstrual cramps as the uterus shrinks down to its usual size. The suction portion only takes a few minutes, and the entire procedure takes around 15 minutes.
ACWC offers you the option of going to sleep, being sedated, or staying awake for the abortion procedure.
The medications that cause sleep are also known as "general anesthesia." You will receive the intravenous (IV) medications under the care of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA.)
You may experience mild to moderate cramping once awake. A nurse in the recovery room will help manage any discomfort during recovery. Patients who select this option must have a driver take them home because they may still be drowsy and cannot safely drive.
Other anesthesia options include sedation with anti-anxiety and pain medications given through an IV or by mouth. A driver must take you home after receiving any of these.
Local pain medication is another option that allows the patient to be awake during the procedure, but medicine will be given to make you comfortable.
The doctor will place a medication near the opening of the uterus (womb) to decrease the feelings of pain and cramping during the procedure. An advocate will be at your side to coach you through the process. Patients who choose this option can drive themselves home after the procedure.
After the procedure, patients will relax for a few minutes. You will likely experience some cramping, spotting or bleeding. While in recovery, we will offer you a heat pack and a menstrual pad. When you feel able, you may get dressed. Your nurse will review home care instructions. Prescription medicine, including birth control will be provided. The staff will recommend you go directly home to rest and allow the medication to wear off. You will be able to return to usual activities the next day.
You will be offered a follow appointment 1-4 weeks after your procedure to verify that your procedure has been completed and that you are healing well. On this visit, you will be given a prescription for a birth control method if you did not receive one after your procedure.
Bring the following to the first appointment:
- Federal or State insured ID
- Bring a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Name and location of your preferred pharmacy
- Comfortable/warm clothes or jacket
- Driver/escort if IV sedation is desired
- Mobile devices may be used in certain areas only with earphones
- Wear a mask
Please leave the following at home:
- Small children, unless someone who can wait with them at another location
Abortion Cost and Fees
Please visit our fees page to review the cost of service.
How much does an abortion cost?
The Atlanta Comprehensive Wellness Clinic difference
We are devoted to providing professional, affordable pregnancy management. We believe every person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.