Early treatment

If your period is overdue for a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of 16 days, the treatment is referred to as early treatment. That is the juridical term. An ultrasound scan is performed to see whether you fall within this term. The said early treatment can consist of a suction curettage or the abortion pill. No reference or period of reflection is required by law up to and including 6w2d. In that case, one refers to early treatment. If the pregnancy is further advanced, there is a reflection time (waiting time) of 5 days. This commences after the first interview with a doctor (or general practitioner).

This is how the suction curettage works:

The treatment lasts approximately ten minutes and takes place in a gynaecological chair. The treatment is performed by an abortion specialist who will be assisted by two nurses.

You will be given medicines (prostaglandins) that will soften the cervix before the treatment. The cervix is first made visible with a speculum (duck-bill shaped medical instrument), disinfected and anaesthetised locally). A suction tube (of between 5 mm and 6 mm) is then used to empty the cervix.

Most women experience pain at the end of the operation as the uterus starts contracting. This pain can be compared to (intense) menstrual pain. You may suffer from stomach cramps until a few days after the treatment and there may be some blood loss, which is comparable to menstruation.

You can opt for  sedation (in which case, you will sleep for a while) instead of for a local anaesthetic. Please note: in the case of sedation, clients wearing coloured lenses must remove them.

You will still stay in the recovery room after the treatment. There is a small chance of infection, which is why you are given antibiotics in the clinic

This is how the abortion pill works:

On the first day of the treatment in the clinic, you are given medicine that blocks the functioning of the pregnancy hormone, which causes the pregnancy to stop.

From 24 to 72 hours later, you fit another vaginal medicine. You can do this at home. This way causes stomach cramps that may continue for a number of hours. These stomach cramps feel like intense menstruation cramps. Other possible side effects are nausea, shivering and diarrhoea. In combination with blood loss (which may be intense), the amniotic sac is expelled.

The abortion pill is not the same as a morning-after pill (emergency pill).