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Posted by Guest Writer on Thu, 30 Apr 2009.

Choosing to have an abortion is a very hard decision. It is highly advised that you speak to people about this decision, such as family and friends and/or a medical professional, to discuss this and any other options that may be available to you.

By UK law it is legal to have an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, though it is advised that you have the abortion as early as possible. There are two types of abortion available:


A medical abortion involves taking two tablets 24-48 hours apart, which induces the passing of the pregnancy. After the second tablet you will be monitored for 4-8 hours to ensure the procedure has worked and there are no complications. Females having this type of abortion can experience some intense cramp like pains, though nurses will give medication to help with any pain felt. After the procedure bleeding can continue for up to two weeks. This type of abortion is only available up to 9 weeks of pregnancy.


This is the most common type of abortion as it can be done up to 24 weeks of pregnancy (although not all places are willing to do it this late). A surgical abortion involves suction being used to clear the uterus, the procedure takes 10-15mins. Patients have the choice of whether or not to have an anaesthetic with this procedure, as some discomfort can be felt. Again you will bleed for a while after the procedure.

You can get abortions free of charge on the NHS,and will be on your medical record. If you choose to go to a private clinic, there will be fees, though it is up to you whether the abortion is put on your medical record.

After having an abortion, some people feel down, get feelings of guilt or become depressed.You should be given information for counselling services when you go for your abortion, if not, these services can be accessed through your GP.

It is vital that after this procedure you discuss contraception with the nurses or your GP to ensure no unwanted pregnancies in the future. You can use contraception straight away, but it is advised that you don't have sex for two weeks after your abortion to reduce the risk of infection.

Please ensure that before making this decision, you have looked at all avenues open to you, and talked about it to people you feel comfortable in doing so. The topic of abortions can sometimes raise moral and ethical issues, but remember that at the end of the day it is your own choice and that you must do what is best for you (and partner if applicable) at the time.