Medication Termination Overview

A medication termination, or abortion, uses two oral medications to end a pregnancy up to nine weeks gestation without the need for surgery or anaesthetic. 

You can choose a medication termination if the first day of your last menstrual period was less than nine weeks (63 days) ago.

Why choose medication termination?

  • You avoid a general anaesthetic and surgery.
  • Some women feel the process is more natural and less stressful than a surgical termination.
  • It can be carried out early on in the pregnancy. 
  • Some women feel they have more privacy and control as the termination happens at home.

If you are unsure about your decision to have a termination, contact us to request a counselling appointment.

Is a medication termination right for me?

A medication termination may be suitable for you if:

  • you are less than nine weeks pregnant (measured from the first day of your last period)
  • you can stay within one hour’s drive from a hospital with emergency facilities for the duration of the termination (three to four days)
  • you have access to a toilet, some privacy and someone with you that you trust and who can support you
  • you have 24-hour access to a phone in case you need to call for help.

Some medical conditions make medication terminations unsafe, so please tell your doctor if you have any health problems.

Phone contact

It’s essential that we can contact you before, during and after the medication termination. If we can’t contact you at the times we agree with you, we may not be able to proceed with your termination. 

If you use a mobile phone, it must be fully charged and with credit for the entire process.  

What appointments do I need?

You will see Family Planning doctors and nurses for the following appointments:

  1. Assessment appointment (60 minutes) – please arrive 15 minutes early. A Family Planning doctor will assess whether a medication termination is right for you and refer you for an ultrasound and tests. 
  2. Phone call (15-30 minutes) – once we have the results of your ultrasound and blood tests, a Family Planning doctor will call you at a pre-arranged time to discuss the results and confirm a medication termination is right for you.
  3. Medication appointment (60 minutes) – please arrive 15 minutes early. The termination medication is given to you with written instructions. Most people take the first tablet at home and the second tablet 36 hours later. If you have a negative blood group, you will also need an anti-D injection.
  4. Phone call (15 minutes) – a nurse will call you 48-72 hours after your second appointment to check you are ok. You must have a phone that we can reach you on. 7-10 days after taking the medication, you will have a blood test. 
  5. Appointment/phone call 3 (30 minutes) – 14-21 days after you take the medication, you will have a check-up with an FPT doctor or nurse to review your blood test results to confirm the termination is complete.

What do I need to bring to my appointments?

  • Your Medicare card or number. 
  • Any health care or pension cards.
  • Enough money in your account for payment of the consultation. Find information about fees here.
  • A list of any questions you would like answered.
  • You are welcome to bring a support person, but we will need to speak to you on your own for some of the appointment.  

How much does it cost?

Costs for a medication termination depend on your age and circumstances. Please have a look at our fees page.

If you can’t afford a termination, you may be eligible for financial support that we can help you apply for. Please speak to us if this is the case for you.

What happens before, during and after my medication termination?

Your doctor will talk you through this so you know what to expect, but the process is explained in detail here.

Can I have a termination if I'm breastfeeding?

Yes, but if you are breastfeeding, you can’t give your breastmilk to the child for six hours after you take the medication. You will need to express the milk and dispose of it.

I need help to read

If you need an interpreter, we can help.

If you want to read in your language, go here or here.

To discuss an unplanned pregnancy, what your options are, or to find out more about medication termination of pregnancy, book an appointment with one of our friendly doctors. They are non-judgemental, will give you all the information you need, and will help you make whatever decision is right for you.

This content is provided for general information and education purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances. It is not to be relied on in substitution for specific advice from a medical professional and Family Planning Tasmania does not accept responsibility for such use. Family Planning Tasmania has taken every effort to ensure that the information is up to date and accurate, however information and knowledge is subject to change. Family Planning Tasmania advises that you always consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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