At Austin Women’s Health Center we believe that the more you understand about your medical care, the more empowered you become to make the best choice for you. That’s why we emphasize health education and patient support.
Getting an abortion in the state of Texas requires two office visits. The first visit is an abortion consultation and the second visit is the abortion procedure. Texas law requires that the consultation appointment occur 24 hours prior to the procedure appointment. In this post, we’ll explain what to expect and how to prepare for both your abortion appointments.
Arriving at Our Office
The first step in your consultation will be to fill out medical history and office policy paperwork. Some clients find it helpful to bring a list of the prescription and over-the-counter medications they are taking. Our office staff is available to answer questions and offer assistance if you need help with the forms. If you would rather complete the documents at home, they are available on our Patient Portal.
Next, we will perform necessary lab tests and a staff member will escort you to a consultation room. For the security and privacy of all our clients, only the patient is allowed beyond the lobby. If your circumstances require the assistance of a translator or support escort, please call our office to discuss special arrangements.
As required by Texas Law, a physician will perform an ultrasound to determine the length of your pregnancy. If you are in your first trimester, a vaginal ultrasound will be performed. If you are in your second trimester, we will perform an abdominal ultrasound. It is normal to feel anxious or emotional about undergoing an ultrasound procedure, please let our staff know how we can best support you during this time.
Learning About Your Options
Our physician will explain the types of abortion procedures that are available at our clinic. Currently, we offer medical abortion and surgical abortion. Details on what to expect with each procedure from preparation to recovery will be discussed. You will have ample opportunity to ask questions and talk about which option is right for you. If you want to learn about termination options prior to your visit, Healthline is a good resource.
After meeting with our physician, a member of our staff will further discuss available termination methods, assist you in scheduling your next day appointment, and give you instructions on how to prepare for your abortion procedure.
How Much Is An Abortion?
You will meet with our financial counselor to discuss payment and billing. If you are covered under a medical insurance plan or program, please bring your policy coverage card and information. Please call our office before your visit with any financial questions or concerns, our staff is available to discuss your billing, payment, and financial assistance options. If you cannot pay for your abortion, in most cases, we can help with funding to cover the abortion cost. Please read our financial assistance page and then call us to discuss your specific needs.
Meeting with a Counselor
On the day of your abortion, you will first meet with a counselor to review what will happen during the procedure, explain abortion aftercare instructions and discuss birth control options. The counselor will discuss relaxation techniques you can use during the appointment and emotional support resources available to you after your visit. This is also an opportunity to talk about your thoughts and feelings about the termination.
Next, a member of our staff will help you prepare for your termination by recording your vital signs and assisting you with comfort measures like lighting and music. Our office is equipped with the things you will need during your visits like robes, blankets, and menstrual pads, but some patients prefer to bring things from home.
For a medical termination (the abortion pill), a staff member will explain how and when you will take the medication at home. We will discuss what you can expect to experience physically (like cramping and bleeding), and suggest comfort measures you can use if you feel discomfort. After we administer the first —-dose of medication in our office, you will be able to go home or return to work.
If you are having a surgical abortion, we will administer any medications you have chosen to aid in pain management and relaxation. You will be given detailed instructions on post-surgical care, monitoring, and comfort measures. Though the surgical procedure itself usually only lasts about 7 minutes, post-procedure monitoring can continue for about an hour.
Before you leave our office, we will schedule any necessary follow-up appointments, and provide you with our contact information. Our staff is available if you have questions, concerns, or need emotional support after you are home.
It is important that you make time to take care of yourself once you get home. We suggest you take time to rest and recuperate. Though everyone is different, you can expect to experience some discharge and cramping after both a medical and surgical abortion procedure, we recommend you prepare by having a supply of pads and ibuprofen at home. You may also find it helpful to use a heating pad for cramping.
When you are ready to schedule an abortion consultation, you can submit a request online. Please call our office if you have additional questions about appointment scheduling.
We want you to feel confident in your choice, please talk with our staff if we can offer any assistance or support that may help you through this process. We have more details regarding the termination procedures, what to expect at your visits, and our office policies and practices on our website.