What can you do to prepare for an abortion procedure (also called in-clinic abortion or surgical abortion)?

ribbon Medically reviewed Aug 2020 by Robin Watkins, CNM, WHNP-BC

If you’re having an abortion procedure, the abortion provider you’re going to should give you specific instructions about what to bring and what to do to prepare for your appointment, but in most cases:

  • Prepare (and bring) a list of all of the medications that you take regularly, including vitamins and supplements, to your counseling appointment and your abortion procedure appointment. 

  • Prepare (and bring) a list of any medical conditions you have. 

  • Discuss which of your medications you should continue to take leading up to your abortion and which (if any) you shouldn’t take. 

  • Don’t take any additional over-the-counter medications, like over-the-counter pain medication, before your appointment, unless your health care provider tells you to. Wear comfortable clothes to your appointment. 

  • If you’ll be getting IV sedation for your abortion procedure, you will need to fast for several hours (your provider will tell you how long) before the procedure. That means no food at all, but clear liquids may be allowed. Talk to someone at the clinic about what you can and can’t eat and drink before your abortion. 

  • Arrange for a support person to pick you up afterwards. If you’re having sedation with your procedure, you won’t be able to drive, take public transportation, or take a cab or other ride service by yourself afterwards and will be required to have someone pick you up.

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