Step by Step Guide

05 January update

To protect your health and wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic, the HSE has changed the way we provide abortion care.  On this page you’ll find everything you need to know.

Make an appointment

Call one of our clinics to make an appointment. The receptionist will tell you the times and dates of your first and second consultations with a doctor. Your first consultation will be by phone and your second consultation will be in the clinic.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus/COVID-19, are awaiting a test result, or are a close contact of a confirmed or suspected case, you should not come to the clinic.  In this case, both appointments with the doctor will be by phone. You can then nominate someone to collect your Home Care Pack.

Information and support 

If you would like, one of our specialist pregnancy counsellors will phone you and explain the way we are providing abortion care. The counsellor will also send you some information to read before you speak to the doctor. You can talk to the counsellor about any concerns or worries you may have about your abortion care and discuss how we can best support you.

Your first consultation

One of our doctors will contact you by phone at your appointment time. The doctor will ask you about your medical history. She will need to know the date of your last period to calculate how many weeks pregnant you are.

  • If you are less than 9 weeks pregnant, you can have an early medical abortion at home. This means you will take medication to end the pregnancy.
  • If you are between 9 and 12 weeks pregnant, you will need to have the abortion in hospital. The doctor will organise this for you.

The doctor will explain everything you need to know about the abortion process. She will also discuss contraception, if you wish.

When she has all the information about your medical history and your pregnancy, the doctor will decide if you need to have an ultrasound scan to confirm the date of the pregnancy. She will only send you for a scan if it is absolutely necessary.

We cannot provide ultrasound scanning in the IFPA clinic. If you need a scan, the doctor will tell you where you need to go to get an ultrasound scan.

Your second consultation

Your second consultation will usually be in the clinic. To keep you safe, we will keep contact time short.  The doctor will wear an apron, gloves and mask when she sees you. You will also be asked to wear a mask.

The doctor will answer any questions you may have and, if you are ready to proceed, you will take the first pill – Mifegyne 200mg – in the clinic. The doctor will then provide you with your Home Care Pack.

Managing your early medical abortion at home

Step 1

Read the information leaflets carefully before you take the medications in the Home Care Pack.

Step 2

Read the instructions in the paper bag containing your painkillers. Take 3 of the painkillers.

Step 3

The envelope labelled “Second Medication”contains 3 misoprostol (MisoOne) tablets. The IFPA leaflet, Early Medical Abortion Take- Home Pack explains how to take these tablets.

Take 2 misoprostol (MisoOne) tablets between the times given by the doctor. You will experience some pain and bleeding. If you have no pain or bleeding after 4 hours take the third misoprostol (MisoOne) tablet.

If there is still no bleeding the next day, phone the clinic.

After 2 weeks

Pregnancy test 

There is a pregnancy test in your Home Care Pack. Use the test on the date the doctor has written in the Step-by-Step guide.

When you do the test, you should see 1 line only. If you see 2 lines (i.e. the test is positive) or if you still feel pregnant after 2 weeks, phone the clinic immediately.

Follow-up by the IFPA nurse

For the final stage in your care plan, an IFPA nurse will phone you for a check-up. They will answer any questions you may have.

Counselling 

An unintended or crisis pregnancy can cause a lot of different emotions. If you wish, one of our counsellors will phone you a few days after your
abortion to check how you are doing. You can make an appointment with a specialist pregnancy counsellor before, during or after your medical abortion.

Contact us

If you have any problem, phone 1850 49 50 51 to make an appointment

  • IFPA Dublin City Centre 01 872 7088
  • IFPA Tallaght 01 459 7685
  • IFPA Lo-call 1850 49 50 51

Or call the HSE My Options 24-hour helpline: 1800 828 010

Tell us about your experience

The IFPA is carrying out a research study on service-user experiences of accessing our abortion service. You are invited to participate in a confidential one-to-one interview with the researcher. This will help us to design better services and improve quality. Please see ifpa.ie/research for more information.