Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions Medical Abortion/Abortion Pill Questions In-Office Procedure Questions
Will I have a male or female doctor?
We have both male and female doctors on staff. Please let your phone counselor know if you wish to schedule with a female physician. They will be able to discuss availability with you.
Does your clinic offer additional sedation?
Our Raleigh, Charlotte, and Atlanta locations offer Deluxe sedation package a heavy conscious sedation package for an additional charge. Please note that we do not put any patients to sleep at any clinic.
What is a D&E?
A D&E is the in-office procedure that APWHC offers. D&E is the term used to explain the dilation and evacuation of the tissue through a suction device.
If I have a tubal or ectopic pregnancy, can I be seen at your clinic for treatment?
Unfortunately not. We ask that you seek immediate care from a hospital.
Is there any birth control that is 100% effective?
There is no contraception or birth control medication that is 100% effective.
Can I use tampons after an abortion?
After the abortion, your cervix will be dilated and easily prone to infection or injury if anything is inserted. Therefore, we recommend that you refrain from having sex, inserting anything vaginally (such as tampons), swimming, or bathing in a tub for at least 2 weeks after the procedure.
I just had the procedure, but I have a yeast infection- what should I do?
You are unable to use Monistat or other OTC insertions to treat the infection for three weeks after a procedure. We suggest calling your primary physician or OB-GYN to obtain a prescription for an oral treatment.
I had my procedure done a week ago- why do I still have a positive pregnancy test?
The pregnancy hormones (Hcg) can still be in your system for up to four weeks after your procedure, therefore causing you to yield a positive result. Because of this, it is important to return for your follow-up visit to complete your care.
Can I eat before the procedure?
Yes! However, we do ask that you avoid heavy or greasy foods.
When can I have sex again?
We recommend that you wait at least 3 weeks, or until you have returned for your follow-up visit, before engaging in intercourse; this is to prevent infection as well as another pregnancy.
Why would I need a Rhogam shot?
Rhogam is offered to patients that have negative (-) blood types. Each time you get pregnant, whether you are going to terminate or carry to term, Rhogam is recommended.
Does it matter how far along I am in the pregnancy if I choose to have an abortion?
Yes. In our North Carolina clinics (located in Charlotte and Raleigh), we can treat patients up to 18.5 weeks. In our Georgia clinics (located in Augusta and Atlanta), we can treat patients up to 12.6 weeks. Please note that this may fluctuate given unavoidable staffing adjustments in our schedules.
Will having an abortion affect my ability to become pregnant in the future?
No. The procedure should not affect a patient’s reproductive ability.
Am I required to come back for my check up after my procedure?
Yes, it is mandatory that you come back for your follow up after the procedure since your health is our number one priority. There is no charge for follow-up care.
Can I always accurately estimate how far along I am in my pregnancy based on my last menstrual period?
While a useful tool, estimation by using a patient’s last menstrual period is not 100% accurate since some women continue to have periods while pregnant.
Can I be put to sleep?
We do not put anyone to sleep at our facility (it helps us to keep our costs low to you, as well as minimizes post-procedure complications. Anesthesia has a much higher complication rate than abortion procedures), but we do offer additional sedation. We do require that you have a driver if you choose to get additional sedation.
Does Medicaid or insurance pay for the procedure?
Medicaid and most insurance companies do not cover the abortion procedure. While we are not an insurance provider, we will be more than happy to supply you with a claim form to turn into your insurance company for reimbursement if applicable.
Do you have payment plans?
We do not offer payment plans but if you need financial help we can help you obtain support from several pro-choice organizations. We accept cash, money orders, and credit/debit cards (VISA, American Express, and MasterCard).
Is an abortion safe and legal?
Abortions have less than a 1% complication rate, making them one of the safest procedures in the United States. Despite laws differing in each state, abortion is legal up through 20 weeks of gestation in North Carolina and up to 23.6 weeks in Georgia.
Do you have private appointments?
Yes, we offer private appointments for an additional charge. If you desire a private appointment, make certain to tell your phone counselor and they will help arrange the best time and location for your care.
Can I drive myself?
Yes, most patients may drive themselves. We ask that patients that are over 14 weeks or who are planning to get additional sedation bring a driver with them.
Do you take walk-ins?
You may walk in for the initial evaluation, labwork, ultrasound, and counseling. If you have not had the 24 hour required counseling, you may return after 24 hours for your procedure. Due to the strict abortion laws, patients have to be counseled 24 hours in advance before you are allowed to have a procedure.
Which procedure is the safest?
Both procedures are extremely safe. It is a personal choice to decide which option is best suited for each patient.
What is the difference between the abortion by pill and the in-office abortion?
The abortion by pill can terminate a pregnancy that is less than 9 weeks gestation by medication alone. The in-office procedure is a medical procedure called dilation and evacuation (D&E) in which the gestation is removed.
What types of services do we offer?
All clinics offer the in-office D&E procedure, the “abortion by pill”, ultrasounds, and pregnancy tests.
Medical Abortion/Abortion Pill
Can I drink alcohol after I take the abortion pill?
No alcohol should not be consumed for at least 24 hours after taking the medication.
Can I take over-the-counter pain medication after taking the abortion pill? If so, what kind?
You can take acetaminophen-based pain relievers (ex: Tylenol). Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen-based medications, such as Bayer aspirin or Motrin.
Why do I have to come back for my follow up visit if I do the pill?
We require that you follow up at our office after taking the abortion pill because there is a 1 in 10 chance that there may be some retained tissue or blood clots. If there are, we will continue treatment at the physician’s discretion at no additional charge.
After taking the abortion pill, how long will I bleed?
Most patients experience bleeding similar to a heavy menstrual cycle for 10-14 days after taking the pill. However, it is common to spot irregularly for up to 4-6 weeks.
How far along can I be to take the abortion pill?
A patient must be no further than 9 weeks to be considered to take the abortion pill.
How does the abortion pill work?
The abortion pill, or “the pill,” is a term used for the medical abortion procedure. After determining your gestational weeks through an ultrasound, you will be given a medication in the office that interrupts the pregnancy. From there, you are sent home with a different medication that will cause you to menstruate and shed your uterine lining, terminating the pregnancy.
If I’m undergoing an in-office procedure, can I go back to work the next day?
Many women are able to return to work the day after their procedure. However, we do suggest that you do not do any heavy lifting (over 5 lbs) or over exert yourself for 2 weeks after your procedure.
What medications are given to patients who choose the in-office procedure?
In-office procedure patients are given oral medications chosen by the physician to prevent possible future infection and to help with cramping. The patient will also receive a local anesthetic before their procedure to numb the cervical area.
On average, how long does the in-office procedure take?
If the patient is under 12 weeks, the procedure itself should take between 5 and 10 minutes. For patients above 12 weeks, it can take a longer amount of time. However, patients should expect to spend approximately 3 to 4 hours at our office, which will allow for counseling, labwork, medical evaluation, and recovery.
Will the in-office procedure hurt?
The in-office procedure can be uncomfortable. However, it is a short procedure and many patients have related the feeling to a pap smear with heavy menstrual cramps.
What is required of any patient over 17 weeks?
The in-office procedure for 17 and 18 week patients is a two-day process. Because of this, we ask that the patient either have hotel accommodations or live within 30 minutes of the clinic. We also require that these patients have a driver that will be with them overnight and present at the clinic.