Services are available by appointment only. Pregnancy terminations are performed up to 18 weeks of pregnancy. Only one visit to the clinic is required for the first trimester procedure, including counselling and ultrasound. Second trimester pregnancy terminations (between 14 and 18 weeks) require preparation and may require one or two pre-procedure visits.
A first trimester procedure takes about 20 minutes, and this includes preparation, the gynaecological exam, some preliminary tests, and administering medication. The actual procedure usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes. The total time at the clinic, including the recovery period, is on average 2.5 hours. A second trimester procedure takes about 30 minutes, including preparation time. On average, the total time at the clinic is 3-4 hours.
The procedure is done under local anaesthetic. Nitrous oxide gas and intravenous narcotics are offered for optimal comfort. It is preferable to be accompanied for the return home. Driving after the procedure is not permitted, for 24 hours.
Our team of doctors and nurses is made up entirely of women. Our doctors have many years of experience in women’s health and abortion provision, and our support team is equally specialised and committed to excellence in women’s health care.
Pregnancy termination may be contraindicated in an out-patient facility with certain health problems. It is important that all relevant medical history be provided to us.
Our doctors are available to see our clients for a follow-up visit if necessary.
Surgical vs medical abortion : Comparative table
|Surgical abortion||Medical abortion|
|Can be done at how many weeks at our clinic?||5.0 to 18.0* weeks**||Maximum of 9.0 weeks**|
|How?||Dilation, suction, and curettage by a doctor||1 pill (Mifepristone);
4 pills (Misoprostol) 24-48 hours after
|Where? And how many visits?||At the clinic; 1 visit||At the clinic (1 visit) and at home; 1 blood test two weeks later|
|How long does it take?||A few minutes (average 5-7 minutes); sometimes longer||From 2-6 hours after the 2nd medication (Misoprostol); sometimes longer|
|Success rate?||More than 99%||95.2%-98%|
|Do I need to be accompanied?||Ideally for the return home.||Strongly recommended to have support at home when you take the 2nd medication (Misoprostol).|
|Days off from work/school||Day of the procedure; sometimes more||Day you take the second medication (Misoprostol); sometimes more|
|Pain during procedure?
|Generally mild to moderate, sometimes more severe. Done with local anesthesia and intravenous medication for pain and anxiety||Generally moderate to strong, sometimes more severe; can last a few hours after taking Misoprostol. Treated with oral pain medications|
|Bleeding?||None or light to moderate for up to 3 weeks||Moderate to severe in the beginning with lighter bleeding for up to 3 weeks after, sometimes longer|
|Side effets of medication||Possibly nausea, drowsiness; rarely, vomiting||Nausea, chills;
rarely: vomiting, diarrhea
|Advantages||Fast; presence of medical staff||Being at home may seem more comforting and more private|
*If your pregnancy is more than 18 weeks, you can be refered to another clinic.
**Accoding to our ultrasound.
Many women feel that abortion is the best option for them, but hesitate because of concerns regarding the medical procedure. Following are the questions we hear most often, with our answers supported by careful research. It is important to underline that anti-choice groups, intent on preventing abortions, have spent a lot of money supporting research that will make abortion appear unsafe and their money also goes into the dissemination of this false information. You may come across this information and be worried. Pro-choice groups have looked at the available research and support findings published by unbiased researchers. We use these findings to answer women’s questions.
Link to a pro-choice organization
Fee for surgical abortion
To make an appointment
Before making an appointment you should do a urine pregnancy test to confirm that you are pregnant. This test can be done at home, at a pharmacy, or at the doctor’s office. When you call to book the appointment, we will need certain information. Please have the following information at hand when you call.
Please have the following information at hand :
- Name and birth date of the person requiring the appointment, as well as a telephone number at which we can leave a message
- The date of the last period
- Pertinent medical history related to chronic illnesses (epilepsy, diabetes, cardiac problems, or bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand’s)
- History of asthma (we will ask that you bring your pump with you)
- Allergies to medication (know which medication if possible)
- Names of any medication that is currently being taken (know the names of the medication)
Information for the day of the appointment : preparation
We will ask you to :
- do not eat and/or drink anything as of 3 hours before your appointment
- bring all pertinent documents (an ultrasound report if you have one)
- be accompanied by someone for the return home
- plan to be at the clinic for about 2½ hours
- not drive, work, or supervise children for 24 hours following the procedure (if you are at the clinic for laminaria insertion, these indications are from the beginning of the 1st appointment until 24 hours after the procedure)
- abstain from drinking alcohol 24 hours before and after the procedure
- abstain from taking recreational drugs 24 hours before and after the procedure
- confirm your appointment three week days before
- present your valid Québec medicare card (RAMQ) at the reception
- present photo ID if you do not have a medicare card. We will ask the person coming with you to do the same for security reasons (medicare card, Canadian driver’s licence or passport)
Directions to the Morgentaler clinic
Our telephone number is 514.844.4844
Our toll-free number is 1.888.401.4844
The clinic is located on St-Hubert Street, close to the Crémazie metro station.
Indoor parking available: $
Information about the procedure
The stay at the clinic will last about 2.5 hours. If you are coming initially for a laminaria insertion (in the case of a second trimester procedure) your first visit will be about two hours. The time required includes filling out your medical file, admission, counselling, blood tests, and the ultrasound, as well as a recovery period.
The woman presents her medicare card or other valid ID at reception to have access to the clinic. The person accompanying her also provides photo ID. No one is allowed to wait inside the clinic without valid ID. The client fills out her medical file and is given information about the procedure. She meets the nurse/counsellor alone to review her file, unless she requires the assistance of a translator. The nurse/counsellor does preliminary tests and proceeds with the ultrasound to be able to determine the number of weeks of pregnancy. The woman will have an opportunity to discuss contraceptive methods or if she wishes. She signs the consent for the abortion before proceeding.
Another nurse prepares the procedure room and accompanies the woman to the room to prepare her for the procedure. The waiting time between the ultrasound and the procedure is usually about ten minutes to half an hour, depending on how the day is going.
The doctor reviews the medical history and begins with a modified gynaecological exam. She will not do a Pap test, but will take a swab for chlamydia and gonorrhea screening. As well as using a local anaesthetic, we offer an intravenous narcotic analgesic (fentanyl or Sublimaze) and other analgesics or anxiolytics. A first trimester procedure or a laminaria tent insertion takes about 10 minutes.
Laboratory analyses are done at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital or at St.-Luc Hospital. Women with the Rh negative factor receive an injection of the WinRho SD immunoglobulin to protect future pregnancies.
When the procedure is finished the woman is accompanied to the recovery room where another nurse takes care of her. The woman stays a minimum of one hour after she has received the narcotic medication, under the surveillance of qualified personnel. Women who have had a second trimester procedure may stay longer so that we are able to evaluate their bleeding. The woman receives information about what usually happens in the days following the abortion procedure, as well as contraception information. Some contraceptive samples are available at the clinic. The woman may be given a prescription or antibiotic medication to prevent or treat an infection. The client is discharged when she is stable. Driving in the 24 hours following the procedure is strictly prohibited.
Our post-abortion service
Please read the following information and instructions carefully. This will give you information about the next few weeks, and will give you an idea as to what is normal, what to expect and what to do if a problem / concern arises. Our clinic staff is available to answer any questions. We would prefer that you call the clinic first if you have any questions or concerns as we specialize in abortions.
Complications are very rare. We are open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but a doctor is not always present at the clinic. If you have a concern, please call the clinic if it is within office hours. Call the after-hours line if you need to speak with a nurse in the evening or on the weekend. You can reach us by phone 24 hours a day for urgent questions. If the emergency requires a rapid intervention, please go to the emergency room of your local hospital.
If you call the after-hours number, please leave a clear numeric message with your phone number (including area code), and stay by the phone, keeping the line clear. If you don’t hear from the nurse in a half hour, call again.
We ask that you keep the instruction sheet we will give you in the recovery room as a reference. All information you give us remains confidential; your health and privacy are important to us.
Every woman and every pregnancy is different. Bleeding after an abortion also varies; some women have no bleeding at all after an abortion (common with small pregnancies), while some may bleed immediately and for 3-4 weeks, rarely more.
Intermittent bleeding (bleeding on and off), blood clots, pinkish tissue, and clear or brownish discharge are normal. Bleeding may also be heavier after exercise. Some bleed immediately and for two to three weeks, or have periods of bleeding off and on. Bleeding usually increases three to four days after the abortion due to normal changes. It is normal to pass clots when rising in the morning, when sitting on the toilet, or when doing strenuous activity. It is also normal to have brown, clear or bright red discharge. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, lifting heavy objects, or taking medication such as Aspirin may increase bleeding, and should be avoided.
Bleeding that is not normal after an abortion would soak through several maxi pads in one hour or soak through one maxi pad every half hour for more than two to three hours. If this should happen, please call the clinic.
If bleeding is heavy, it is helpful to lie down for a while and put up your feet; increased bleeding may happen after a short period of increased activity, exercise etc. Wearing sanitary pads may sometimes make it seem that there is more bleeding than normal. If you are concerned, call the clinic at the numbers in the instructions.
Cramping after an abortion is normal. The uterus was enlarged and is returning to its normal size. Cramping can occur off and on for two to three weeks after the procedure, and may be worse than period cramps. Many women complain of increasing cramps on the third or fourth day after the abortion and when they pass clots. Some women do not have cramps. Some have a feeling of pressure in their lower abdomen or pain in their lower back or inner thighs. This is normal.
To ease the cramps
- take one or two tablets (400mg total) of Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) every 4-6 hours.
- Triatec 8 (Tylenol with codeine) is available over the counter and may be taken as one or two tablets every 4 hours, as long as you are not allergic to codeine
- if you usually take Anaprox, ask our doctor for a prescription
Other things that may be helpful are :
- a heating pad on the sore area
- drinking warm fluids
- walking around
- bringing knees to chest with hips up, and changing position frequently
If all this does not relieve the cramps, please call us.
The cervix may remain slightly open for a few days after the abortion - anything put into the vagina may cause an infection. We recommend that for one week you follow these instructions :
- no tampons ; use only sanitary pads
- no sexual intercourse with penetration
- no swimming in public pools, no hot tubs or Jacuzzis, no vaginal douching
- no tub baths ; showers only if you had a second trimester (i.e. 14 weeks or more) pregnancy
If you were to develop a uterine infection, it would most likely occur two to three days after the abortion. Infections that are detected early can be treated easily and effectively, often with oral antibiotics. The usual signs of infection may include fever (of 38°C or more), lower abdominal tenderness, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
We may prescribe antibiotics to take after the procedure : Doxycycline / metronidazole / amoxicillin/ azithromycin are antibiotics to prevent infection and should be taken as directed.
Misoprostol may be given to help contract the uterus and decrease bleeding. It may cause increased cramping, and it may be helpful to take Triatec or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) with the medication.
There are a few hormonal changes that occur immediately after an abortion that lead to a syndrome we see with most women, and this is a normal part of the post-abortion period.
Commonly, women have little to no bleeding for the first two or three days following the procedure; the cramping usually returns by day 3. Usually on the fourth or fifth day after the procedure the cramping gets worse and bleeding becomes heavier, often accompanied by clotting. Abdominal bloating and breast tenderness often get worse and do not go away entirely for up to two weeks. Women who had a second trimester pregnancy may have discharge from their nipples. There is no medical treatment for this and we recommend that women not squeeze their nipples to relieve the discomfort. Comfort measures include taking an anti-inflammatory and using cold compresses. The body temperature increases slightly (to 38°C) for 24 hours and it is normal to feel feverish or have chills. Women sometimes feel a bit depressed around this time and some say they feel like crying. It can be good to rest, treat the symptoms as suggested above, and wait for them to pass. The syndrome usually lasts for 48 hours.
Most symptoms disappear within a week. Nausea is the first to go, usually within 24 hours. Some women find that their breasts become painfully swollen and hard, and some women have discharge. This eases after several days and is usually gone within two weeks. You should not squeeze or massage the breasts as this makes it worse. Wearing a snug support bra, putting ice packs on for 10-20 minutes a few times daily and taking Tylenol may ease discomfort. Abdominal bloating also gets worse in the first week and resolves after two weeks.
Some women return to work or school the day of their abortion. Some take it easy for the rest of the day. Most feel better after a good meal. We recommend waiting a few days before resuming more strenuous activity such as high impact fitness activities. Respect your limits.
Some women are ready to resume sexual activity right away and some find it takes a few weeks to become comfortable again with penetration. Women sometimes experience cramping or bleeding with intercourse in the first month or two, and this is normal. Listen to your body and your needs. It is important to remember that fertility returns within 7 to 10 days, even if there is bleeding.
It is possible to get pregnant as early as 7-10 days after the abortion. We will help to provide and review instructions for the contraceptive method chosen. We recommend that couples always use a condom if no other method is used; we do not recommend withdrawal or the calendar method as effective modes of contraception as ovulation can occur spontaneously at any time. The condom must be used with spermicide (or with diaphragm and spermicide) to have 98% effectiveness.
We are usually able to supply a sample of the birth control pill, the contraceptive patch or the Nuva-Ring if this method is chosen. The first pill should be taken on the first Sunday following the procedure whether there is bleeding or not, and the patch is also on the first Sunday after. Depo-provera by injection is available here. The IUD or Mirena system may be inserted three weeks after the procedure. Emergency contraception (Plan B) is available at the pharmacy without a prescription.
Sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV, chlamydia, genital warts, gonorrhoea, etc. are spread during sexual intercourse. Most contraceptive methods, such as the contraceptive pill, do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections; only condoms provide this protection. Safe sex is a sign of respect, not distrust.
A routine post-abortion check-up is not required if all goes well. We ask you to do a urine pregnancy test 3 weeks after the procedure if your pregnancy was at 6 weeks or less and four weeks after if you were more than 6 weeks pregnant. A urine test may give you a positive result as it takes 3 to 4 weeks for the hormones to disappear. To avoid the possibility of complications, we ask you to call us in the event of a positive result. If you are worried about something, if you have questions, if you would like to discuss contraception or if there seems to be a problem, we ask you to call us to make an appointment or to speak to a nurse.
It is impossible to predict when the next period will be. Most women will have a period in 4 - 8 weeks, some later. Often with the first period women have heavier cramps than usual, heavy bleeding, clotting, clear or brownish discharge, and some women expel pink or white tissue. The first period often lasts longer, sometimes up to two weeks. All this is normal.
We will ask you to avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours after the procedure to prevent adverse reactions to the medication we give you.
Women of childbearing age who are not immunised against the rubella virus (German measles) should see their doctor or a community health centre to get the vaccine.
It is normal to have some feelings, perhaps strong ones, after the abortion. There may be a sense of relief following the stress of the decision and the procedure. However, it is not uncommon for a woman to have some sense of loss and feelings of sadness. It helps to share these feelings with someone close.
Sometimes a woman can experience feelings which seem beyond her control. She may even find herself depressed or angry to the point of crying. These reactions can be normal for the first week or so, but if they last longer or are very disturbing, talking to a counsellor here or getting a referral for post-abortion counselling may be necessary.