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Abortion Care

Abortion is legal in Northern Ireland and a confidential, free service is available in all trusts. We offer early medical abortion and surgical abortion under local anaesthetic up to 11 weeks and six days of pregnancy through the Rose Clinic based in College Street, Sexual & Reproductive Health Clinic.

If you are more than 12 weeks pregnant we can offer an initial telephone consultation and assessment and refer to the Tulip Service in South Eastern Trust. Please see further information here.

We accept referrals through the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS). Please complete the online BPAS self-referral form if you are sure of your decision and have had a positive pregnancy test.

Click here to contact BPAS or alternatively, call 03457 30 40 30

If you are undecided and would like counselling/support please contact:

When the Rose Clinic has received a referral, you will be contacted to arrange a telephone consultation within five working days. Our team of midwives and doctors will discuss your options and assess your suitability for treatment.

Please note pregnancy is dated from the first day of your last period or by ultrasound scan. Pregnancy tests stating 1-3 weeks pregnant are misleading and only an estimate from time of conception (3 weeks is the maximum reading obtained regardless of how many weeks pregnant you are).

  • What is a medical abortion?

    Medical abortion up to 9 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy involves taking medication. Only one tablet Mifepristone in clinic and the second part of treatment Misoprostol (4 tablets inserted vaginally or dissolved in your mouth) at home, 24-48 hours later. Over 8 weeks of pregnancy, you may need a repeat dose of Misoprostol, 4 hours later.

    You may experience some bleeding or cramps after the first tablet but it is still important to complete the treatment at home.

    Once you take the Misoprostol at home you will experience cramps and bleeding within usually 4 hours. Sometimes it is a gradual process and it is common to have mild cramps and bleeding for a few weeks after. Further information will be provided in a patient information leaflet.

    If you are over 9 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, you can have a medical abortion if you do not wish a surgical procedure. However, you need to take both parts of the treatment in the clinic so at least 2 visits will be required 24-48 hours apart and you will need to go home immediately after the second part of treatment is administered as bleeding can start quickly. There is a higher failure rate at this gestation and you may need further Misoprostol doses or a surgical procedure to complete the abortion.

    No routine follow-up is needed after medical abortion but we give you a low sensitivity pregnancy test to do 3 weeks later to confirm the treatment has worked.

    An ultrasound scan is not routinely performed but may be needed if there is uncertainty of your dates, you got pregnant on contraceptive pills or are at risk of an ectopic pregnancy. You do not have to see the scan. We provide you with a mobile number for support/advice during clinic hours.

  • What is a surgical abortion?

    In the Rose Clinic, we offer a procedure called Vacuum Aspiration (MVA or EVA), up to 11 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy under local anaesthetic. This involves inserting an instrument called a speculum into your vagina (same as for smear/coil).

    Local anaesthetic is injected into the neck of your womb (cervix), then a small tube is then passed through your cervix into your womb and attached to a suction machine or syringe.

    The pregnancy tissue is then gently removed through the tube under ultrasound guidance and the procedure takes approximately 15-20 minutes but you can expect to be in the clinic for a couple of hours.

    You attend the clinic 24-48 hours before the procedure for a scan and medication to prepare the neck of the womb. You will also be offered a blood test to check your blood group and tests for sexually transmitted infections. The midwife or doctor will explain the procedure to you and ask you to sign a consent form. An information leaflet will be provided, and contraception discussed if you wish.

  • I am unsure whether I want a medical or surgical abortion - how can I decide?

    The team within the Rose Clinic will give you as much information as possible to help you decide what is right for you.

    For a useful decision-making aid, comparing medical and surgical abortions, click here.

  • Contraception

    You can get pregnant again soon after an abortion, so it is important to start using contraception immediately after.

    We can provide pills/implant/injection/condoms at the time of your treatment and arrange coil insertion once your pregnancy test is negative.

    If you have a surgical abortion, you can have a coil fitted immediately as part of the procedure.

  • Safe Access Zones

    Safe Access Zones have been established under NI Assembly legislation to protect women and girls accessing abortion services, information, advice and counselling, and protect staff working at these locations.

    It is illegal for them to be impeded, recorded, influenced or to be caused harassment, alarm or distress within the Zones.

    The Safe Access Zones apply to Rose Clinic, College Street, and Bradbury Wellbeing and Treatment Centre. The Zones will only apply to the strictly designated public space areas and do not apply to private properties.

    Map demonstrating the safe access zone at College Street, Belfast.Map demonstrating the safe access zone at Bradbury Wellbeing and Treatment Centre, Belfast


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