What To Expect At An Appointment in Alachua County, FL
We offer abortion services on specific days and times of the week and you will need to call the office to schedule an appointment. Abortion services are available throughout Northeast Florida including Gainesville, Palatka, Ocala, and Tallahassee as well as Lake City, Crystal River, and Southern Georgia. If you are in an area where you are unsure where to seek abortion care, please call the office and we can help you find a clinic closest to you. If you are traveling and need assistance with directions, accommodations, or funding assistance for travel, please call the office so we can assist you.
On the day of your first appointment:
- Bring an ID (driver’s license, passport, or State ID) – we must have proof of age to comply with Florida’s Parental Consent law for minors. If you don’t have an ID, please call the office so we can discuss other options for ID.
- Please leave your cell phone in your car.
You will fill out paperwork, receive labwork (BP, pulse, temperature, iron count, and RH typing), have an ultrasound, and then meet with a Patient Advocate and the Physician. The Physician will inform you about the procedure and discuss the risks, your ultrasound and lab results, anesthesia options, aftercare, and birth control. They will also address any and all questions or concerns that you may have. We will send you home with your return appointment date and time. The first appointment generally takes about 2 hours.
On the day of your second appointment:
For Medication Abortions:
You will meet with a Patient Advocate and the Physician. They will address and answer any questions or concerns you may have. You will be given the first medication (Mifepristone) in the office and sent home with the second set of medications (misoprostol), prescriptions, aftercare information, and your check-up appointment information. This appointment should take about an hour.
For Surgical Abortions:
- Don’t eat any food 2 hours before your appointment.
- Wear a comfortable, 2-piece outfit, and underwear you can put a pad in.
- If you plan to use any sedation, you must have a driver with you.
After you check in, you will meet with a Patient Advocate and then the Physician. They will address and answer any questions you may have, discuss your sedation options, confirm your driver (if using sedation), and prepare you for the procedure. Once the procedure is completed you will be escorted into the recovery room where we will offer you drinks and snacks if you are hungry. Before you leave, we will go over your aftercare instructions again and make sure you have your take home information and medications. Your second appointment will take 2-4 hours.
Every patient receives a local anesthetic. The Physician will use pain preventing medication (Lidocaine, Novocain – the same medication you may receive when you go to the dentist) on your cervix to numb it. Some people have their procedure only using the local anesthesia. If you only use the local, you should expect to feel moderate to heavy cramping during the procedure. As long as you have a driver you can also choose to have:
- IV sedation – Intravenous or “conscious sedation” is a combination of medicines to help you relax (a sedative) and to block pain (an anesthetic) during the surgical procedure. IV sedation will make you feel very sleepy and relaxed and you may not remember the procedure afterward
- Oral sedation – a sedative in pill form to help you feel relaxed and calm.
You can use any of these anesthesia options or none of them. The Physician will answer any questions you have about these options and you can decide which one is best for you on the day of your procedure.
It is important for us to know how far into the pregnancy you are so that we can provide a safe and effective procedure. Every patient will receive an ultrasound or sonogram. An ultrasound uses sound waves to view the pelvic area and does not hurt.
We will check your temperature, blood pressure, and pulse. We will also take a small sample of blood from your finger to test your iron and to determine if you have a negative or positive blood type.
Blood Type / RH Factor
Women who have a negative blood type/are Rh negative will need an injection of Rhogam after an abortion. Rhogam will prevent antibodies from forming in your blood that would cause problems with future pregnancies or blood transfusions. There is an additional charge for this injection.
It is important to take care of yourself after a procedure. We’d like you to refrain from intercourse or using tampons for one week after your procedure (surgical or RU-486). We will give you an Aftercare Instruction sheet to take home with you that will describe how to care for yourself, any complications that may arise, and how to contact us if they do arise. We have an on-call Nurse 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns. Check-up appointments are always available for surgical procedures and are required for RU-486 procedures.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, bank drafts or cash. We do not accept personal checks and we are not able to offer payment plans. If you need assistance with payment, please call the office so we can discuss funding options and resources.