This page gives you information about termination of pregnancy, or abortion in Newcastle.
You can find out about the free, rapid access services that are available to you, all of which are conveniently located in the centre of Newcastle.
You’ve made a decision. What happens now?
Call us as soon as you can
The legal limit for abortion in this country is 24 weeks and so time is very important. An early appointment helps us to talk through all the treatment options available to you. We can then plan the treatment of your choice as quickly as possible.
If you do choose not to continue with your pregnancy, we can support your decision up to 20 weeks.
You may not know how many weeks pregnant you are. we will scan you in clinic and confirm this for you. To help us get a clear picture when we scan you, please try to have a full bladder when you come to the clinic.
Patient information during COVID-19 pandemic
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have changed the initial assessment of women requesting abortion to a telephone consultation.
During the consultation you will be asked questions about your circumstances and your health.
You will now be offered a telephone consultation with an experienced nurse practitioner. Consultations last approximately 20 minutes.
You will be asked about the date of your last period and the date of any pregnancy tests.
If you take any treatment it is important to have information about the name and dose of the drug(s) to discuss during your consultation.
We request that you are available during your allocated appointment time so we can discuss a treatment plan with you.
If you wish to access this service you can call our Appointment Line on 0191 2829300 where you will be met by a Voicemail Service. You will be asked to leave as much information as possible (including: Your Name, your date of birth, the best contact telephone number, your last menstrual period date and a brief message). Your call will then be triaged by a clinician to assess your individual circumstances and then a member of the admin team will aim to call you back within the next 2 working days (48 hours) to book the appointment with you.
Please note: The number we call you back on is a withheld number
We will send you two information leaflets by e-mail. The first leaflet explains the benefits and risks of the abortion methods available at Newcastle Hospitals.
The second leaflet explains the choices of contraceptive method available if you proceed with the abortion. Please read both of these leaflets.
You may find it useful to write down any questions you have which can be discussed during your telephone consultation.
At the end of the consultation you will be asked to make a decision about your preferred method of abortion. We will also ask about your preferred method of contraception.
If you decide to proceed
If you decide to proceed with the abortion you will be given a date to attend for the procedure. We aim to arrange this within 7 working days.
You may require an ultrasound scan before we can offer a date for the abortion. We will arrange this with you.
You may need to have a scan on the day you attend for the abortion; this is to check the procedure is appropriate.
If you are unsure whether to proceed with the abortion we can arrange a second consultation to give you more time to decide.
We are not able to offer an abortion if you are 20 weeks (5 months) or over at the time of the planned procedure. In this circumstance we will offer you a referral to another provider.
You will have a scan to confirm how many weeks pregnant you are, usually an abdominal scan. You may also need a transvaginal scan (an ultrasound scan to examine inside your vagina).
During the abdominal scan, one of our nurses will place the scanner on your stomach; this transfers pictures of the pregnancy to the scan machine. During a transvaginal scan, the nurse will put a small probe into your vagina.
Try not to worry – our nurses will explain all about the procedure before asking for your consent. We will respect your privacy and dignity throughout your examination.
The nurse practitioner will then discuss treatment options with you. She will also need to take some blood samples and discuss future contraception plans with you.
If you are sure
If you are sure you do not wish to continue with the pregnancy, the appropriate treatment options will be discussed with you.
Please note that the procedure is not carried out during your first visit.
When the best option for you has been agreed, the nurse practitioner will give you a full explanation of what to expect, discuss a suitable date for you to come in to hospital and what you should bring with you.
We will arrange for you to come in to a safe and supportive environment where our specially trained nurses and doctors will look after you.
If you are unsure
If you feel unsure during your appointment, or the nurse practitioner feels you are not completely confident about your decision, they may advise you to see a counsellor.
We can arrange this for you and, following this appointment, we will continue to support your decision – whatever you decide.
We will ask you to seek support from a family member or your partner, but remember we will always remain confidential and if for any reason we need to contact anyone regarding your treatment, we will discuss this with you first.
How many weeks pregnant you are will determine what kind of treatment we can offer you. Your options will be discussed in full with the nurse practitioner to help you make a clear and informed decision. Here are details of the treatments we can offer according to the week of the pregnancy:
1. Up to 9 weeks – early medical abortion
An early medical abortion or the ‘abortion pill’ is available up to 9 weeks of pregnancy and provides an alternative to surgery. Two different medicines are used to cause the pregnancy to abort. Three or four visits are needed to complete the procedure.
Please note that not all women are suitable for this treatment – we will discuss your medical history first to see if an early medical abortion is the right option for you.
There is also an option for termination of pregnancy at home.
2. 9 to 20 weeks – medical abortion
Between 9 and 20 weeks of pregnancy you can still have a medical abortion. As described previously two different medicines are given but closer together and so you may require an overnight stay in hospital. Our nurse practitioner will give you more details during your initial appointment.
3. Up to 12 weeks – early surgical abortion
Up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, an early surgical abortion can be performed. This involves gentle suction to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. The procedure is quick and simple to perform, taking no longer than 5 minutes and a general anaesthetic is not always required. Again, our nurse practitioner will discuss details of this treatment option with you.
4. 13 to 20 weeks – surgical abortion
Between 13 and 20 weeks of pregnancy a surgical abortion can still be performed although the procedure will take a bit longer – around 10 to 15 minutes, as the cervix (the opening of the uterus) will need to be dilated (opened). A general anaesthetic or sedation is recommended for this part of the procedure.
If the pregnancy is beyond 15 weeks extra medication may be required to prepare the cervix for the procedure.
We may not be able to offer you an abortion beyond 19 weeks. As we confirm your pregnancy by ultrasound scan, we can still see you if you are unsure of your exact dates.
We will scan you and if we cannot support you, we will, with your permission, liaise with British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) who can offer an NHS funded late abortion (up to 24 weeks).
Contact BPAS 08457 30 40 30 (24hrs) British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) for more information.
Should you have any questions about what happens following treatment, please ask your Nurse Practitioner.
For free, confidential sexual health service and advice, including pregnancy decision making and emergency contraception, contact the NHS contraceptive and sexual health service, at the New Croft Centre in Newcastle.
If you wish to access this service you can call our Appointment Line on 0191 282 9300 where you will be met by a Voicemail Service. You will be asked to leave as much information as possible (including: Your Name, your date of birth, the best contact telephone number, your last menstrual period date and a brief message). Your call will then be triaged by a clinician to assess your individual circumstances and then a member of the admin team will aim to call you back within the next 2 working days (48 hours) to book the appointment with you.
Please note: The number we call you back on is a withheld number