Is this confidential?
Absolutely. We do not give out any information about you to anyone or acknowledge that you have been to our clinic without your permission. We will only contact you in the manner in which you tell us to.
How long will it take?
You will see the doctor or nurse practitioner for a consult on a Tuesday morning. This appointment last 30 to 60 minutes. If you decide to have a procedure, these are done every second Wednesday. If you live outside Whitehorse, we try to book you on a week when you can have a consult done on Tuesday and the procedure the next day.
Aspiration abortion: Most procedures take 5 to 15 minutes, but you will be in the hospital for 2 to 3 hours. There is no follow up required after an aspiration abortion.
Medication abortion is a longer process. You will take the first medication ideally at your appointment and the second medication 24 to 48 hours later at home. The abortion usually starts 1 to 4 hours after you take the second medication. Follow up is required to ensure the pregnancy has ended. This will be discussed this with you.
Do I need a referral?
No, you do not need a referral but if you have seen a doctor or nurse and had an ultrasound or blood tests please tell us.
Do you provide culturally safe and competent care to Indigenous people?
We acknowledge that we live and work on the Traditional Territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. We are committed to understanding Canada’s history of colonization and to meaningfully use that knowledge to improve the health care services we deliver.
Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit people can also access First Nations Health (FNH) at Whitehorse General Hospital for support during your appointment or on the day of the procedure. FNH can also provide NIHB navigation if required. Should you wish to have FNH involved please ask your nurse practitioner or physician or call (867) 393-8780.
Will it hurt?
Aspiration abortion: Before the procedure begins, you will have an IV inserted and will be given medication to help you relax and to help with pain. You will be sedated but you will not be totally asleep. A local anesthetic is also administered to the cervix. Some people will still have menstrual-type cramps during the procedure and these cramps can continue for an hour or more. While you might experience some discomfort during or after the procedure, most people find that it is controllable and does not last very long. (Some people elect to have the procedure without sedation and do so without any problems.)
Medication abortion: You may or may not experience cramping or bleeding after taking the first medication (mifepristone) at the clinic. After you take the second medication (misoprostol) at home 24 to 48 hours later, you will experience further cramping and bleeding. Cramps may be severe for a few hours and may continue intermittently for up to 6 weeks. Over-the-counter pain medication can help.
How safe is abortion?
Since legalization, abortion has become one of the safest surgical procedures available. In the first three months (first trimester) of pregnancy, 97 percent of people report no complications, 2.5 percent report minor problems that can be handled in a doctor’s office and less than 0.5 percent require hospitalization for complications. To put this in perspective, abortion is at least 10 times safer than pregnancy and childbirth. Complication rates are a little higher in the second trimester, but the procedure remains very safe.
Do I need parental consent?
No. Consent in Yukon is based on capacity, not age. Capacity means that if the physician or nurse practitioner feels you understand the procedure and its risks, you may sign your own consent form.
Can I have someone with me?
You can have a support person with you for the consult.
If you are having an aspiration abortion, you will be required to arrange for a ride home or take a taxi. You cannot operate a vehicle for 24 hours as you are considered legally impaired. Your driver can wait in the parking lot or return later to pick you up.
When can I go back to work?
Aspiration abortion: Most people return to work or school the next day. We recommend that you do not do anything strenuous for 24 hours. The medications that you are given during the procedure can impair your judgment for up to 24 hours after your procedure. You cannot drive or engage in any activity that requires mental alertness for 24 hours after the procedure. Therefore, depending on the type of work you do, you may have to arrange for time off.
Medication abortion: You can return to work after taking the first medication (mifepristone). When you take the second medication at home 24 to 48 hours later, it will initiate bleeding and cramping within 1 to 4 hours. Bleeding can be heavy for some time. Depending on the time of day you take it and how you manage it, you may want to take time off work on that day.
How much does it cost?
All costs are covered if you have a valid Yukon Health Care Insurance card.
If you are from another province (except Quebec) or territory and have a valid health care card, your costs are covered. People from Quebec will need to pay the physician fees and then get reimbursement from the Quebec health care system. If you are a Canadian without coverage or a non-resident then there are costs for physician services and the hospital. Call us if you have questions.