The following information will help prepare you for an abortion with us.
Before Your Visit | Abortion Services
Be prepared for your appointment! In order to save time on the day of your abortion procedure, you may complete the necessary lab work and paperwork in advance by receiving the required advance ultrasound at our center. You may also schedule an Options Counseling session to discuss your feelings about this pregnancy. Ask one of our Health Educators for more information.
On the day of your ultrasound appointment:
Due to new Virginia legislation, all abortion care patients must receive an ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion procedure is performed. You can receive your ultrasound at Falls Church Healthcare Center, or at an alternate doctor's office. If you receive your ultrasound with a different doctor, you must have that doctor complete and sign this form.
Use our Appointment Scheduler or call us at (703) 532-2500 to schedule your ultrasound appointment. Your insurance copay, co-insurance, or any unmet deductible fees will be due at this first appointment, and another copay or co-insurance will be due on the day of the abortion procedure (as required by all insurance carriers). If you are paying for the abortion out of pocket, $175 is due for the ultrasound, and the balance is due the day of the abortion procedure. Call the center or check our list of accepted Insurance Carriers to see if abortion care is covered by your plan.
On the day of your abortion procedure:
Please arrive promptly at your scheduled appointment registration time and plan to be at the center for 3 hours.
- Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing and low or flat heeled shoes. You may want to bring a light sweater.
- Surgical Abortion patients:
- DO NOT eat, drink, or chew gum 6 hours prior to your appointment (full NPO).
- Please bring someone with you to drive you home for your maximum comfort. If this is not possible speak to our Health Educators about special arrangements.
- Please wear full underwear that will support a pad.
- Medical Abortion (Abortion Pill) patients: Please bring your medications if asthmatic, diabetic, or have other medical conditions and notify us of any major medical conditions when you schedule your appointment.
- For your convenience and to preserve your options, we recommend that you follow the same NPO and ride restrictions as surgical patients; then if you choose to switch to surgery the day of your appointment you will be able to continue. If you have eaten or have no ride home, you may need to reschedule your appointment.
- You may bring someone with you if you like or drive yourself home.
- You may eat a light meal up to 1 hour before your appointment.
- If using Insurance or plan to pay with a check please bring your photo ID and Insurance card.
What happens during my appointment(s)?
If you are receiving the Virginia mandated ultrasound at our center, the registration process will take place on the first day of your appointment. We will then schedule the second day of your appointment, the abortion procedure, at a time that works best for you, at least 24 hours after your ultrasound. If you would like to have your ultrasound at an alternate doctor's office, just let us know and we will provide you with the necessary form for your doctor to complete.
Registration Process (approximately 1 hour):
- Register with the receptionist, complete Medical History and read Pre-Information forms, then make payment.
- Lab work is done including urine and blood analysis to test for Rh factor and anemia.
- Ultrasound (sonogram) is performed to determine gestational age of the pregnancy, pre-medications are given.
- Meet individually with one of our Health Educators to review your medical history and aftercare. You may discuss concerns or questions about your abortion, birth control options and your feelings. We will schedule your follow up-appointment one to two weeks later. A follow up exam is included in your initial fee if you are private pay; Insurance patients will owe only your standard copay.
There may be moments of waiting between each step of your process. Our reception area is comfortable with cable tv, literature and magazines available.
- You will be escorted to the exam room to undress and prepare for procedure. A female Medical Assistant will be present to assist you throughout the entire medical process.
- Our licensed Board Certified Gynecologist conducts a brief pelvic exam and answers any additional questions you have.
- Surgical Abortion:
- Our sedation provider will review your medical history, answers any questions, then provides your comfort medication for awake patients or sedation for asleep patients.
- The surgical procedure will follow and takes approximately five to seven minutes.
- Medical Abortion:
- Our licensed Board Certified Gynecologist will review what to expect with the medications and administer the medication. This may be a pill to swallow or an injection.
- The physician may give you additional medication to be taken at home.
Recovery Process (Recovery time varies for each patient but averages 20 to 45 minutes):
- You will be transitioned to a recovery room or patient lounge attended by one of our Nurses or Health Educators.
- In the recovery room you will rest and be monitored, enjoy a beverage and snack, given appropriate medications, review aftercare instructions and any chosen birth control and confirm your follow up-appointment one to two weeks later.
- You may include additional women's health services, such as a Pap (Well Woman Exam) or IUD, with your follow-up at a significant discount.
- When stable and comfortable you may then be discharged to your ride home, or on your own if special arrangements have been made.
- NOTE: Asleep patients must have arranged a ride home. You cannot drive for at least 6 more hours after full sedation.
Remember we are just a phone call away! We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Call us if you have any unexpected difficulties such as very heavy bleeding or a fever. If it is after business hours call the after-hours medical emergency number listed on your After Care Instruction Sheet.
An appointment will be scheduled the day of your procedure for one to two weeks later. Your follow-up will take about 30 minutes and is an important part of your care. The doctor may do another ultrasound and pelvic exam. We can provide discounted birth control services or prescriptions, as well as your annual Well Woman gynecology exam.
Emotional Support After Abortion
An unintended pregnancy can sometimes be a catalyst for other parts of our lives to feel disrupted. While FCHC is always here to talk, some women may find they need additional emotional support from a mental health professional. FCHC is pleased to announce that we can refer our patients to the following professionals, who will offer their first session with you free of charge. Mention that you are a Falls Church Healthcare patient when you call.
Maria Ines Butler, MSW, LCSW
10560 Main Street, Suite PH#4
Fairfax, VA 22030
703 507-0963 Hablo Español
Danille S. Drake, PhD
121 Great Falls Street, Suite 101
Falls Church, VA
Bonnie R Sobel, Rn, LCSW
7643 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA