Surgicaltermination

Most Tasmanians are eligible for a surgical termination of pregnancy up to 12 – 14 weeks of pregnancy, with limited options available through the Tasmanian public system.

The surgical termination operation is done in a hospital or a day surgery. The process usually involves a suction curette (removal of tissue from the uterus) and in most cases is done under general anaesthetic.

Things to consider when having a surgical termination

• There is a low risk that the operation (a curette) will not remove all of the tissue forming part of the pregnancy. This can cause excessive bleeding and may mean that you need to have another operation.
• You can sometimes develop an infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics after surgical termination.
• There is a low risk that your cervix (opening to the uterus or womb) or the uterus itself can be damaged. This is rare and in most cases results in a small tear that heals itself.
• There is a low risk of excessive bleeding and in a rare few cases a blood transfusion may be needed.
• Any operation that needs to use an anaesthetic has risks. These risks are very low for healthy women. The doctor will explain the risks to you before the operation.
• You may need an injection of Anti D dependant on your Rhesus (Rh) status. You may not know your Rh status, but one of the blood tests that you have when you come for your termination assessment is to check this.

 

How can I access a surgical termination in Tasmania?

If you have a GP, your GP can help you access a surgical termination or you can see a doctor at Family Planning Tasmania who can organise referral to a surgical termination provider. It’s important to see your doctor as early as possible to allow time for a referral to be processed.

 

What if I need to have a termination after 16 weeks?

After 16 weeks a doctor can provide a termination with your consent if your doctor reasonably believes that continuing the pregnancy would involve greater risk of injury to your physical or mental health than if the pregnancy was terminated.

Your doctor must consult a second doctor who agrees with this. At least one of the doctors must specialise in obstetrics or gynaecology.

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