Dunedin Hospital provides Abortion Services for the Otago region, including telehealth (telephone consultations), and also provides a service for those resident in Southland who are over 15 weeks of pregnancy. Services are free for NZ residents and valid visa holders.
The First Step
Telephone 0800 TOPSDHB (0800 867 7342) to self-refer. You will speak to a clinic nurse. If the nurse is unavailable when you call you will be asked to leave a contact phone number and your call will be returned within 24 hours Monday-Friday (excluding Public Holidays).
Alternatively, you may prefer to see your GP, Midwife, Family Planning, Student Health, or the Sexual Health clinic first and they can then refer you.
The clinic nurse or your referrer will arrange for you to have a range of tests, which may include blood tests, swab tests, and a scan. You will be offered counselling (optional) and given an appointment with a doctor at the Dunedin clinic.
Counselling offers the opportunity, if you wish, to discuss your options: whether to continue or terminate the pregnancy or consider adoption/whangai/atawahi. It may look at the social and emotional aspects of this decision for you. The counsellor is also available to talk with you after the termination if needed.
Early Medical Abortion
Early medical abortion (taking two sets of pills to induce abortion in your own home or other suitable place of your choice) is available up to 9-10 weeks of pregnancy. After your appointment with the clinic doctor (face-to-face or by telephone), you may collect the pills from the Dunedin clinic or have them couriered to your home. We recommend that you have a supportive friend, partner, or family member with you after taking the second tablets (the misoprostol). Also if you live more than one hours' drive away from emergency medical services we advise you to make arrangements to stay closer to these services after taking these misoprostol tablets.
Medical Abortion over 10 weeks of pregnancy
Medical procedures at later stages of pregnancy are also available for women ending pregnancies due to serious fetal abnormalities and these will take place in hospital, usually as a day case but may require an overnight stay.
Surgical Abortion at Dunedin Hospital
The procedure is usually done in Dunedin under general anaesthetic (asleep) as a day-stay case but may be done under local anaesthetic (awake) in some circumstances or if requested.
Surgical procedures under 14 weeks of pregnancy are undertaken by vacuum aspiration. Surgical procedures beyond 14 weeks are undertaken by D&E (Dilatation and Evacuation) and may require some preparation to soften the cervix (the neck of the womb) before the operation. This may involve taking tablets or inserting small dilators through the cervix the day before the operation.
A full range of post-abortion contraception options are offered.
Follow-up is provided by the referring doctor or the clinic (nurse or doctor), as appropriate. Follow-up counselling is also available if required.