All of our clinics are open as usual for face to face appointments (for both abortion and vasectomy services).

At-home abortion pills service is available.

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How to prepare for your abortion

Getting ready for you appointment

After you have considered your treatment options and called us to book, you can begin to prepare for your abortion appointment.

On this page you'll find information on what to bring with you, how to arrange travel, guidance on eating and drinking before your treatment, and other information to help you prepare for your abortion.

If you feel that you would like to speak to a counsellor to talk through your decision, call us for a counselling appointment. We can arrange a face-to-face appointment for you in one of our clinics, or a telephone appointment at a time that suits you. All NHS clients are entitled to free counselling sessions before, or any time after treatment.

Two MSI UK clients walk in a clinic looking at each other

What to expect from visiting our clinics

Our clients can attend their appointment with one companion. 

  • You can attend your appointment with one person: however they will need to wait in the waiting area during your appointment.  
  • Arranging childcare: unfortunately, you won’t be able bring any children into the centre with you. This is to be as sensitive as possible to others who may be in the waiting areas. Because of this policy we do not have facilities for children in our centres. Please make sure you arrange childcare. 
    • Please note that as some of our centres may be within a GP practice there may be babies/children in shared waiting rooms. 

If you’re under 16, we strongly recommend that an adult (someone 18 or over) accompanies you home after your treatment.

We have a dedicated page that your partner, friend or family member can read to find out how to support you.

Supporting someone having an abortion
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Arranging travel

It's important to arrange your return travel before you come to your appointment as you won’t be able to drive yourself home if you have had medical abortion treatment or a surgical abortion with sedation or general anaesthetic. We advise against using public transport after your abortion treatment.

We strongly recommend that you have someone available to travel home with you after your appointment, and stay with you for the next 24 hours.

For clients traveling from overseas, we know you will have travelled some way to get to your appointment. You will want to return home as soon as you can, but we strongly recommend you stay overnight locally with friends or family if possible.

By contacting us ahead of travelling we can answer any questions you might have on treatment options, prices, travel, how long you should stay in England, and if you should be accompanied on your trip. Call us on 0345 300 8090 to speak with one of our advisors.

Travelling from Ireland
MSI UK nurse handing an abortion booklet to a woman in clinic

What to bring

We’ll ask you to bring the following things with you to your appointment:

  • Any medication you’re taking (including inhalers).
  • Any information you have from your doctor about any medical conditions.
  • Your referral letter from your doctor or family planning clinic, if you have one.
  • Any notes from a previous consultation.
  • An extra pair of comfortable underwear.
  • Sanitary pads suitable for a heavy flow, not tampons or menstrual cup.
  • Your glasses and contact lens kit if you wear contact lenses. You may need to remove your contact lenses before your treatment.
  • Your payment method, if you're having private (non-NHS) treatment.

Looking for more information about abortion services?

You’ll find answers to the questions people ask most about abortions here. If you can’t find the information you need, please call us on 0345 300 8090.

Can you drink alcohol before taking abortion pills?

There are fasting guidelines for each abortion treatment that are very important to follow.

This is for your safety, and your appointment may need to be moved to another day if you don’t follow the guidelines.

  • 24 hours before appointment - do not drink alcohol
  • 48 hours after treatment - do not drink alcohol until 48 hours after treatment

If you have any questions before your appointment about these fasting guidelines, or anything else, please call us on 0345 300 8090.

Read more below.

Fasting Guidelines - Eating and drinking

For a medical abortion

  • 24 hours before appointment - do not drink alcohol
  • 48 hours after treatment - do not drink alcohol until 48 hours after treatment

For a surgical abortion without anaesthetic

  • 24 hours before appointment - do not drink alcohol
  • 48 hours after treatment - do not drink alcohol until 48 hours after treatment

For a surgical abortion with anaesthetic

For your safety, it's very important that your stomach is empty before you have a procedure under general anaesthetic or sedation.

  • 24 hours before appointment - do not drink alcohol
  • 6 hours before treatment - stop eating (you must not eat anything for at least 6 hours prior to your appointment. You can drink clear liquids such as water)
  • 2 hours before treatment - stop drinking (you can drink clear liquids, such as water, only up to 2 hours before your treatment)
  • 48 hours after treatment - do not drink alcohol until 48 hours after treatment

Please avoid heavy meals as they may not have passed through your stomach in time for your appointment.

You can chew gum and suck boiled sweets up to when you get called through for your procedure.

Anything you drink before your procedure should be a clear liquid, such as water or clear apple juice. Please do not drink milk or anything milk-based.

You will be able to eat and drink as normal after your treatment.

Arranging childcare and breastfeeding

Unfortunately you won’t be able bring any children into the clinic with you.

This is so we can be as sensitive as possible to others who may be in the waiting areas. For this reason we do not have any facilities for children in our clinics. Please arrange childcare if you can, as your appointment will take a number of hours.

If you're breastfeeding

The drugs we provide are safe to take if you are breast feeding, and breastfeeding can continue as normal. Small traces of the abortion medication could pass into your breast milk but only temporarily. You do not need to stop breastfeeding during the medical abortion. Although it is unlikely, some drugs may cause nausea and vomiting or drowsiness in the infant.

Making the right choice for you

Before deciding whether to go ahead with an abortion, it can help to be as informed as possible. Below are some useful links to information about abortion with MSI Reproductive Choices.

MSI UK nurse talking to a woman about abortion options


We provide abortion counselling face-to-face or over the phone for anyone who would like to talk through their decision before, or after, their treatment.

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MSI UK nurse talking to a woman about abortion options in a clinic

Advice for partners

If you’re a partner, friend or family member of someone having an abortion, here’s some advice on how you can support them.

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A guide to costs

More than 95% of our clients have their abortion funded by the NHS. You can also pay to have one privately if you prefer, or if you’re not eligible for NHS funding.

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