Women's Wellness ProgramHow can the Women's Wellness Program help me?
The Women’s Wellness Program provides a variety of reproductive and sexual health services across PEI to Islanders of all genders, ages and backgrounds. The program is committed to providing safe, confidential and supportive services to all clients. The following services are currently being offered:
- Birth control including IUD insertion;
- Counselling regarding pregnancy options, follow-up and support; and
- Surgical abortions.
Over the coming months, the following services will be added:
- Community-based sexual health services (coming in March 2017);
- Bleeding in early pregnancy;
- Information, navigation and coordination of fertility services;
- Menopause care;
- Prenatal care for women without a family doctor or nurse practitioner; and
- Post-partum mental health services.
The Women’s Wellness Program has services located across the province at various sites. Whatever the services you need, call 1-844-365-8258 (toll-free) to find the answers you need.
How can I make an appointment or talk to someone?
You can connect with members of our Women’s Wellness Program team in person or by phone. You can book most of our services yourself, including abortion services and IUD insertion. Call the program to arrange an appointment or phone consultation.
Please note, if you call and there is no answer; leave your name and a number so that we can call you back. When we return your call, your telephone caller ID will indicate a ‘Private Number’.
What do I need to bring with me to my appointment?
- Identification: All patients and support persons need to provide a photo ID. Patients will also be required to have a valid PEI Health Card.
- Information: You may also be asked about your personal health history and medications you are currently taking. If you are taking medications, bring them with you or bring an up-to-date list of your medications.
- Support Person: You can bring one support person who may be present for some, but not all of your appointment. Please talk to a Women’s Wellness Program staff member to learn about your options.
I am pregnant and not sure what to do. Can you help me?
The Women’s Wellness Program respects your privacy and your right to make your own decision. You will be provided with confidential, non-judgmental options counseling if you are pregnant and unsure what to do, or if you are considering an abortion. The program has professional staff that are specially trained to support you as you consider your options and make your decision, whatever that may be. You can talk to a counsellor in person or by phone. Call 1-844-365-8258 to arrange an appointment.
If you are unsure about whether to continue with or end a pregnancy, staff are here to help you in the way that best meets your needs. Some of the options and considerations for you may include:
- Continuing a Pregnancy: When considering whether to continue a pregnancy, there are decisions around choosing a health care provider and keeping a healthy pregnancy. Depending on your circumstances, you may need other supports as well. Whatever your needs, we can help.
- Adoption: When considering adoption, the Women’s Wellness Program can help connect you with the appropriate services to discuss the process and how it works. You may want a doctor or health care provider who is knowledgeable about your needs to support you through the adoption process.
- Abortion: When considering an abortion, you will need to know about your procedure options which will depend on your unique situation. The Women’s Wellness Program can help you work through your options.
I want to have an abortion, what are my options?
Through the Women’s Wellness Program, abortions are currently provided if you are no more than 12 weeks pregnant. Your pregnancy and dating will be confirmed by clinic staff through blood test and ultrasound. For abortions greater than 12 weeks, program staff can work with you to consider your options which may include providers in other provinces.
It is important to have the right dating of your pregnancy to pick the procedure that is right for you. Pregnancy dating will be determined using information about your last period, as well as, urine or blood tests, and ultrasounds. Women’s Wellness Program staff can work with you to coordinate the testing to reduce the demands on you.
If you are looking for out-of-province abortion services, call 1-844-365-8258 (toll-free) and staff can help you contact the clinic that is right for your needs.
What can I expect if I book an appointment for an abortion?
- First Appointment:
- After checking in with reception, you will meet with a counsellor to discuss your options and answer any questions you may have about the procedure. Some people are ready at this time to make a decision and others are not. If you need more time or support before you make a decision, this will be arranged. If you are ready to make a decision and have decided to have an abortion, your next steps will be coordinated at this appointment.
- You will be given some instructions on things to do before your next appointment. Each of these is required for your next appointment and if not done, we will not be able to proceed:
- Blood work
- Confirming your next appointment
- Arrange for a drive home
- You will also be given instructions on how to prepare for your next appointment. Please follow these directions and call the program if you have any questions.
- On the day of your Second Appointment:
- You must have made arrangements for someone to bring you to your appointment. That person will need to bring a photo ID. They may wait in the Waiting Room or nearby in the hospital. They should speak to the nurse about the expected time you will be done before leaving the waiting area (child care is not available).
- It is recommended you have someone with you for 24 hours after your procedure.
- Your appointment may be up to 3-4 hours.
- For your safety, please follow the eating and drinking directions carefully:
- Do not eat anything after midnight the night before your appointment and drink only clear liquids.
- You may drink clear liquids up to 2 hours before your appointment time. Clear liquids that you can drink include: water, ginger ale, sprite/7-up, tea with no milk, clear soup/broth.
- For example, if your appointment time is 8 am, you cannot eat after midnight the night before and drink only clear liquids until 6 am the morning of your appointment.
- Please take your medications as prescribed unless told otherwise by a Women’s Wellness Program staff member.
- Do not take any alcohol, drugs or medications that have not been prescribed by your doctor, herbal supplements, or aspirin 24 hours before your appointment.
- Please wear comfortable clothing including: full back underwear, socks and flat shoes. Please also bring an extra pair of full back underwear.
- The Women’s Wellness Program is scent-free, so please do not wear perfumes, scented lotions, colognes or other scented products.
- Electronic devices, including cell phones, are not allowed in the hospital service area.
- Once you check into reception, you will meet with a nurse who will review your health history and provide you with medication(s) for the procedure. You will have a small intravenous (IV) inserted.
- The doctor will review your health history with you, again, and ensure that you are comfortable going ahead with the procedure.
- The doctor will do an ultrasound and provide a local anesthetic to the procedure area to numb your cervix. You will also be given medication by IV to help you feel relaxed. Your cervix will be dilated (enlarged). A small suction tube will be used to remove the contents of your uterus. This part of the procedure takes less than 10 minutes.
- Once the procedure is over, a nurse will help you to the recovery room where you will rest until you are ready to leave, about 30-60 minutes.
- You will be given a small snack while you recover in the recovery room.
- You will be given after care instructions. A Women’s Wellness Program staff member will get your support person from the waiting room. When your support person arrives, you will be able to leave.
- The medication you receive may temporarily cause:
- Poor balance;
- Poor judgment; or
- It is recommended for 24 hours after your procedure:
- Do not drive a car or operate machinery.
- Do not care for dependents (children or other family members) – get help if needed.
- Do not participate in any strenuous sports or exercise.
- Do not consume alcohol or medications that have not been prescribed by your doctor for 24 hours.
- If you are taking any medications, ask the Women’s Wellness Program doctor when you should restart taking the medication.
- Do not sign any legal documents, important papers or make critical decisions.
- Do not do anything that requires you to be alert or coordinated for the rest of the day.
- Start taking clear fluids and then go to solids as you feel able.
What should I do if I think I have an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection)?
If you think you may have an STI, you need to be seen by a doctor, nurse practitioner or a specially trained nurse.
With the Women’s Wellness Program, you will find non-judgmental support and care. The following sexual health services are provided as part of the program:
- sexual health education;
- sexual health counseling;
- STI testing and treatment; and
- birth control counseling and services (including IUD insertion).
You can also access STI testing at your family doctor or nurse practitioner’s office or at a local Pap Clinic. Contact the Women’s Wellness Program if you have questions, or want to know where you can get tested.
How can I get birth control?
Birth control counseling and options are provided at Women’s Wellness Program sites. While there is no charge for birth control counseling, there may be a cost for the birth control method you choose. Program staff can help you determine the best option for you.
If you already have an appointment for abortion services, program staff will talk with you about birth control options and help you find the one that works best for you. If you choose an IUD, insertion services are provided, or staff can help you find another provider that may work better for you.
If you have any questions about birth control, call 1-844-365-8258 (toll-free). You may also want to visit the below websites that provide good information about birth control and options.