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Gynaecology Procedure Unit (GPU)

The Gynaecology Procedure Unit (GPU) provides first trimester termination of pregnancy (4-13 weeks) and assessment for second trimester pregnancy.

The service is available for women from the Canterbury DHB area and also accepts referrals from South Canterbury and West Coast DHBs.


Women can contact the Gynaecology Procedure Unit directly for an appointment for pre-decision counselling. If a woman has already made a decision, she can either contact her GP initially or the Unit directly.

The woman will require a blood test and an ultrasound scan to date the pregnancy. This can be arranged by her GP or can be arranged by GPU. Once these results are available she may then ring the unit to book an appointment to be seen by a doctor.

Referral information

The following information is required from the patient:

  • Date of Birth
  • Address and contact phone number
  • New Zealand residency
  • Contact phone number
  • Next of Kin and contact number


Women require an assessment by a doctor prior to having a procedure. This is to determine which procedure is best for the woman based on her pregnancy dates.

Abortion is performed in two ways;

  1. Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTOP) - up to 9 weeks of pregnancy. 2 drugs are given usually 24 hours apart to induce contractions. The medications are dispensed from GPU but the process takes place at home.
  2. Surgical Termination of Pregnancy (STOP) - from 6-13 weeks of pregnancy. This is performed with sedation and local anaesthesia. There is no general anaesthetic service available.

After 13 weeks the abortion is arranged through Christchurch Women’s Hospital.


Counselling services are focused on supporting women with their decision. It is a professional, confidential and free service.

Counselling sessions are available to all women providing time for discussion of options, procedures, and anxieties. Women are not required to have counselling, but it must be available.

Pre-decision counselling is also offered when a woman in unsure of her decision. A pre-decision booking does not require a GP or consultant gynaecologist referral.

Appointments for counselling sessions can be made at any time by contacting the Gynaecology Procedure Unit 03 378 6386.

DHB responsibilities

All District Health Boards are required to provide termination of pregnancy services under the Abortion Bill 2019.

Contact information

Gynaecology Procedure Unit

Level 4, Riverside
Christchurch Hospital
2 Riccarton Ave
Private Bag 4711

Phone: 03 378 6386
Fax: 03 374 6822

Page last updated: 2 July 2020

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