It's the day after and you didn't take any precautions last night. A month passes and you realise that this is it. You're pregnant. Can the abortion pill be an option?
In this method, a pill is taken to induce abortion. The medicine mifepristone, known as RU486 in the US, was introduced in France almost a decade ago, and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) finally approved the "abortion pill" on 28th September, 2000 in the United States, after a decade of controversy.
Who can take the abortion pill
You may choose medical abortion if you are less than 49 days pregnant. If you have serious heart, liver, kidney problems, blood clotting disorders or HIV, you may not be able to take the medication.
How to take the pill
RU-486 can be taken at home or at a clinic. It opens the cervix, causes mild contractions, softens the uterus and causes it to dilate to help expel the embryo. Side effects like nausea, headache and weakness, and bleeding and deep cramps take place after the second, prostaglandin pill, is taken, a couple of days later. The embryo is expelled 4 to 24 hours later.
Side effects are normal, but you need to call your gynaec if you:
After studies were undertaken in developing nations like India, China and Cuba, which have legalized abortions, it was found that medical abortion was preferred to surgical abortion. The only complaint against medical abortion were the side effects and heavy bleeding.
- Soak more than two pads an hour, more than two hours in a row
- Bleed heavily for more than 12 hours in a row
- Pass clots larger than lemons for two hours or more
- Run a temperature over 101.4° F for more than four hours
- Feel strong nausea or throw up for more than four hours
- Have an allergic reaction to the medicine
You need to return a couple of days later to make sure the abortion is complete. The whole process may take about a week to 14 days, depending on the medication. If you are still pregnant after the medical abortion, you could take more medicine or may have to undergo a surgical abortion. Avoid alcohol, aspirin and anti-inflammatory painkillers during this period.
Is an Abortion Painful?
You'll be distinctly uncomfortable after a surgical abortion and may experience some cramping but it should not be very painful. A half an hour's rest in the recovery room and a painkiller should suffice. A medical abortion is more painful, but is preferred as it means avoiding a surgery. It's important you take care of yourself after an abortion, and report any feelings of discomfort and pain to your doctor.
Does the foetus feel pain?
At some stage during the pregnancy the foetus becomes capable of feeling pain but when exactly this happens is not known. It's a safe bet that the foetus may not feel pain before 10 to 12 weeks.
Incomplete Abortion occurs if part of the pregnancy tissue remains in the uterus after the abortion procedure. Symptoms include lack of post abortion bleeding and severe cramping. Infection can be caused by the retention of tissue in the uterus.
Hemorrhage or Excessive Bleeding can be caused by injury to the uterus during the abortion. Bleeding through more than one sanitary pad per hour indicates excessive bleeding.
Perforation or Injury to Uterus/Cervix occurs if an instrument used during the procedure injures the uterus or cervix. Injuries to the uterus heal by themselves but there is the risk of injuring other organs when perforation occurs.
Future Fertility can be adversely effected if complications such as injury to the cervix or fallopian tube arise during abortion. But if there are no complications, even several abortions have no effect on future fertility.
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