The choice to have or not to have a child is personal, and thanks to advances in medicine, women now have an option to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
Millions of women all over the globe choose to terminate their pregnancy by an abortion. Sometimes a foetus stops developing and the body expels it by way of a miscarriage
, but very often women make the conscious choice to end a pregnancy.
Most common reasons abortions take place because:
- She doesn't want any more children.
- She doesn't want anyone to know she is pregnant.
- The couple cannot afford a baby.
- She doesn't want to be a single parent.
- She is too young to have a child.
- She is being coerced by her husband, partner or parent.
- She or the foetus has a health problem.
- She was a rape or incest victim.
- She wants to maintain adequate age gap between children.
Once a woman has opted to have an abortion, she has the choice to go in for a surgical abortion or a medical abortion.
This is safest and cheapest when performed in the first trimester, from six to twelve weeks after the first day of your last menstrual period. Surgical abortion is almost 100% effective.
Manual vacuum aspiration (Takes 10 minutes)
The uterus is emptied with a manual operated gentle suction. It is often used for very early surgical abortion, up to ten weeks after conception.
Dilation and suction curettage (Takes 10 minutes)
The uterus is emptied with machine-operated suction, after which its walls are cleaned with a narrow metal loop. This method is used 6 to 14 weeks after your last period.
Dilation and evacuation or D&E (Takes 20 minutes)
This is performed between 14 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. An abortion is only performed after 24 weeks of pregnancy for serious health reasons. In this procedure the cervix is opened, and then suction and curettage (cleaning the uterus walls) is performed.
If you are extremely overweight, have certain sexually transmitted infections or a uterus infection, are running a fever or have certain serious health problems, you may need special arrangements.
Medical abortion can be done by taking abortion pill
under the supervision of an obstetrician. Medical abortion is suggested when a woman is not more than 7 weeks pregnant. After the period of 7 weeks, medical abortion may not be a viable option. In this case surgical abortion can be preferred.
For medical termination of pregnancy, an obstetrician prescribes pills and medications that can induce abortion. You need to follow your obstetrician’s advice on how and when these pills need to be taken. These pills will soften the walls of your uterus and help your cervix to dilate and the embryo will get expelled out of the uterus. You will also experience contractions during this process along with bleeding. This will also result in effects like headache or nausea. If you experience side effects like heavy bleeding, vomiting or high fever, you must immediately consult your obstetrician.
After your pregnancy is terminated through medical abortion, your obstetrician will ask you to visit him or her again. He or she may ask you to get an ultrasound done in order to check that the abortion is complete and there is not risk of septicaemia due to incomplete abortion.
In most of the cases medical abortion is safe if done during an early stage but there is also a risk of incomplete abortion. Therefore, proper monitoring must be done when this method is opted for terminating the pregnancy.
If you are opting for abortion, it is a must to strictly follow the advice of your obstetrician and take all the necessary precautions in case of medical as well as surgical abortion in order to avoid complications