If a pregnancy has been planned,
and in some cases difficult to achieve, the decision to abort the baby
is a devastating one for everybody involved (including parents and in-laws).
There are many cases, however, where aborting is the best alternative that
the parents can choose. The following list provides some of the possible
reasons for having an abortion:
Abnormalities in the baby
Mother gets German Measles
Medical risk to the mother, like severe
heart disease, which can get exaggerated if the pregnancy continues
History of abnormalities in baby which
are likely to be repeated
Mother has taken medicines in the first
trimester which are contra-indicated during pregnancy
Failure of contraceptive devices like
copperT (loop) with pregnancy
For unmarried girls, when continuation
of pregnancy could be responsible for severe psychological and emotional
What are the emotional
effects of abortion
The decision to terminate a pregnancy
is a very difficult one to make. Sometimes a woman may have no choice because
there may be extenuating circumstances that force her to take this decision.
Whatever the reason, the decision is usually arrived at after a lot of
soul searching, and can cause significant grief. It is normal for a woman
to experience feelings of depression and loss after an abortion. If an
abortion is performed when the woman is very young, she may only realize
the significance of what she has done at a later stage. It is important
that the woman not isolate herself: she should talk to a counsellor, a
close family member or friend before undergoing an abortion, and certainly
after it. Full support of family and close friends will help in relieving
some of the mental anguish.
What are the possible
complications of an abortion
In general, abortion is one of the
safest procedures in medicine. Sometimes complications may, however, occur
in the first twenty four hours.
If the uterus is not fully emptied,
it may cause bleeding. A dilatation and curettage (D & C) procedure
may be required in less than 1% of all suction abortions and 10% of second-trimester
A clamp is used to steady the uterus
during an abortion. In some cases this clamp may tear the cervix, but a
single suture can easily repair the damage.
Uterine perforation occurs in 2-3 cases
for every thousand abortions. It is caused by the passage of the instruments
through the uterine wall. In this case, the patient will just have to be
observed overnight to ensure that there are no further complications.
Sometimes complications occur
from two days to two weeks after the abortion. The woman may develop pelvic
pain, fever, foul smelling vaginal discharge, heavy bleeding, or chills.
These symptoms can be treated with oral antibiotics. If the symptoms do
not improve within a day or two, the doctor will perform a D & C.
What are the long-term
effects of an abortion
Women who have had an abortion worry
that it may affect their ability to conceive or bear a child in the future.
They will be relieved to learn that now it is generally believed that a
single abortion performed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy does not pose
a threat to future childbearing potential. However, a recent World Health Organization study has shown that women who underwent two or more abortions
had a two-to-three times greater chance of miscarriage, premature delivery,
or low birth weight infants.
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- The Indiaparenting Team