Abortion is a process of terminating or ending a pregnancy by using certain methods. In some countries, including the United States of America, a woman can legally choose the option of abortion, if she doesn’t want to continue her pregnancy, irrespective of the reason.
No doubt, it’s a very personal decision, but before doing something this, you should know about the risks and side effects associated with the different types of abortion procedures. Here, in this article, I’ll briefly explain what are the legally permitted practices for abortion and what are the possible risks and side effects involved with each.
Early Medication Abortion
It is the first type of abortion, which is used to end the pregnancy in the early stages. In the U.S, early medical abortion is allowed for a woman who is less than ten weeks pregnant.
Following steps include in the early medication abortion;
- First of all, the doctor will let you know how many days pregnant you are. This is identified by calculating from the day of the last period or an ultrasound.
- If you’re less than ten weeks pregnant, the health care professional will prescribe two medications; misoprostol and mifepristone.
- The doctor will probably ask you to take the mifepristone medication at the hospital and recommend you to take misoprostol several hours or certain days later at home.
It is the second type of procedure used to end the pregnancy. Aspiration abortion, primarily done at the health center involves eliminating the pregnancy-related tissue from the uterus opening known as the cervix.
Usually, the doctors do Aspiration abortion when you’re awake. They’ll use local anesthesia to do the procedure. The physician will also provide medications (to take orally) to reduce the anxiety and stress. If a woman is 14 or more weeks pregnant, the doctors typically go for sedation before starting the procedure.
If the health care provider chooses to give local anesthesia, he or she will inject the medicine within your cervix. It will cause some pain that fades away after some time. On the other hand, if the doctors decided to sedate you, they’ll put an intravenous line in your vein along with the medication that relaxes you. After the sedative drug takes effect, the patient does not remember what happened during the procedure. The doctors do not usually recommend using general anesthesia for abortions. Usually, this abortion procedure takes 20 minutes to complete, and if you have an early pregnancy, it would be even shorter.
Possible Side Effects
When it comes to the possible side effects of abortion, there may be cramping or abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. These side effects are common in both early medication and aspiration abortion.
Cramping Or Abdominal Pain
A lot of women go through cramping or abdominal pain after the procedure. For relieving the pain, 500 or more mg ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) is usually prescribed for every 5 – 7 hrs, if required.
If these medications don’t help, you can consult your doctor, so he might prescribe a stronger pain medication after ensuring there are no other complications. If, in case, your pain continues for a couple of days after the abortion, it’s best to visit your doctor again to rule out problems like infections setting in.
It’s normal to have vaginal bleeding after having an abortion. It may take up to seven days to stop bleeding. You might also pass blood clots during this phase.
If you continue to bleed for days, and your menstrual pad is getting soaked every hour or two, then you should set an appointment with your physician to make sure that there aren’t any complications involved.
Featured photo credit: Fertility Clinic Software via fertilityclinicsoftware.com