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Medical Abortion

What is Medical abortion?

Medical Abortion is the term used when medicines are used to end an undesired pregnancy.

How does it work?

Medicines cause expulsion of fetus and placenta from mother’s womb.

What are the different types of Medical Abortion?

There are mainly 2 types:

A. Therapeutic Medical Abortion: It is done when pregnant female has some serious health issue and pregnancy can become a life threatening condition for mother.

B. Elective Medical Abortion: It is done when woman chooses to end the pregnancy without involvement of any health issue.

Spontaneous Abortion

It is the type of abortion in which pregnancy ends on its own before the 20th week of pregnancy. It is also known as Miscarriage.

Sometimes medical abortion fails to completely evacuate the fetus and placenta from mother’s womb. In such cases, Surgical Abortion is done.

Which medicines are used for Medical Abortion?

Your doctor will prescribe some medicines for abortion. These are:

  • Mifepristone,
  • Methotrexate,
  • Misoprostol,
  • Prostaglandins, or a combination of these medicines.

After taking these medicines, you will experience moderate to heavy bleeding and maybe cramping for several hours. Your doctor may prescribe you medicines for nausea, vomiting and pain.

Why Medical Abortion is done?

It is done when:

  • The woman had an unexpected pregnancy and don’t want the baby yet. In such cases, Elective Abortion is done.
  • Baby is suffering from some medical conditions like Genetic Defects.
  • Pregnancy becomes a life-threatening condition for mother. In such cases, Therapeutic Abortion is done.
  • A woman becomes pregnant due to some traumatic event like Rape.
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What are the risks associated with Medical Abortion?

It can range from mild to serious. Mild risks may include Nausea, Vomiting and Pain. Moderate to Severe risks may include Severe Diarrhoea, Failure to expel fetal and placental tissue thus requiring a surgical abortion. It can lead to life-threatening infection or unstoppable bleeding.

What tests are done before the Procedure?

Your doctor will do:

  • Pelvic examination – to confirm the pregnancy and to estimate the weeks of pregnancy.
  • HCG blood test – to confirm the pregnancy.
  • Blood Group test – to check your blood type.
  • Vaginal or abdominal ultrasound – to determine the exact age of the fetus and its location in the uterus.

What to do after the procedure?

Follow-up after abortion is very important. Your doctor has to make sure that all the tissue (placental and fetal) gets expelled. Abortion with medicines sometimes fails to expel the fetal and placental tissue in some women. In that case, another dose of the medicine may be required or a surgical abortion procedure may need to be done.

You may experience cramps and bleed for a few days after the procedure. A warm bath or a hot water bottle filled with warm water placed on the abdomen may help ease discomfort. Avoid any vigorous activity for a few days. Avoid sexual intercourse for a couple of weeks. Your normal menstrual period should resume in about 4 to 6 weeks.

You must take contraceptive measures to prevent pregnancy, especially during the first month after the abortion.

Can you get pregnant again after medical abortion?

Yes, you can get pregnant again after medical abortion. It rarely affects your fertility. It is a safe and effective method. Complications are uncommon.

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Last Updated – 21st January, 2021.


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