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Abortion: all you need to know about it

abortion facts
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Definition

Abortion is the end of pregnancy when a fetus or embryo cannot survive outside of a mother’s womb. There are two kinds: induced and spontaneous. Artificial abortion is another name for induced abortion. It means the ending of a pregnancy by purposely removing a fetus or embryo before it can survive outside of the mother’s womb.

The most common reasons

I believe, none pregnant women abort a pregnancy because they enjoy it. On contrary, abortion is very unpleasant and unhappy event for every pregnant woman. Still, many of them do it. The reasons for such decisions are different but the most common are: 

  • relationships problems
  • not ready to support or care for a child
  • a financial situation
  • preventing the birth of a child with birth defects or severe medical problems
  • pregnancy resulting from rape or incest
  • physical or mental conditions that are a risk for woman’s health because of the pregnancy.

As I said, the reasons for abortion are different but they have something in common. That is mothers’ fear and worry, as well as the believe that is the best solution. 

Methods

Abortion methods are: using medication and surgical procedure.

Medical abortion

Medical abortion is more common than surgical because the process is much simpler. Namely, the pregnant woman should drink two pills. The first pill is antiprogesterone. This pill affects the reduction of progesterone hormone levels that protect the fetus. A pregnant mother must drink the second pill 48 hours after the first. The second pill is a hormone prostaglandin that stimulates the uterine contraction and ejection of its contents, i.e. an embryo or fetus.

abortion methods

In 3 to 5% of cases, there are complications of using pills to abort a pregnancy. Complications can be sharp pain and bleeding that lasts long, sometimes for weeks. On the other side,  pain and bleeding caused by pregnancy termination using surgical instruments can go away faster than by medical abortion. It’s also possible for the fetus to remain in the womb after the curettage was done. The most difficult complication is an infection with a possibly fatal outcome. True, this happens very rarely, but it is important that in the first weeks after the abortion, a woman should be under medical supervision.

Medical abortion isn’t recommended for pregnant women with some chronic diseases or metabolic disorders. Also, up to 9 weeks of pregnancy, termination can be caused by medication, but it is more advisable surgery operation. 

Surgical abortion

Surgical abortion means an abortion treated with surgical instruments and exclusively performed by doctors. It lasts shorter than medical, on average for about 10 minutes. It is usually necessary that a pregnant woman is in partial or complete anaesthesia. Often involves the process of uterine dilatation, ie spreading of the cervix by instruments.

There are several ways of surgical abortion. The most common is curettage, vacuum curettage and a combination of these two methods. The classic curettage is a procedure of scraping uterine mucous membrane and all content inside the uterus by surgical instruments. Vacuum curettage is using a vacuum cannula to vacuuming all contents of the uterus.

Also known is the intrauterine instillation of hypertonic solutions. It represents infusing of hypertonic saline through the abdomen or vagina of pregnant women. This method is recommended for women who want to abort pregnancy older than 3 months.

Possible complications

As we can conclude from the previous, abortion complications depend on techniques and the gestational period. Of course, a mother’s physical and mental condition has impacts on whether there will be complications and how it will happen, also. Because of that reason, the process of the woman preparing for that procedure is very important.

possible compliations of abortion

Direct complications

  • Bleeding is more severe and lasts longer in medical abortion in relation to surgical. Also, as the gestation period is higher, bleeding is more severe and longer. It has also been proven that the bleeding is more common for abortion in general anaesthesia. Therefore, it’s advisable that women should be under partial anaesthesia during this process. Nevertheless, women choose general anaesthesia more often because of psychological stress. However, bleeding, as well as all other abortion complications, depend primarily on a mother’s physical and psychological condition.
  • A cervical injury during curettage
  • Hematometra is blood accumulation in the uterine cavity. It results in severe stomach cramps and weakness. It can be diagnosed by ultrasound. In case of this complication, it is necessary to remove all the bloody tissue by vacuum cannula.
  • Perforation of the uterus is breaking the wall of the uterus with surgical instruments. That can lead to serious bleeding, severe pain and the internal organs injuries. In serious cases, which is very rare, hysterectomy or to cure the uterus is necessary.

Delayed complications

  • Retained products of conception results in severe stomach cramps, abnormal bleeding and fever after abortion. In such case, it’s necessary to do a recruitment or removing the remaining tissue.
  • Infection is the most common complication of the previous one. It’s being treated with antibiotics.

Late complications

  • The onset of RH Incompatibility in women with Rh negative blood type means that a woman’s body can attack a fetus as a foreign body in the case of next pregnancy. Therefore, it is necessary that all women who have a negative blood type receive a certain therapy after abortions that will keep them from getting this complication.
  • Placenta previa is when the placenta partially or completely covers the cervical opening during the next pregnancy. That usually doesn’t cause more complications.
  • Infertility follows abortion so rare that many experts don’t consider it as abortion complications.

placenta previa as abortion complications

P.S.

If you have some more questions, information or experiences about this subject feel free to share with us. You can give comments or contact us directly. Also, you can read about induced abortion PROS and CONS and you can vote are you for or against induced abortion there.

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One thought on “Abortion: all you need to know about it

  1. I had an abortion and that was very painful. It is not about physical pain, I felt pain in my soul. I was only 16 years old… I wanted to forget that day but I still remember it…

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