Ending pregnancy with the help of medication is known as abortion. For abortion no anaesthesia or surgery is required. This can be done as, in office abortion or at home with suitable follow up actions. Medical abortion carried out during the first trimester is considered as very effective and safe.
The decision to go for medical abortion can lead to considerable psychological and emotional problems. Before deciding on the matter it is better to understand all facts related to medical abortion like side effects, risk factors, commonly used medications, complications that are likely to arise, the alternatives available etc.
Why medical abortion is done?
Most often the reasons that lead to medical abortion are personal. It can be opted for completing an early miscarriage, to end an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy or it can be opt for escaping from life threatening consequences that may arise if pregnancy is continued.
- Surgical abortions will be required in case of incomplete abortion
- If the procedure fails the ongoing pregnancy will progress
- Digestive system disorders
The patient should be firm in her decision for medical termination of pregnancy once the decision is taken. After starting medication, it will not be impossible to go back and end the process. It can lead to major complications. Usually medical termination of pregnancy does not pose any threat to future pregnancies.
Abortion is not suitable for the below mentioned categories of patients.
- For patients who have greater period of gestation? For ladies who have been pregnant for more than nine weeks, it is no advisable to opt for abortion. Some categories of medical abortion are not done after seven weeks of conception.
- For those who are using an intra uterine device.
- Who are suspected to have ectopic pregnancy which mean pregnancy outside the uterus.
- Who are subjected to certain medical conditions: Candidates who suffer from medical conditions like bleeding disorders, blood vessel diseases, severe lung, kidney or liver diseases, or Candidates who are regularly taking blood thinning medications are not suitable for abortion procedures.
- Patients who are unable to meet the doctor regularly
- Patients who are allergic to the medications used for this purpose are not suitable candidates for abortion.
A surgical procedure known as D & E will be suitable for candidates who are unable to undergo abortion due to the above reasons.
A person who has decided to undergo abortion needs to consult a medical practitioner and get ready for the abortion. The doctor is likely to follow the below mentioned procedure.
He will evaluate the medical history of the patient.
- Pregnancy will be confirmed by physical examination..
- Ultrasound scan will be conducted to ascertain the period of gestation and to confirm whether the pregnancy ectopic pregnancy or a tumor.
- Blood tests and urine tests will be carried out.
- Explain to the patient about the procedure going to be carried out and the probable risk factors and complications that may accompany an abortion.
Medications for abortion
Oral misoprostol and oral mifepriston
These medications are taken during seven weeks following the last period of the patient. Hormone progesterone is blocked by mifepristone resulting in the thinning of the lining of the uterus. This prevents the growing of the embryo staying implanted in the uterus. Misoprostol causes the contraction of the uterus and consequent expelling of the embryo from the uterus through the vagina.
Oral mifepristol and sublingual or vaginal misoprostol
The same medications as stated above are used in this type of abortion. In this method of medical abortion misoprostol is placed in the vagina or in your mouth under the tongue. This approach reduces the side effects and is more effective than the first method. These medications have to be taken within nine weeks of gestation.
Methotrexate with vaginal misoprostol
Methotrexate is rarely used for unwanted pregnancies. They are widely used for ectopic pregnancies. This medication isused in abortion clinics washington DC only within 7 weeks of gestation. It may take up to one month for completing the abortion process completely.