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Medical Abortion: Know How it Works

Medical abortion is a procedure where prescribed medication is used to end an early pregnancy. Medical abortion is performed until nine weeks of pregnancy and does not require surgery. It involves taking a combination of medicines at specific intervals to end and expel the pregnancy. Specific instructions about how and when to take the medications will be given by the abortion doctors in Chennai. While the first medicine is to block the hormone progesterone, so that the uterine lining will thin and the embryo will not stay attached thus preventing pregnancy from continuing to grow in the uterus. The second medicine is to create cramping and bleeding that empties the uterus. The two medications only when used in a specific prescribed combination and interval can induce medical abortion.

How does bleeding occur after medical abortion?

Medical abortion in general is found to be about 98% effective with utmost effectiveness in pregnancies that have not reached 8 weeks of gestation. The second medicine of the abortion pill combination causes the uterus to contract, which forces the pregnancy tissue to pass out through the vagina. This results in bleeding, which can be similar to having a heavy period. Most women have bleeding and painful cramping after a medical abortion. A medical abortion is often reported to feel most like strong period cramps. The amount of pain that is felt with the cramps varies among women. Bleeding with flow that may vary from being very light to fairly heavy happens up to a week or off and on up to four weeks after the procedure. Bleeding normally starts with cramping and lasts for a few days. Bleeding may increase with exercise and decrease with rest. Bleeding is usually heavy and the cramping may be very strong as the pregnancy is passed. This usually lasts one to four hours. Bleeding may be accompanied with passing some blood clots varying in size up to the size of a lemon, and one of those clots often happens to be the pregnancy. It is important to note that one cannot be sure of the abortion to be complete unless an ultrasound report is obtained. Some women experience heavier bleeding that contain larger blood clots than for others. Once the pregnancy is passed, the cramps decrease and the bleeding decreases considerably. Cramps with bleeding usually improves within few hours of passing the pregnancy. Heavy bleeding with cramping for 4 to 6 days after the procedure may also be experienced by some women. Passing small blood clots that can appear red to dark purple in colour are normal. As bleeding slows, blood-tinged discharge is common. It is normal for the discharge to appear as yellow or brown with a sour odour. A woman may also experience spotting or light bleeding for up to 2 weeks after passing the pregnancy.

Factors that affect how long the bleed after a medical abortion?

On average, 9 to 14 days of bleeding after a safe abortion in Chennai is normal. Heavy bleeding is expected to occur for one to two days immediately after abortion. Bleeding will start to taper off and continue to gradually subside over a period of two to three weeks. In rare cases, some women bleed more than normal for several days after an abortion. Light bleeding or spotting for a few weeks afterward or until the next menstrual period may occur. The intensity and duration of bleeding depends more often on the person and how far along the pregnancy has been. Some women bleed or pass clots for almost 4 weeks whereas for others, after the first few days of more intense bleeding, there may be little or no bleeding. In some women, bleeding stops and starts while others will have steady bleeding similar to a menstrual period for several weeks. If bleeding lasts longer with no symptoms of complications, it may not be dangerous and it would be safe to wait for the bleeding to stop on its own. Heavy bleeding for an extended time can happen in case of uterine atony where the uterus is relaxed too much or in case of incomplete abortion when some remnants of pregnancy tissue is retained within the uterus.

How to be prepared for bleeding after medical abortion?

A woman would want to know what occurs after taking both doses of medication. The effects from a medical abortion start shortly after taking the second pill. The following events may be expected:

  • Bleeding and cramping start from one to four hours after taking the second pill.
  • Heavy bleeding with blood clots may be passed for the next several hours.
  • Several hours of heavy cramping.
  • Low-grade fever or chills may last for a day after taking the second pill.
  • Feeling tired and dizzy, nausea and diarrhoea are also common.

It is better to be prepared to stay home or in a comfortable location for a few days until heavy bleeding and strong cramping stops. Keep stock of absorbent sanitary pads to contain the bleeding. The best way to know if bleeding is excessive is by counting the number of pads required to change each hour. It is advised to use only sanitary pads and not tampons or menstrual cups until bleeding stops after the procedure in order to avoid infection and allow healing of the uterus. Soaking more than two maxi pads in one hour for two consecutive hours is considered to be the sign that indicate excessive blood loss. Passing large clots or feeling dizzy and light-headed could also mean extreme blood loss. Clots that occur with heavy bleeding and last for more than two hours should be reported for further evaluation. Pain relievers to help with any discomfort or pain may be obtained through a prescription from the private abortion clinic in Chennai. Although infection from a medical abortion is uncommon, antibiotics may be prescribed in some cases. Rare complications include severe bleeding, severe abdominal pain that continues for 2 to 3 days even with pain killers, a high fever that lasts for more than 24 hours, and abnormal vaginal discharge.