What does it mean to induce an abortion?
If you are distressed by an unintended pregnancy, inducing an abortion may become an option for you. If you looking to find out more regarding inducing an abortion, you are on the right page. Here you will find out what does it mean to induce an abortion. We are among the very few safe abortion clinics in chennai city.
What is Abortion?
Abortion means ending a pregnancy by removal of the embryo or fetus from the pregnant woman’s womb. Abortion is when the fetus is removed when it is still too small and unable to survive outside the woman’s uterus.
What does it mean to induce an abortion?
When deliberate steps are taken towards ending a pregnancy it is called an induced abortion. An abortion may be induced by employing methods to cause the pregnant woman’s uterus to contract violently leading to the opening up of the mouth of the uterus and expulsion of the fetus.
The contracting uterus will push the products of conception outside the uterus. Abortion may also be induced by inserting instruments into the uterus and emptying the uterus of the products of conception.
Why to induce abortion?
In case the pregnancy needs to be ended before the fetus is able to survive outside the uterus, an abortion may be induced. Inducing an abortion may be done for various reasons.
Abortion may be induced in cases of unintended pregnancy due to contraceptive failure. Induction of abortion may be given as a choice for parents in case the unborn baby is detected to have gross anomalies, during routine pregnancy checkups. If continuing the pregnancy may pose serious physical or mental health risks in the mother, abortion may be induced.
When is the right time to induce an abortion?
Abortion can be induced before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The duration of pregnancy can be ascertained on the basis of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman and confirmed with the help of an ultrasound scan.
Beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus is considered to have matured enough and capable of independent existence outside the womb of the mother. Hence, if an abortion is necessary it is important to seek for induction of abortion before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Though it cannot be precisely defined, 20 weeks is considered as the period of viability of a fetus.
Is abortion legal?
Abortion in India is legal only upto 20 weeks of pregnancy and is governed by the medical termination of pregnancy act of 1971. Beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, abortion is illegal in India.
Although under certain special circumstances the supreme court has permitted abortions beyond the permissible 20 weeks of pregnancy. Such relaxation of law was in view of the woman being a rape survivor or in case of detection of gross anomalies in the fetus beyond 20 weeks of gestation.
As per Indian abortion laws, an adult woman who has crossed the age of 18 requires no other person consent except her own for abortion.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 provides for the access to legal and safe abortion services for women. As per the law a registered medical practitioner trained to provide abortion services can terminate a pregnancy if the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to the physical or mental health ; or if there is a substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.
If pregnancy is alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape or if the pregnancy occurred as a result of the failure of any method of contraception used, the anguish caused by such unwanted or unintended pregnancy may be presumed to constitute a grave injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman.
As per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, abortion can be done only at centers approved by the government for providing abortion services.
Self-induced abortion –why is it unsafe?
Some women resort to methods of self-induced abortion. The reasons may be many such as stigma associated, lack of access to safe abortion services, concerns about privacy and confidentiality etc.
Self-induced abortion is usually performed by the woman herself or with the help of other non-medical assistance.
It is usually attempted by using over the counter abortion pills.
The pills may sometimes lead to the fetus or products of conception being incompletely removed from the woman’s uterus leading to heavy and prolonged bleeding.
If the incomplete abortion is left unattended to and medical help is not sought, it may lead to serious and life-threatening infection of the woman’s uterus.
Sometimes it may involve native methods, some of which may be extremely dangerous for the woman. Women may try physically exerting themselves by lifting heavy weights for inducing abortion process.
It may involve more dangerous physical means such bellyflopping where the woman deliberately tosses herself onto hard surfaces to cause injury to her pregnant tummy and induce abortion.
Self-induced abortions may also involve inserting abortifacient herbs into the vagina or inserting sharp objects into the uterus to induce abortion. The instruments may get trapped within the woman’s cervix, causing profuse bleeding or introduce infection into the woman’s body. Woman sometimes also consume native abortifacient substances in large quantities hoping for an abortion. Such substances when consumed in large quantities may cause serious side effects.
What is meant by safe abortion?
Safe abortion refers to inducing abortion under close medical supervision. Self-induced abortion or abortion with non-medical assistance is considered to be unsafe due to the serious consequences detailed above.
Safe abortion services are accessible at government recognized centers under the supervision of registered medical practitioners who are trained for the purpose of providing abortion services.
Abortion-related complications are minimal in the hands of trained doctors. Hence, accessible safe abortion services are important for the safety of women looking for an abortion.
An ultrasound scan should precede induction of abortion so as to confirm intrauterine pregnancy and rule out tubal pregnancy or pregnancy at sites other than the uterine cavity(ectopic pregnancy).
Whom to approach for inducing an abortion?
For availing safe abortion services you need to approach a center/abortion clinic registered with the government for the purpose of providing abortion services. Your doctor should be extensively trained in providing abortion services in order to minimize health risks for you.
The center you chose should also be one which respects your privacy and maintains medical confidentiality. The healthcare personnel in the abortion clinic should be non-judgemental of you or your decisions. You should be given the freedom to make an informed choice between the options available.
Post-abortion care, counseling, and support should be given great importance by the center.
What to expect after abortion?
Vaginal bleeding may persist for a few weeks following abortion irrespective of the method of abortion. Post-abortion follow up is necessary to look for any signs of retained bits of products of conception. An ultrasound scan will be performed by your doctor so as to confirm complete abortion.
Psychological problems following abortion
Women may suffer psychological distress following abortion. It may be in the form of recurrent dreams of the abortion experience, relationship problems, sleep disturbances, guilt consciousness, depression etc. These problems may surface days to years later and need to be recognized early and treated promptly.
Can abortion affect future pregnancy?
Abortion may increase the chances of ectopic pregnancy in the future by 8-20 times. It has been observed that there may be a 30% increased risk of ectopic pregnancy after one abortion and about 160% increased risk of ectopic pregnancy after two or more abortions.
The retained placenta may become a problem in future pregnancy in women who have had abortions and may warrant manual removal of placenta.
Premature deliveries may occur in the future if a woman has had abortions.
The risk of spontaneous abortions is increased in future pregnancy if a woman has had induced abortions.
The women may face infertility issues in the future if she has had an abortion. It is termed as secondary infertility. The risk of secondary infertility or infertility in a woman who has conceived spontaneously before is 3-4 times greater in women who have had at least one abortion in the past than women who have not aborted. Intrauterine scarring or adhesions may be one of the reasons.
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