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Is abortion the right option for me?
The decision to have an abortion is not easy; there are emotional factors to consider. (We speak about the physical side effects and what else you can expect in another article.) So, it’s vital to talk to a professional counsellor who can assist with queries that you may have.
Now that you’ve decided to terminate the pregnancy, ensure that you opt for a safe abortion procedure. ‘Backstreet’ abortions (abortions performed by an illicit person) are not only illegal, but they are also often ineffective and, in some cases, can be lethal.
In this article, we discuss the differences between the two safe abortion methods, so that you have the information you need to decide which one is best for you.
There are two common types of safe abortion procedures:
- Medical Process (often called the abortion pill)
- Medical Procedure (a minor same-day surgical procedure)
The type of abortion that is recommended will be based on the stage of your pregnancy and your medical history.
Medical abortion is available to you once pregnancy is detected through an ultrasound scan. A gestation period ranging from five to nine weeks (63 days) is the window period for this type of safe abortion method. After nine weeks, you’ll need to have an in-clinic medical abortion.
How it works: Abortion is accomplished by using a combination of two medications which work together to terminate a pregnancy. The first pill that you take at the center, and the second set of pills you will be given to take at home within 48 hours after the first pill. After taking the second set of pills, you will experience cramping and bleeding. Some women also experience a few side effects associated with the medication I.e. shivering, running stomach and feeling tired.
Please note: The abortion pill is 98% to 99 effective.
Is a minor procedure which is done safely at the center. The pregnancy is removed vaginally by either a trained nurse or a trained Doctor. This procedure can be done for pregnancies less than 20 weeks. This procedure may be offered with or without sedation. Pain management options will be discussed with you during the consultation where you can make a choice to do the procedure with or without Conscious Sedation.
How it works: For pregnancies less than 12 weeks, the pregnancy is removed from the womb through the vagina using a suction method. The procedure is simple, safe and takes between 7 to 15 minutes to do.
For pregnancies above 12 weeks, medication to soften the opening of the womb is given prior to the procedure. The medication may take 3 to 6 hours to work, depending on how far pregnant you are. The pregnancy is also removed from the womb through the vagina using specialized instruments as well as the suction method. The procedure may take 10 to 20 minutes to do.
After the procedure, regardless of the pregnancy stage, you will be required to remain at the center for 1 to 2 hours until you are fit for discharge.
Please note: The procedure is 99% effective.
Choosing what to do about an unplanned pregnancy takes its emotional toll. Make sure that you opt for a safe abortion procedure if you terminate the pregnancy
Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)
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