All about Abortion and Its Treatments
Abortion is the process of ending the pregnancy by removing the fetus from the womb. Millions of women across the globe undergo this procedure due to various reasons. As per the recent studies, one in every three women adopts this option to end their unwanted pregnancy. During the early stages of pregnancy, some people use abortion pills to safely terminate the pregnancy.
Many of the countries today have legalized this procedure, but with different limits on the stage of pregnancy up to which it is allowed. The World Health Organization also recommends safe and legal abortions to all the women.
Types of Abortions
There are mainly two types of abortions – induced and spontaneous.
Induced Abortion – Induced abortions can be either therapeutic or elective.
- Therapeutic abortions are normally done for medical reasons such as, to save the life of the woman or if the chance of premature morbidity of the child is high.
- Elective abortions are done for reasons which may or may not be medical. It is done mainly in situations involving unwanted pregnancy or social issues like rape.
Spontaneous Abortion – These abortions are usually unintentional and are commonly known as miscarriages. This can happen due to stress, accidents, hormonal or chromosomal problems, infections, etc. It sometimes also depends on the age of the woman. Spontaneous abortion normally occurs before the 24th week of gestation.
Type of People Who Opt Abortions:
- Women with health problems or with problems in the fetus
- Those who are sexually assaulted
- People who are in abusive relationships
- Career-oriented women
- Couples who are not ready to raise a child
- Unmarried women
Methods of Abortions:
The treatments depend mainly on how many weeks pregnant a woman is, her health and also her personal choice. Abortions can be done either by abortion pills or by surgical methods. The pills can be used to terminate a pregnancy during its early stages (i.e., up to 7 weeks gestation).
Abortion Pills – Two types of pills are opted to end a pregnancy. Mifepristone is the pill used to block the progesterone hormone. In the absence of this hormone, the lining of the uterus breaks down and hence result in the abortion. The second type of medicine used is misoprostol, which contracts the womb and results in cramping and bleeding. This type of abortion is similar to a miscarriage.
Surgical Abortions – These are basically minor operations done with local anesthesia, sedatives or general anesthesia. This type of abortion is done for up to 15 weeks gestation. Surgical abortions are again classified into two, namely:
- Vacuum Aspiration – This the process of abortion done by the method of suction. This can be done with either local anesthesia or general anesthesia. This requires only a very short time for the recovery. This is done for people within the first 15 weeks of pregnancy.
- Dilatation and Evacuation – This type of abortion is carried out for people who are 15 – 24 weeks pregnant. Cervical preparation is necessary to be done before performing the surgery. It is done with general anesthesia. In this process, the fetus is removed from the womb with the help of narrow forceps.
In the places where these types of surgeries cannot be done, doctors also perform a labor-induced abortion. This is done by initially inducing labor and then inducing the fetal demise. But during this process, there is also a possibility of survival of the fetus. Hence, this type of abortion is normally considered as legally risky in some parts of the U.S.
Abortion, if not done by professionally qualified and experienced doctors, can affect the patient both physically and mentally. It may also result in the death of the patient. Some of the various complications that can arise due to unsafe abortions are:
- Incomplete or failed abortion
- Severe abdominal pain
- Excessive bleeding
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to the cervix and the other organs
Common Side Effects of Abortion:
These are normal side effects which prolong for about two to three weeks after the procedure.
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding and spotting
Also read: Essay on birth control
Abortion, though legalized in some countries should be done only after considering all the repercussions. The risks of aborting the pregnancy are also higher in the second trimester than in the first trimester. Hence, it is important to consult with an experienced doctor before deciding to terminate the pregnancy because a wrong move can even cause a life.