A pregnancy can be medically terminated through oral or vaginal medication in the first trimester and through a vaginal procedure in the second trimester. In India, you can legally terminate a pregnancy, if it has not exceeded 20 weeks and if the pregnant woman, who is an adult, consents to the procedure. Having a medical abortion is a major decision and can have emotional and psychological consequences. So, consult a child specialist in Delhi to know all about the procedure, the potential risks and complications, and alternative approaches to make an informed decision.
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What to Expect During the Procedure
The most common medication for the medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) procedure is oral mifeprostome or oral misoprostal. This medication should be taken during the first seven weeks of pregnancy. Oral mifeprostome blocks progesterone, which causes the lining of the uterus to thin and prevents the embryo from staying implanted or growing. Oral misoprostol causes contractions and expels the embryo through the vagina.
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Other medications that might be given are vaginal misoprostol or methotrexate, which are used for ectopic pregnancies (pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus, such as in the fallopian tubes) and is done within the 7 weeks of pregnancy. This medication usually takes up to a month to medically terminate the foetus.
These medications might have few side effects such as:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal cramping
- Headache and chills
If you are in the second trimester of pregnancy, the commonly used surgical MTP procedure are Dilated and Curettage, Dilation and Evacuation and Induction Abortion.
How to Prepare
Medical abortion is a serious decision, so talking it out with your partner and/or family might be a good idea. You should know the legal requirements for termination of pregnancy and meet with your doctor to discuss your options thoroughly.
Your doctor might evaluate the following things to help your decision:
- Evaluate your medical history
- Do blood and urine tests
- Confirm your pregnancy with a physical exam
- Do an ultrasound to make sure it’s not an ectopic or molar pregnancy
- Explain the procedure and potential side effects, along with possible complications and risks.
Remember that you should be completely sure of your decision. Stopping the procedure midway could lead to risks to you and the foetus and cause major complications. Some potential risks are:
- Discomfort in the digestive system
- An ongoing pregnancy, in case the procedure does not work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
Who Should Not Choose MTP?
Medical abortion has not been found to affect future pregnancies, unless complications arise. However, medical abortion is not an option for you if:
- You are too far along your pregnancy.
- When you have a suspected ectopic pregnancy.
- You have certain medical conditions, including bleeding disorders.
- You have an intrauterine device, such as copper-T.
- You take blood thinners.
- You do not have access to emergency care.
- You are allergic to the medication used.
The decision to abort is a major one. Be sure that it is what you want and you know what you are in for before deciding on an MTP procedure. You must remember that ovulation usually starts two weeks after the abortion and you might be susceptible to getting pregnant again. Before the abortion, consider talking with an experienced doctor, such as the child specialists in Delhi, who can help you get contraception that you can begin with after the procedure.
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