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Abortion is a safe and legal way to end a pregnancy. There are two methods of abortion available to women in the first trimester of pregnancy. A medication abortion (also called medical abortion or abortion with pills) involves taking medicines to end a pregnancy. An aspiration abortion (also called surgical or suction abortion) is a procedure that uses medical instruments in the vagina and uterus to remove the pregnancy. The information below compares the two methods.
More and more women are diagnosing their pregnancy very early and also decided to terminate it early before an intrauterine pregnancy can be diagnosed by a health professional. Even at such an early stage, a surgical or medical abortion can be performed effectively and safely from a medical point of view. The procedure is easier and leads to fewer complications, the earlier it is performed.
Medical termination of pregnancy (Abortion Pill)
Early pregnancy termination i.e. up to 7 weeks of pregnancy (calculated from the last period) This can be easily done with the use of the abortion pill (RU 486). This method uses a combination of 2 drugs to cause a spontaneous miscarriage. This is a reasonably safe, effective and nonsurgical method and does not require drug anesthesia or hospitalization. However, it must be done under medical supervision.
Early pregnancy till 7 weeks
7 weeks since conception
During this term, a baby’s heart is already beating for a whole month
Suction Curettage is a technique of electively terminating a pregnancy. It involves the removal of the fetus and accompanying tissue of the pregnancy from the uterus with instrumental evacuation through the vagina. Over 90% of induced abortions in the USA are performed by this method. This information and instruction is based on the assumption that you have had or will have, counseling and competent guidance in making your decision to seek this procedure for termination of the pregnancy.
7 weeks – 12 weeks of pregnancy (up to 3rd Month of pregnancy)
Pregnancy of this duration is usually terminated by using a suction evacuation technique. This can be done under local or general anaesthesia. The mouth of the womb (cervix) is dilated and a tube put inside the womb to suck out the pregnancy. The womb is cleaned out using a curette. This procedure takes about 10 minutes
However, the following considerations should be kept in mind, and a follow-up should be performed after one week.
A pregnancy smaller than 6 weeks gestation is too small to be seen by ultrasound (1). Therefore, it is not possible to diagnose the location: i.e., whether nidation took place within the uterine cavity (as is the case for almost all pregnancies) or outside the uterus (ectopic), for example in the tubes (very rarely).
While an ectopic pregnancy is a rare event, it is important to diagnose it because:
– It is a potentially dangerous situation for the woman and needs to be diagnosed and treated without delay.
– It requires a special operation (laparoscopy) or treatment (methotrexate) and cannot be terminated either by surgical or medical abortion.
The typical symptom of an ectopic pregnancy is increasing and constant pain in the lower right or left abdomen. If you experience such pain, you should see a doctor immediately.
Your doctor will determine the level of the pregnancy hormone hCG in your blood to diagnose a very early pregnancy that cannot yet be seen by ultrasound. A week later this should be repeated. The second hCG test can also be done by the woman herself using a specific urinary pregnancy test (low sensitivity type).
A follow-up after one week is a necessary precautionary measure in all women with a very early pregnancy, regardless of whether they have an abortion or decide to continue the pregnancy.
A significant decrease in the hCG level after one week indicates a successful abortion. Further follow-up visits are not necessary, unless there are other complications like heavy bleeding, pain, etc.
An increased or stable hCG level at follow-up is a possible indicator of an ectopic pregnancy. In this case, an ultrasound should be done as soon as possible to diagnose the location of the pregnancy. Depending on the result, further examinations or treatment will be decided upon.
Abortion of a very early pregnancy is a highly effective and safe procedure if this protocol is respected.