How Does the Abortion Pill Terminate a Pregnancy?
Termination Pills.If you want to terminate a pregnancy in the first 12 weeks of gestation, there are two methods to choose from: 1) a surgical dilatation and curettage (D&C) or the medical abortion or abortion pill procedure. The abortion pill method has increased in popularity since being FDA approved in the United States in the year 2000. Studies show that women who have had the surgical and abortion pill procedures performed would choose to have the abortion pill procedure. The advantage of the abortion pill procedure is that there is a 94 to 99 percent chance of no surgery, the patient is allowed to have her significant other or companion with her at the time of the abortion procedure, the abortion procedure happens in the patients controlled environment, and it allows for greater privacy.
At the first office visit for those women who choose the abortion pill procedure, it starts with a pregnancy test to verify that there is a pregnancy. A urine dip stick test is done to be certain that there is not a bladder infection, protein or glucose in the urine, and several other screening tests to assure the patient’s health is OK. A blood test is done to check for anemia and to do Rh testing. Patients also have an abdominal and or pelvic sonogram performed to determine the number of weeks pregnant she is.
Pregnancy counseling is done to go over the benefits and risks of the procedure. It is also determined if patients are being forced to terminate their pregnancy. If they are being forced, the facilities will not perform the procedure.
Patients are then given the RU 486 pill (Mifeprex or Mifepristone), which must be taken before you go home. This medication stops the development of the pregnancy by blocking the hormone progesterone. This causes the pregnancy to separate from the wall of the uterus, soften the cervix, and increase the intrauterine pressure that can lead to over 50 percent expulsion of fetal tissue in 24 to 48 hours. Patients are given a second medication, Cytotec (Misoprostol), which is a medication that causes the uterus to contract that is taken 24 to 96 hours after leaving the office.
After taking the Misoprostol tablets, uterine contractions generally start within 4 to 6 hours and vaginal bleeding begins shortly thereafter. The pregnancy tissue passes within 4 to 8 hours after taking the Misoprostol tablets. It can take from 24 hours up to 30 days for all of the gestational tissue to pass. Bleeding normally lasts up to 14 days but it has been known to last 30 to 60 days.
Patients return 1 to 2 weeks after the initial office visit and have a repeat sonogram to assure that the pregnancy tissue has passed from the uterus. If patients are not able to do this second visit, then they are not a candidate for the abortion pill procedure.
Complications that can occur with the abortion pill procedure include heavy vaginal bleeding, retained pregnancy tissue, or uterine infection which all occur less than 1% of the time. The Abortion Pill procedure is safe and highly effective in ending abortions from 3 to 12 weeks gestation.
Termination Of Pregnancy – a Few Facts About Induced Abortions
Termination of pregnancy may occur naturally or may be induced. Induced abortion is a sensitive topic with people reacting in different ways. There are those who are for it and those who consider it a sin, ultimately, it is the expectant mother’s choice to continue the pregnancy or to opt for a termination of pregnancy. Women may choose to opt for an induced abortion due to various factors. They may opt for it as getting pregnant at that point of time may not be a feasible option.
Women may opt for termination of pregnancy if they have put the health of the baby at risk due to bad lifestyles or due to unplanned pregnancies. Some expectant mothers opt for an induced abortion as they are unsure who the father is, some may be rape victims, some may not be ready to be single mothers, and some resort to termination of pregnancy due to poor health condition that puts their life at risk if the pregnancy continues.
Some women also opt for termination of pregnancy as their unborn child could have genetic defects, may be malformed or may have chromosomal disorders. It is not an easy decision for any woman to consider abortion. But not all women are lucky to have a healthy pregnancy by adopting pregnancy planning measures. Women who consider induced abortion need to think over some things carefully before they take their decision. It is absolutely essential that a woman who opts for an induced abortion has support and help from people she trusts in and from those who care for her.
Women may opt for an induced abortion during the first trimester and some during the second trimester, however it is only during extremely critical situations that abortions are induced in the third trimester. Abortions are much safer the earlier they are done. Women who consider termination of pregnancy usually are given drugs that can induce an abortion within a week. In some cases surgical abortion may have to be performed.
The women are given injections or pills (methotrexate or mifepristone) and given a pill misoprostol to be taken a couple of days after the pill or injection has been given. The first dose of pills or injections terminates the pregnancy and the second dose induced uterine contractions to empty the products of conception. Within a period of 7 days the termination of pregnancy has occurred. In the event that the drugs fail to induce an abortion it is imperative to get a surgical abortion as these drugs can cause serious birth defects. In the surgical procedure, the cervix is dilated and the contents of the uterus are cleaned using methods such as cutterage/MVA.
It is imperative that a competent and experienced physician performs the procedure and that proper follow up care is administered. Both kinds of induced abortions have certain risks. Medical abortions may induce bleeding, cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and with surgical abortions the risks to watch out for are infections and excessive bleeding. Carefully think over and comprehend the risks before you consider termination of pregnancy.
Termination of pregnancy is serious pregnancy complication and many people dread this issue. However, in some cases because of unplanned pregnancies or other issues some mothers opt for induced termination of pregnancy. Pregnancy planning is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Visit RENAH CLINIC for more details related to pregnancy related issues such as stretch mark removal, pregnancy symptoms, stages of pregnancy, pregnancy exercises, breastfeeding, and much more…
Safe Abortion FAQ
I just found out that I am pregnant, what are my options?
You have three options when facing an unplanned pregnancy. You can carry the pregnancy to term and raise a child yourself; you can continue with the pregnancy and place the child for adoption or in foster care or you can choose to have an abortion to terminate the pregnancy. It’s important that you take the time to consider all of your options and discuss the issue with your partner, a friend or a family member (if you feel safe and comfortable doing so). Ultimately the decision of whether or not to continue with the pregnancy should be yours.
What if I want to have an abortion?
If you choose to have an abortion, ensure you choose a safe and legal provider like us, Marie Stopes South Africa, as there are many unsafe, backstreet abortion providers out there. Coming to our centres is easy, you just need to book an appointment online. Our team will tell you what to expect and let you know what plans to make for the day of your appointment.
What safe abortion options are there?
There are two options available to you which are the Marie Stopes Medical Process (4-9 weeks) and the Marie Stopes Surgical Abortion (4-20 weeks).
What if I’m not sure I’m pregnant?
All our centres offer abdominal scans/ultrasounds as well as pregnancy test to confirm if you are pregnant and, if so, the stage of the pregnancy.
At what age is it legal to do abortion?
The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act states that a women can have an abortion at any age- you should never be denied the service because of your age. If you’re young we advise you to chat to a trusted adult (a parent, aunt or teacher) and ask someone to accompany you to the centre for your appointment, but this is not required.
Can I get an abortion at Marie Stopes if I am not from South Africa?
What will happen during my appointment?
You will have a consultation with a nurse who will explain your options to you. She or he will take your medical history, it is important to be honest and disclose a full history, your confidentiality is assured. She or he will then perform a physical examination, including a vaginal exam to determine the stage of your pregnancy. This may include an abdominal ultrasound/scan.
If you are more than 12 weeks pregnant your procedure will need to be performed by a doctor. We may need to book an appointment for you to return on a separate day, depending on the doctor’s availability.
Why do you only start offering abortions at 4 weeks?
Why do you stop offering abortions at 20 weeks?
The law which governs abortion in South Africa restricts procedures at 20 weeks except in some cases where there is a threat to the woman’s health. RENAH CLINIC is only designated to provide abortion services up to 20 weeks.
What are the differences between the two options?
RENAH CLINIC Medical Process abortion, sometimes referred to as the abortion pill, uses pills/tablets to terminate a pregnancy. The first set of tablets is taken orally in the clinic and the second set is taken later at home. Early surgical abortion (4-12 weeks) involves a gentle suction method, which the nurse will use to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. This is a very quick and simple procedure that takes less than 5 minutes. The Surgical abortion (12- 20 weeks) is a surgical procedure where the pregnancy is removed vaginally it is performed by a doctor.
Which option is better?
Neither option is better than the other- it’s a question of both personal choice and medical history that will determine the method that is best for you. Some women say they prefer to finish the procedure in one day, others feel that the medical process more suits their lifestyle. A nurse will provide all the details to help you decide during your consultation.
How do I know which option(s) I am eligible for?
On the day of your appointment one of our supportive nurses will offer you a consultation session, including a physical exam. Once the stage of your pregnancy is confirmed you’ll be asked some questions about your medical history- it’s important to provide all of the relevant information requested (i.e. if you have a blood disorder like anemia or deep vein thrombosis).
What if I have had a cesarean section?
Your eligibility for RENAH CLINIC Medical Process may be affected by previous pregnancies and deliveries. It will depend on how many cesarean sections you have had and how recently.
What kind of pain management is available?
One of the RENAH CLINIC staff will be talking to you to comfort you and relieve pain without medication during the procedure. This is called the Vocal Local method. Some of our centres also have an option called conscious sedation which makes you sleep during the procedure.
What is conscious sedation?
Conscious sedation is available at selected RENAH CLINIC centres. It is a form of anesthetic that allows you to feel sleepy and relax or fall asleep during the procedure. If you decide to opt for sedation its important to let us know when you make your booking so that we schedule you on the appropriate time and date. You will also receive a set of fasting guidelines to follow, so you know when to stop eating and drinking.
What if I think I’m still pregnant after the abortion?
When can I have sex again after an abortion?
We advise that you do not have vaginal intercourse or insert anything into your vagina for one week.
Can I fall pregnant after an abortion? How soon after?
You can conceive again as early as one week after an abortion so it’s important to talk to a nurse about a contraceptive method that’s right for you. We have a wide range of contraceptive and family planning methods available for you to choose from.
Do I need to come back to the centre after my process or procedure?
If you opt for the RENAH CLINIC Procedure you do not need to come back to the centre unless you have a question or would like another service. If you choose the RENAH CLINIC Medical Process you will need to come for a follow up visit 3 weeks later. make a booking for your follow up.
What if I think I’m still pregnant after the abortion?
In around 1% of medical processes the pregnancy may continue even after taking the medication. If you have continued symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, vomiting or breast tenderness you should contact our Client Services centre. A positive pregnancy test 2 to 3 weeks after your process began does not indicate a continued pregnancy. This may just be caused by the pregnancy hormones still in your system. If the pregnancy is continuing after the Marie Stopes Medical Process we will perform the RENAH CLINIC Surgical Procedure at our centre at no cost to you.
When can I travel after my abortion?
You can travel as soon as you feel well enough to after the procedure but we do not recommend the Marie Stopes Medical Process for women who are travelling a significant distance (by air or road).
What if I started an abortion at home or from someone that doesn’t work for RENAH?
Because we do not have triage facilities if you are already in the process of an abortion we recommend you present yourself at your nearest hospital for treatment. If you have purchased “abortion pills” from someone who is not a designated provider do NOT consume the medication. Contact Us to book for a safe abortion.