Abortion, as the name suggests, is the procedure to abort or end an unwanted pregnancy. In India, it is a legally sanctioned option for both married and unmarried women and can be performed until the first 20 weeks* under the following 4 grounds:
As a procedure, it is one of the safest, most common, and minimal risks procedures. It bears no risks on future pregnancies and marks no scar. However, it must be performed only by a trained and licensed OB-GYN and only at a registered clinic (under MTP act, 1971).
Abortion at any other facility, such as home or an unsafe place, or by an unauthorized doctor is extremely risky and can lead to severe complications such as incomplete abortion, infection, and at times, death. According to WHO, unsafe abortions are the third leading cause of maternal deaths in India.
If you have conceived an unwanted pregnancy, and decide to terminate it, we suggest you do not delay the abortion procedure. The earlier the abortion, the better, safer, and economical.
Also, a delayed decision may also bring you in conflict with the law. The Indian State allows termination of unwanted pregnancy only until 20 weeks in regular cases, and 24 weeks in special cases such as- when the woman is a victim of sexual assault, example- rape or incest, or, the woman is differently-abled or of a minor age (under 18 years).
You can read more about the legal limitations and rights on abortion in India here.
Abortion by medicine
Abortion by surgery
Ultrasound: Ultrasound is a sound-based imaging test. That is, it uses high-frequency sound waves to paint the internal image of the abdominal organs based on echo.
Based on the number of weeks in pregnancy, either of the following may be suggested to determine the best course of terminating the pregnancy:
Unsafe abortion is any abortion performed outside of a medically verified vicinity or by an untrained or unqualified person.
More than 64 lakh pregnancies are terminated in India every year while only a portion is performed legally and under proper medical guidance. While quite common, unsafe abortions are extremely risky. It could lead to:
In fact, India reports an average of 10 deaths every day because of unsafe abortions, thus marking it the third most common reason for maternal deaths. Therefore we suggest, you trust only a well-qualified, trained, and experienced OB-Gynecologist for the pregnancy termination and seek only MTP registered clinics.
The best method for abortion depends on mainly 2 factors-
The other decision-making factors include- the need for abortion, the patient’s general health, limitations, and personal preferences. Depending on the same, either of the following may be suggested-
Whatever be the reason for abortion, it almost always invokes multiple emotions. However, what you experience and when is entirely personal and varies from woman to woman and couple to couple. While some struggle through them immediately, in others, the feeling is recorded much later and suddenly.
What is important here, is to know that, you are not alone. Whatever you may be experiencing, is almost always a shared feeling with many others. The best is to give it time, spend some time with the people you love, and do things that make you happy.
However, in case the strange feeling refuses to leave, we strongly recommend you see a counselor. Sometimes, it is best to seek professional help instead of struggling personally.
Myths-Abortion is illegal in India.
Facts- No, abortion is legal in India since more than 4 decades and was first sanctioned under MTP Act, 1971.
Myths-Abortion is legal for only married women in India.
Facts-No, under the new MTP Amendment Act, 2021, abortion is a legally sanctioned option for both married and unmarried women in India and the law does not differ on consent.
Myths-You need your husband’s consent before an abortion.
Facts-No. The Indian laws recognize only the woman’s consent as primary and last. This is why the decision to continue or terminate a pregnancy is entirely yours until the first 20 weeks.* Your husband/ partner’s consent is neither needed nor matters.
Myths-Abortion can only be performed until 20 weeks in India.
Facts-Technically yes. But, the law extends this timeline for special cases, that is when the pregnancy is a result of sexual assault such as rape. In such cases, the extended timeline is 24 weeks.
Myths-Abortion is unsafe.
Facts-No. when performed by a trained and specialized OB-gynecologist, it is a very safe, one of the most common, and minimum risk procedures. It is unsafe only when performed at home/ unsafe places or by quacks using unverified home remedies.
Myths-Abortion is a very long process.
Facts-No, abortion is quick and typically, a less than 60-minute procedure. You can in fact go home the same day after a little rest.
Myths-Abortion can leave a scar.
Facts-No. Abortion does not leave scars. It is performed through a gentle suction-like effect across the vaginal route. Since no cut or incision is marked, it leaves no scar.
Myths-Abortion affects future pregnancies.
Facts-No. When performed by a trained OB-Gynecologist, it is absolutely safe and does not affect future pregnancies. You will become fertile right next month and be able to conceive again.
Myths-Any gynecologist can perform an abortion.
Facts-No, only an OB- Gynecologist licensed under the MTP act can perform an abortion.
There are a number of birth control methods to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Varying on your frequency of sexual intercourse, desire for further childbirth, and personal comfort or choices, you may choose among any of the following:
In men, it is called vasectomy. Here, minor surgery is performed to cut the vas deferens tube. This blocks the sperm to meet with semen and hence terminates any chances of pregnancy. Both methods are one of the safest and permanent solutions with little to no risk of side effects/ complications.
If you fear or feel an unwanted pregnancy, we suggest you consult your doctor at the first sign of pregnancy, that is,
Normal pregnancy until 8-9 weeks can be aborted through a combination of 2 medicines (commonly known as RU486). However, medical abortion persues heavy & prolonged bleeding and cramping and must be followed by an ultrasound to endure complete expulsion. Therefore, doctors often suggest surgical abortion post 5 weeks to ease the patient’s pain and discomfort.
Medications: Medical abortion involves using a combination of two different medicines- mifepristone and misoprostol. The first pill is given by the doctor in the clinic, whereas the second one is taken at home by the patient herself. While ‘mifepristone’ blocks the necessary hormone for pregnancy and detaches the embryo from the uterine wall, ‘misoprostol’ causes the uterus to contract and open the cervix slightly to expel the pregnancy.
Typically, expulsion is very painful, prolonged, and causes discomforting cramps. Therefore, it may take you a little over 7-10 days to expel the pregnancy completely. After the expulsion, a necessary ultrasound exam must be taken within 15 days to ensure complete abortion.
Insurance coverage of abortion depends on the reason for undertaking the treatment. That is, the cost claim is covered when done under medical reasons and advised by the doctor, however, refused when taken because of voluntary choice.
Medical reasons mostly include-
If your particular policy includes the coverage for reproductive and maternal health and the reason for abortion is either of the above, it is mostly covered under insurance by all major health care and insurance providers in India.
However, when not advised by the doctor and rather taken as a voluntary choice because of a personal reason, the procedure is not covered under insurance.
For more information or specific clarities, please call us directly.
The recovery, followup and complications slightly vary in the case of ectopic and molar pregnancy. For information on either, please redirect to our respective pages:
Ectopic Pregnancy: here
Molar Pregnancy: here
Abortion, in a long-term outlook, is a very safe procedure. The results are immediate, complete, and mark no side effects when performed by a trained and specialized OB-gynecologist.
You can abort an unwanted pregnancy without fear of eventual conception as you will start ovulating again the same month and be ready for pregnancy within 30 days*. However, to avoid any unwanted conception, we suggest you shift to birth control of your choice and move towards planned parenthood as and when you like.
*This information is only limited to the termination of normal pregnancy. The same may change in the case of ectopic or molar pregnancy. For more information on either, please redirect to our respective pages:
Ectopic Pregnancy: here
Molar Pregnancy: here
Ms R (aged 23, Gurgaon) called us enquiring about abortion in late November 2021.
Ms R had conceived accidentally despite the use of birth controls and was concerned for the same after 2 months of missed periods. For the same, we connected her with Dr. Roopali Agnihotri (MBBS, MS- Gynecology, and Obstetrics, licensed under MTP Act) through direct consultation. The doctor guided that the patient took an ultrasound test to precisely understand the duration and type of pregnancy. The reports marked Ms. R was pregnant with 9 weeks of normal pregnancy.
Understanding the same, Dr. Agnihotri guided her through her option of surgical abortion, that is- D&C treatment.
Ms. R was anxious as a single woman and worried about her confidentiality. She also worried if the procedure was safe or could affect her future pregnancies. Understanding the patient’s reservation, Dr Agnihorti guided her on both- safety and legality of treatment. Dr. Agnihotri made sure that Ms. R felt comfortable, informed about her rights against unwanted pregnancy, and safe about her medically certified options. Assuring her full confidentiality and same-day discharge, the D&C treatment was scheduled the next morning.
The procedure went smooth and painless under general anesthesia and was completed within 30 minutes. We soon shifted her to the general ward for a little rest and after 1-2 hours of brief nap, Ms. R felt better and ready to consult her doctor again. This time, Dr. Agnihorti guided Ms. R through her recovery medications including antibiotics and vitamins. The doctor also guided her through some precautions and recovery guidelines along with her future birth control options best suited to her.
Ms. R was soon discharged the same day and follow-ups after 7 and 15 days showed no side effects or weakness.
Can my child feel the pain during abortion?
No. Though the pain itself is very subjective in nature, medical science says that a fetus cannot feel any pain or sensation up until at least 20 weeks after conception because the nervous system doesn’t develop fully.
Is abortion legal in India?
Yes, abortion is legal in India up until the first 20 weeks of gestation. You can seek the same on the following grounds-
I am under 18. Can I get an abortion? Do I need my parent’s consent for it?
Yes, if your gestation period is under 20 weeks and your doctor finds you medically fit for an abortion, you can undergo an abortion at any registered clinic by a licensed practitioner in India. However, you require your parents or guardian’s consent for the same. We understand that the same may be difficult for many women as they may fear absolute unacceptance or extreme reactions to it. However, in real-time, most of these fears never really actualise. What we fear doesn’t always happen. This is why we suggest you try telling your parents or at least one of them. They, too, have gone through the same age, and there is a high probability that they would understand, accept and help you. If you want, maybe you first take the help from someone you trust in the family or seek help from a women’s NGO/ council. But, abortion is a highly critical decision and under no circumstance should you rely only on home- remedies or unsafe/ unrecognised methods or shady clinics. The complications can be extremely severe and may pose a life risk.
Is my husband’s consent necessary for abortion?
No, under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,1971, the Indian law views conception, continuation and abortion as an extremely private and sacrosanct right of the woman herself. This is why, if you are above 18, fall within the gestation limit for the pregnancy and are medically fit for an abortion, no doctor can legally ask you for your husband’s consent.
We understand the need for abortion and are focussed at providing you a safe space. Therefore, when you choose Pristyn Care, rest assured you are choosing a safe, risk-free, and seamless abortion service free of moral judgments.
Some of our USPs are:
Booking an appointment with Pristyn Care is extremely simple.