How does the abortion pill work?
'Abortion pill' common includes two medicines - mifepristone and misoprostol, that are used to end or terminate a pregnancy.
The pill called mifepristone needs to be taken first. Mifepristone blocks the production of progesterone, the hormone that is necessary for the development of pregnancy. The second abortion pill, misoprostol needs to be taken either immediately or can be taken within 48 hours of taking the first pill. Misoprostol causes bleeding and cramping and clears the uterus.
The woman is likely to experience severe cramps and heavy bleeding after taking the second pill. Many women consider the pain similar to having a miscarriage. In case the woman does not experience any bleeding or cramping after taking the second pill, consulting with the doctor is very important. The gynecologist will give both the pills at the clinic along with detailed directions on how to take the abortion pills.
Is the abortion pill effective?
Yes, the abortion pill is very effective. But the effectiveness of the pills depends on how far you have come through in your pregnancy when you take the medicine.
- For women who are less than 8 weeks pregnant, the effectiveness of the abortion pill is 94-98 percent.
- For women who are 8-9 weeks pregnant, the effectiveness of the abortion is 94-96 percent.
- For women who are 9-10 weeks pregnant, the effectiveness of the abortion pill is 91-93 percent.
- For women who are 10-11 weeks pregnant, the effectiveness of the abortion pill is 87 percent.
In most cases, the abortion pill offers effective results. But if it does not, surgical procedures may help in terminating the pregnancy.
What to expect after taking the abortion pill?
The effects of abortion pills are not the same for all. After taking the medicine, you may feel dizzy and fatigued, hence taking proper rest for the next two days is important. In case you feel okay the very next day, there are no restrictions and you can get back to your daily work. But, you should refrain from indulging in heavy work on lifting any weight at all costs.
Bleeding for the initial few hours will be heavy after taking the abortion pill, but that should lighten as the hours pass by. You may experience emotional disturbances and severe mood swings during this time. Additionally, you may experience tender breasts and milky discharge from the breasts.
Other common side effects of taking abortion pills include - nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, which are likely to go away on their own in a few days time. Consult with the doctor if the side effects continue for more than two days.
Who can undergo Abortion?
Women who have conceived accidentally, or are not in a mental and financial position to raise a child can opt for a medically safe way of aborting the pregnancy. Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Unmarried adult women can also go for abortion if the pregnancy is unsupported or is a result of sexual assault.
Is abortion legal in India?
Yes, abortion has been legalised in India by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 up to 20 weeks of conception.
In India, abortion is legal only under the following circumstances:
- If the continuation of the pregnancy poses major risks to the life of the mother
- If the pregnancy is a result of rape or sexual assault.
- If the fetus has severe abnormalities.
- If the pregnancy is a result of contraception failure. However, this condition does not include married women.
The decision to undergo an abortion lies solely at the discretion of the doctor. An adult woman does not require the consent of her husband or family member to have an abortion.
What happens in D&E abortion?
Dilation and evacuation (D&E) is done to terminate pregnancy of 7 to 12 weeks. The process includes a combination of vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage using surgical instruments.
- The gyenolocogist begins the procedure with an ultrasound to determine the duration of the pregnancy.
- The gyenecologist then inserts a dilator to dilate the cervix. This reduces the risk of injury during the procedure.
- The doctor will give you a dose of antibiotics and lay you down on a table in a lithotomy position.
- The doctor will insert a speculum in your vagina and clean the area with an antiseptic solution.
- You may also be given pain medicine and a sedative.
- A cannula will be passed into the uterus. You might suffer mild cramps and discomfort at this stage.
- A pair of forceps will be passed into the uterus to grasp the larger pieces of tissue.
- Using a curette, the doctor will gently scrape the uterine lining and remove the pregnancy tissues.
- The suction will then be used to make sure all the uterine contents are removed from the uterus.
D&E is a daycare procedure, completed within 30-45 minutes and is done in hospitals. The patient will be given some medications and shall be allowed to go home after taking a rest for some time.