Pregnancy is a dream come true for most wannabe parents. A few couples falter on their contraception and have to contend with an unplanned pregnancy at the most inopportune times. In such cases, they have to go through an abortion also known as medical termination of pregnancy. In most cases, an abortion can be quite a breeze and uneventful especially under the hands of a competent doctor.
However, there have been cases where abortions have gone wrong with horrendous results and irreversible infertility. Infertility with an abortion is a stark reality and a serious health complication, should you choose to consider it.
Complications Arising out of Abortion
There are several complications arising out of an abortion. Good hygiene practices during the surgery are of paramount importance. Abortion is generally carried out by two methods. Doctors either use the suction method to evacuate the uterus of its contents or they use D&C, which is also known as dilation and curettage.
The Suction Method
In the suction method, the cervix is dilated and cleaned and an instrument is used to suck out the unwanted foetus from the uterus. The risk of infection with this procedure is high. This is because of the presence of bacteria in the vagina. If the bacteria reach the uterus or the fallopian tubes, an infection could occur and the tubes could be completely blocked. This could lead to irreversible infertility.
Problems With D&C
In dilation and curettage, a curette is used to scrape the uterus and remove all remnants of the pregnancy. This is a tricky procedure and can easily go wrong by scraping too much or too little. If you scrape too little, there are chances of the pregnancy remaining in the uterus.
The patient could then suffer from heavy bleeding over the next few days. This is called as an incomplete abortion and the patient may have to go through a second D&C. On the other hand, if you scrape too much, it may damage the uterine walls. The walls will not heal and will stick together making conception difficult if you decide to have a child later on.
Perforation is another complication of an abortion. This happens when the uterus is accidentally perforated and the surgeon pulls out intestines or other organs thinking it is the foetus. This can lead to heavy internal bleeding and the patient may die.
Post Abortion Care
Care must be undertaken after an abortion under the advice and guidance of a doctor. The patient must rest for 24-48 hours to help her body to recover. Mild to moderate bleeding is very common after an abortion. However, if the bleeding occurs for more than 10 days along with spells of dizziness and fainting, this could indicate a possible infection.
Normal activities must be resumed after the 24-hour period is over. Sexual intercourse must be attempted only after the bleeding stops. Please make sure to use a foolproof form of contraceptive to ensure that a pregnancy does not occur.
Periodicity of an Abortion
The time factor is always taken into consideration before carrying out an abortion. It is the safest to carry out an abortion when the foetus is 10-12 weeks old. A 5-6 week old foetus can also be aborted with the help of abortion pills though these must be taken only under the strictest of medical supervision.
A foetus, which is more than 14 weeks old, will have to be expelled from the uterus with the help of injections, which cause a mini-labour to occur. If that does not work, the surgeon may carry out a routine caesarean section to remove the foetus.
Reasons for Choosing an Abortion
Women all over the world are choosing an abortion due to various reasons. She does not wish to become a parent, an unplanned pregnancy, pregnancies due to premarital sex, abnormalities in the foetus, rape and incest are some of the reasons for having an abortion.
The MTP act in India has forbidden women to undergo sex-selective abortions, which are primarily targeted at female foetuses. This legislation has come out due to the skewed sex ratios and the trend of female foeticide in our country.
Who Performs an Abortion?
A qualified gynaecologist or an obstetrician is your best bet for an abortion. They are experienced and qualified to carry out the MTP. Always make sure that you visit the best hospitals and clinics for an abortion. Avoid quacks and neighbourhood clinics at all costs, as these are rooted in malpractice.
These people are out to make a quick buck at the expense of innocent women. Many fatalities and deaths have been reported due to the conduct of abortions by these quacks. While it is not necessary to tell your partner or parent, it is wise to take into confidence at least one person who will carry out the abortion for you.
Most doctors are against an abortion being carried out unless there is absolute medical need to do so. Law enforcement agencies have also come down hard on the practice of sex-selective abortion. Pregnant women are often sent to counselling cells to help them take a decision in favour of carrying the pregnancy to term. This is especially true for married couples who are yet to have a child and do not have a pressing reason to terminate the pregnancy.
This is primarily done to rule out any future complications in enabling the woman to conceive when she wants to. At the same time, all out efforts must be made to carry out the abortion as soon as possible. The more the delay in the procedure, the greater the risk to the mother.
Once the woman has decided in favour of the abortion, a complete medical history is taken before the surgery. She may be possibly screened for STDs and other diseases. Post surgical counselling is also given and she is given full advice on contraception and its importance in order to prevent the occurrence of further pregnancies. This is done as a routine practice in most hospitals.
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