How is medical termination of pregnancy with pill or injections done?
Women mostly find out they are pregnant as soon as they miss a period, that is at a very early stage in the pregnancy. There is no need for panic as medical termination of pregnancy with pill or injections can be carried out up to 49 days of pregnancy. You can take your time to decide whether you want to keep the baby or not. Once the decision is made you can go in for an abortion within 24 weeks of pregnancy by various means.
At which stage is medical abortion helpful?
Medical abortion is done only when the pregnancy is not more than 49 days. A pill or injection is given to terminate the pregnancy and there is no surgery involved. Firstly, either an injection of methotrexate or a pill of mifepristone is given. Both work to stop the embryo from growing. The foetus and it’s tissues separate from the uterine lining.
About 3 to 7 days later a pill of misoprostol or a vaginal suppository of it is inserted into the vagina. These tablets cause the uterus to contract and expel the separated foetus and placenta.
When an injection is given initially the patient needs to take 2 pills orally or insert 4 pills in her vagina after 3 to 7 days. When a tablet is given on the first visit the patient needs to take 2 pills orally or 4 in the vagina 1 to 3 days later.
Injection of methotrexate :
The complete process may take a few hours or as long as a few days. When an injection (of methotrexate) has been given, women can either have an abortion the same day they take the misoprostol or within a week or two.
Pill of mifepristone :
When a tablet (of mifepristone) has been given most women abort the same day or within a week of being given the second tablet, that is of misoprostol.
Both methods are completely effective and safe. However, if they do not work surgical abortion must be carried out especially as there is a risk of birth defects caused by these medicines.
The patient is expected to experience bleeding and cramps as the uterus tries to expel the foetus and its linings. The bleeding may continue for up to 2 weeks. There may be cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and heavy bleeding as a side effect of the medicines.
A physical exam is given a week or two later to ensure that the abortion procedure is complete and to check for complications.
Is medical abortion advised for women?
Medical abortion is not advised for women who have anemia, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney disease, seizure disorder, acute inflammatory bowel disease or for those who use an intrauterine device (IUD).