Feb 9, 2011

Medical Abortion : What is the Abortion Pill?

When a woman becomes pregnant, she is posed with a question. She must decide whether or not she is ready to bring new life into the world. It is one of the most monumental moments in a woman’s life and a decision that brings together her past, her present and her future dreams.

For many women, the answer is crystal clear: No, it is not time. Or, yes, she is ready to become a mother. For others, the answer is far less certain. There are many questions that must be answered, many emotions that must be explored. Ultimately, the choice should come from a loving heart and a clear head. You know your life situation best and will make the decision that is not only best for yourself but for those who already depend on you.

If you are pregnant and unsure of your path, i encourage you to involve someone – a relative, partner, friend, religious advisor, a physician or someone you trust to talk about the options in front of you. 

Making a choice about your pregnancy can be a gift of learning and growth. It is an invitation for you to develop a larger vision of yourself. It’s a way to practice compassion and loving kindness toward yourself.” from “Abortion: Finding Your Own Truth” by Corrintha Rebecca Bennett, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

If you are having a hard time, you will probably need to spend time identifying and sorting out your feelings about this experience. When pregnancy occurs, you may feel as if your entire past, present and future are up for examination. So, feelings about abortion may also have a great deal to do with other issues in your life that have not been addressed.
  • Write a list of why you want an abortion and why you do not. Some of your reasons will be emotional, some will be more rational. Seeing these reasons on paper often helps you “see” the path towards a more clear decision.
  • Write a letter to yourself. If there are people who oppose your decision or if you are worried about regretting it later, take some time now to write about why you would make the choice of abortion and how you feel about ending this pregnancy. Save this to read at a later date if you need to.
  • “Pregnant? Need Help? Pregnancy Options Workbook” This great booklet was developed by Margaret Johnston, Director, Southern Tier Women’s Services in Binghamton, NY. Here, you will get help seeing the realistic picture of all your choices–abortion, adoption and parenthood. Included are exercises and rituals which help the decision-making process. This workbook is available, free of charge, at Northland Family Planning Centers or go to Pregnancy Options Workbook.
Women who are willing to explore how they feel and what they think can come to a peaceful resolution about their pregnancy. To get there, you must be willing to work at it. The exercises offered by the counselors at Northland Family Centers or in the workbook, mean you must do some soul searching and do some “homework.” It may be the most important assignment you ever do.

Listen to your heart and your own voice to find the right answer.

Medical abortion treatment

Medical abortion or the abortion pill (also known as ‘early abortion’) is an alternative to surgical abortion . This type of abortion means taking two sets of pills (orally) over two visits (this can be on the same day or separate days) which causes the passing of the pregnancy.

You may experience discomfort, very strong cramps and heavy bleeding with medical abortion (the abortion pill). This normally lasts for a few days until the pregnancy has passed.
The abortion starts within 4-5 hours after taking the second set of tablets and is usually completed within one to two days of taking the tablets. Very occasionally it can take up to two weeks to pass the pregnancy.

Visit 1: During your first visit you will have your consultation, be given your first tablet and an appointment will be made for you to return to the clinic (either later that day or at some point over the next 48 hours) for the second set of tablets.

Visit 2: During your second visit you will take your second set of tablets and will be given detailed aftercare advice and information.

Two different types of medication are used for medical abortion Mifegynae and Misoprostol which have been found to be effective in causing a pregnancy to pass.

Not all women are suitable for medical abortion and you will not be able to choose this method if you:

Are over 35 and smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day
• Have a suspected ectopic pregnancy
• Have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease
• Are taking long term anti corticosteroids
• Have an IUD in place which will not be removed
• Have adrenal failure
• Are taking anti-coagulants or have any hemorrhagic disease or porphyria
• Have a poorly controlled inflammatory bowel disease

The failure rate for early medical abortion is between 2 to 3% (2-3 women out of 100)

Abortion aftercare Before you leave a  clinic after your second visit a team member will check how you are feeling and talk you through any specific aftercare information that you need to know. You will also be given a booklet with aftercare information in to take away with you and it is important that you read this. Should you have any worries or concerns about anything after your abortion treatment please call our specialist nurse advisors on 1 who will be on hand to offer advice and support 24 hours.

Read More: 

Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16405636

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