Surgical Abortion


For those who are not conversant with medical terminologies, abortion generally refers to the termination of a pregnancy before that age of intrauterine life by which it is able to survive outside the mother either by itself or through the aid of medical intervention. Abortion can either be on personal or medical grounds. They may occur spontaneously or through medical or surgical procedures. It is said that a good percentage of spontaneous early pregnancy abortions are due to a severely malformed foetus or genetic anomaly. There are also a host of reasons why people may want to consider an abortion and there are medical related scenarios where an abortion can be life saving for the mother. These are however beyond the scope of this current article. In this article the aim would be to discuss surgical abortion and 20 of the frequently asked questions about it. We would try to answer these questions as a way to help you further understand and better appreciate the whole concept of surgical abortion.

Surgical Abortion

Before going on to ask about the frequent questions on surgical abortion, it is important to know what exactly surgical abortion is? Surgical abortion refers to the emptying of the contents of the uterus between 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. This implies 12 to 14 weeks after a missed period or early in the 1st trimester of pregnancy. It can however also be performed around 20 weeks which is about the mid trimester of pregnancy. There are different procedures that can be used to carry out an abortion and the choice would depend on the stage of pregnancy at which the abortion is to be done and other features of the pregnancy as well as the woman in question. Three of the procedures are highlighted below:

  • Vacuum Aspiration: this is usually done with the aid of a vacuum aspirator and this is carried out for pregnancies that are generally below 16 weeks of gestation.
  • Dilatation and Evacuation (D & E): This is the procedure that has replaced the previously known D & C which is dilatation and curettage, this D & E is much safer and avoids the predisposition to uterine scarring or puncture that was quite common with D & C, especially in the hands of inexperienced abortionists. D & E is done for pregnancy that are between 12 and 20 weeks.
  • Dilatation and Extraction: Also referred to as D & E, this surgical abortion procedure is done for those who are above 21 weeks pregnant.

19 common FAQs about Surgical Abortion

There is no definitive time. It could be like a few hours, but generally it depends on the individual and if there are any difficulties encountered from the decision process to the procedure itself.
Generally you would be given some form of aesthetic during a surgical abortion so there should not be any significant pain during the surgical abortion process itself. However, depending on individual pain threshold one could experience mild pelvic aches or cramps after the procedure.
Generally, an abortion is one of the safest surgical female procedures especially in the hands of a professional abortionists. There is however risks and complications that could range from minor bleeds to pains.
This is chiefly individual dependent, some people may require emotional support after a surgical abortion others may not.
No, According to california law, A pregnant women is an emancipated minor. She can give her consent. We as providers , highly recommed parents to notied and be part of this process if possible.
Abortion is a state-wide issue, so depending on where you are, you would want to find out with your physician or abortionist any relevant law that you must be aware of.
A surgical abortion should have you on your feet by the next day under normal circumstances. However, due to minor complications or emotional reactions of some ladies, it may take them a little while longer to recover from a surgical abortion.
A follow up appointment is usually decided upon by your physician, it could be in a few days or in a week, depending again on the individual and the abortion process.
Generally an early first trimester abortion with a vacuum poses little or no risks to subsequent pregnancies. What happens to the percentage risks with subsequent or later abortions is still unclear with many conflicting research as to the risk if any and to what extent the risks exist. This is of course because there are many factors that can affect a pregnancy and so determining a previous abortion as a singular factor responsible for a complicated pregnancy is not easy to establish.
You would want to avoid wearing tight fitted clothing when going for your surgical abortion appointment. You would want to wear maybe a skirt and a top or a loose fitting clothing. It is also good to go with an underwear that can allow for a sanitary towel or pad to be worn with it.
The price of an abortion usually varies from centre to centre and would depend on the type of abortion and the procedure to be used. This means that the price would vary based on the gestation of the pregnancy.
While it is true that a lot of insurance companies would cover abortion it is very important that you do not assume and you seek clarification on this before you have your abortion. So it is important that you discuss with your abortionist about the price of the abortion and find out from your insurance company if it is covered.
This is something people want to know whenever surgical abortion is mentioned. They want to know about medical abortion because many people feel very uncomfortable about going in for any surgical procedure. Well, there is medical abortion and it usually involves most times the use of a drug to induce the abortion. It is a more natural process but is associated with sometimes more blood loss, more pain as severe menstrual cramps and it usually takes a longer time.
Just as like sated above, a surgical abortion is usually quicker and more reassuring than a medical abortion. The pain associated with it is usually minimal and women are happy to get it over with in a short time and get back to business as soon as possible.
Again this would depend on you and how your approach to abortion has been. Some people may require pre and post abortion counselling while some people may not.
An important part of any abortion is the woman’s blood group or more like the woman’s rhesus status. This plays an important role in subsequent pregnancies and that is why it is of utmost importance. The first thing is that a woman who is rhesus positive has no problem just as a woman who is rhesus negative carrying a rhesus negative child would have no problem. But a woman who is rhesus negative who is carrying a rhesus positive child, is not the same issue. This is because during the abortion process, some of the blood of the foetus may get into the mother. This would cause the mother’s body to develop anti bodies that will fight her subsequent pregnancies. So she may be having recurrent miscarriages in subsequent pregnancies. This is why her rhesus status is important before an abortion procedure is carried out.
This is the immunoglobulin that is given to a woman who is rhesus negative after the procedure to prevent her body from forming those antibodies that would cause subsequent miscarriages in her. So if a woman is rhesus negative it is important that she receives this immunoglobulin injection after the procedure.
For a lot of people it does. This is why it is good especially with a close friend or family member that they can trust. If it is a decision made by a couple then talking to your spouse about it could also help. You can always seek a professional counsellor or speak to your doctor or specialists about the procedure.
An abortion due to an unplanned pregnancy is always better prevented and that is why the issue of contraception is equally important. There are many contraceptives methods that include pills, injections, implants, barrier methods etc. This is such that it is always possible to find one that is both safe and convenient for you to use. You should always discuss contraception with your doctor and specialist especially after an abortion due to an unplanned pregnancy.
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