In medical terminology, abortion is interpreted as the termination of pregnancy for a period of up to 22 weeks. Abortions are divided into spontaneous (miscarriage) and artificial (surgical or by some other intervention). Also, abortions are early (in case of termination of pregnancy for a period of up to 12 weeks) and late (more than 12 weeks). Unlike early abortions, which are decided by the woman herself, late abortions are carried out only with the permission of the commission on the considered application of the pregnant woman. In the later periods, an abortion can be performed for medical reasons (severe development of the fetus and its non-viability) or for social reasons (single mother, lack of housing, death or disability of the husband of 1-2 groups, refugee status, rape, unemployment, large families).
The most used medical abortion product is mefepristone (mifegin, RU486). Mefepristone reduces the effect of progesterone, the main pregnancy hormone. It is used in conjunction with products that enhance uterine contractions and accelerate rejection from the fetal egg. Such products are used in small doses and are called “prostaglandia”.
Medical abortion can only be performed for a period of up to 8 weeks. If the pregnancy is uncomplicated, medical abortion excludes surgery and anesthesia.
Pregnant women will need to undergo an ultrasound before medical abortion. If the pregnancy allows medical abortion, the woman signs an informed consent and takes 3 tablets of the products under the supervision of a physician. After that, the pregnant woman can leave the clinic. Within 1-2 days after taking the medication, bleeding begins. It indicates the beginning of the rejection of the fetal egg.
After a medical abortion, you will need to undergo another ultrasound to check the uterus for remnants of the ovum. Otherwise, they can cause severe bleeding and other post-abortion complications.
In case of complications (severe pain, high fever, chills, severe bleeding with weakness, dizziness, etc.), it is strongly recommended to consult a doctor or call an ambulance. It is not often that a medical abortion with such symptoms requires a surgical abortion, that is, curettage of the uterine cavity.
There are the following contraindications for medical abortion:
- abortion during an ectopic pregnancy can only be performed surgically;
- mefepristone cannot be used in chronic adrenal disease, a severe form of bronchial asthma, because it disrupts the action of adrenal hormones, which are also used in the treatment of asthma;
- mefepristone should not be taken in infectious and inflammatory processes of the genital tract, since it can contribute to the spread of infection;
- with problems with blood clotting (hemorrhagic disorders), since severe bleeding is likely. With such indications, abortion is carried out under the constant supervision of doctors.
The drug may not cause an abortive effect, but this happens quite rarely. According to statistics, only 2% of pregnant women are not affected by mefepristone.
Mini abortion (vacuum aspiration)
Vacuum aspiration can only be performed in the early stages of fetal development (5-6 weeks). The size of the fetus at this stage still allows it to pass into the vacuum aspirator, that is, a large syringe with a special nozzle. It is introduced into the uterine cavity and creates a vacuum, which in turn causes the fetal egg to detach from the uterine walls.
In the case of an abortion by vacuum aspiration, additional curettage may be necessary, since there is a high probability of incomplete abortion of the ovum. Mini-abortion is carried out with general anesthesia.
For short periods of pregnancy, a magnetic cap can be used for abortion. It is worn on the cervix, where it constantly emits a magnetic field. All signals entering its field are distorted, including the signals of the brain to the uterus. Thus, the connection between these organs is broken, the pregnancy stops developing and a miscarriage occurs.
A gynecologist puts a magnetic cap on the cervix of a pregnant woman for 9 days. After that, it is removed and medicines are injected into the vagina to open the cervix. With such a mine-abortion, complications with the woman’s health often appear. The magnetic cap can cause inflammation of the uterus and disrupt the blood circulation of the cervix.
Instrumental abortion (curettage of the uterine cavity)
Instrumental abortion is the most common. It can be carried out at the stage of fetal development up to 12 weeks. Now instrumental abortion is performed under anesthesia. Moreover, the method of anesthesia is chosen depending on the individual contraindications of a pregnant woman. The anesthesiologist performs the necessary tests and gives permission for the use of one of the following types of anesthesia:
- intravenous anesthesia;
- epidural anesthesia or general endotracheal anesthesia (the doctor injects an inhalation drug into the trachea using a special tube).
To reduce the likelihood of complications during instrumental abortion, ultrasound control is carried out with a vaginal probe and examination of the uterine cavity with a hysteroscope. However, the use of anesthesia does not completely eliminate the possibility of complications.
After the necessary examination and tests, the cervix of the pregnant woman is opened with special tools in the form of tubes of various diameters – dilators. Scraping occurs with a metal loop – a hook.
Quite rare, but occurring complications during curettage of the uterine cavity are perforation (breakthrough) of the uterine wall and penetration into the abdominal cavity.
In this case, severe bleeding, peritonitis, injuries of the abdominal organs occur, which can cause death.
After an abortion by curettage, blood clotting disorders may occur. It is also likely that blood clots accumulate in the uterine cavity due to cervical spasm. In this case, you will need to re-scrape.
Consequences of abortion
Questions about the unethical nature of abortion are raised daily, but even if such an important side of the issue is excluded, abortion remains undesirable due to the obvious negative effects of abortion on women’s health.
Abortions are the most common cause of gynecological diseases. According to statistics, every fifth woman after an abortion suffers from the occurrence of chronic inflammatory processes in the genital area. The number of situations with complications is also increased by the “every day of treatment” abortion system. In such a situation, it is impossible to conduct proper preparation, all tests and examinations.
Also, any of the currently existing methods of abortion (abortion) contributes to the development of infectious and inflammatory processes. The spread of infection often contributes to inflammation of the uterus and appendages, pelvic peritonitis, thrombophlebitis (inflammation) of the veins of the uterus, or general blood poisoning (sepsis).
Instrumental abortion occurs in a hospital, so the patient takes antibiotics under the supervision of doctors. With other methods of abortion, antibiotic therapy is not always carried out.
Inflammatory processes resulting from an abortion can lead to the formation of adhesions, including synechia (intrauterine adhesions). It can also cause obstruction of the fallopian tubes and, as a result, infertility. Surgical abortion by curettage can cause trauma to the uterus, making it unlikely to hold a pregnancy.
The consequences of abortion are miscarriages and disruption of normal labor due to cervical deformation.
The most innocuous of the violations, but also the most common in the aftermath of an abortion, is a violation of the menstrual cycle. This phenomenon is observed in 12% of women who have had an abortion. Irregularity can be exacerbated by bleeding between periods.
In women who have given birth, the menstrual cycle is restored after 3-4 months. In other cases, this period may be delayed for an indefinite period.
Are there safe abortions?
Abortion, even at the earliest stages of fetal development, can cause serious female diseases. The body of a pregnant woman undergoes significant changes, the restructuring of many organ systems. First of all, pregnancy causes serious changes in the nervous and endocrine systems. A close connection between the embryo and the mother’s body appears almost from the moment of fertilization. Hormones affect the fertilized cell even before it attaches to the walls of the uterus. With all this, the body releases such biological substances as estrogens, progesterones, prostaglandins, etc. These hormones prepare the endometrium, the inner layer of the uterus, for implantation of the embryo. Biologically active substances and hormones gradually rebuild the female body and cause changes in hormone-dependent organs: ovaries, uterus, vulva, mammary glands.
Therefore, abortion causes a sharp hormonal breakdown in the body. Even with a short period of pregnancy, abortion cannot be safe.
During an abortion, the work of the endocrine glands, ovaries, thyroid gland, and adrenal glands is disrupted. This, in turn, causes nervous disorders, autonomic dysfunction, mental disorder, development of depression, nervousness, etc.
No method of abortion can be safe for health, since any abortion, even without complications, abruptly interrupts the hormonal changes in the body of a woman preparing to become a mother.
Since the hormonal preparation of the body begins immediately from the moment of fertilization of the egg, no abortion can be carried out without causing harm.
Of course, the risk is reduced by having an abortion in the early stages. But even in this case, diseases of hormonally dependent organs are not excluded, and the likelihood of the formation of tumors in these organs also increases.
Side effects of mefipristone also include endocrine infertility.
Hormonal disorders, diseases of the thyroid gland, pituitary gland can occur much later. After an abortion, a woman rarely develops chronic endometritis, endometriosis, ovarian dysfunction, salpingo-oophoritis, and infertility.
Subsequent pregnancies can be quite difficult, because the antibodies produced during the interrupted pregnancy begin to affect the fetus that the woman plans to endure. New antibodies are added to them and the detrimental effect on the small body is intensified.
This condition is called Rhesus conflict. It is likely when the mother is Rh negative and the fetus is Rh positive.
In conclusion, I want to say that there are doctors who convince of the safety of abortion in the early stages. But these doctors are either incompetent or do not value the health of their patients. In any case, abortion causes irreparable damage to women’s health, even if it is not immediately noticeable. In the aftermath, serious problems can arise, up to infertility and the formation of tumors. Therefore, do not neglect contraception in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies.