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Medical abortion and its side-effects


Medical abortion is the process of ending an unwanted pregnancy. Deciding to end your pregnancy is very personal, where a woman has to be prepared for all the before and after-side effects of Medical and surgical abortion is a process that’s highly used around the world. It’s the process that is licensed by health care professionals. For the abortion process, most women choose medical abortion for terminating their pregnancy as it gives safe and effective results and it is also very convenient.

Medical Abortion

Medical abortion is the procedure that uses medications to end an early or unwanted pregnancy. In medical abortion, the health care provider does not require any surgery or anesthesia as this process involves taking two medicines names Mifepristone and Misoprostol. The benefit of medical abortion is that it can begin at the clinic or the comfort of your own home but it requires proper follow-up and visits to the doctor. Before considering this process, make sure you understand the whole procedure, side effects, complications, and alternatives of medical abortion. It is the safest and most effective way to end an early pregnancy. The first abortion pill Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone (hormone i.e. needed to continue the pregnancy) and the second abortion pill Misoprostol expels the pregnancy remains by contracting in the womb and bleeding. This completes the termination process. The medical abortion process is an approved method by the Food and Drug Administration. Women experiencing pregnancy even after 10 weeks must not perform this procedure or they should first speak to the doctor about the procedure in detail.

The Expected Side Effects of Medical Abortion

Certain side effects are a common part of medical abortion. Several side effects are expected after consuming the medicines as all women may experience pain during the abortion. In rare cases, the woman does not experience any side effects. The experiencing of side effects mostly depends on the health and condition of women. Common side-effects that may occur while the procedure of medical abortion are severe uterine cramping and bleeding, passing of clots, nausea, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, these are the frequent side effects of the second abortion pill Misoprostol.

There are thermoregulatory hot flushes, fever, warmth, and chills that occur after consuming the abortion pills. In rare cases, it gets difficult to determine the side effects that occur during the process of medical abortion. Each side-effect has its briefing on how they act:

· Bleeding: Bleeding is the most important sign and side effect experienced during a medical abortion. It is an indication that your abortion process has started. However, in some cases, excessive bleeding is experienced which does not stop beyond a week and is proven to be fatal. The amount of bleeding experienced is comparatively more in medical abortion. This results in having more loss of menstrual blood than the bleeding that happens during normal menstrual bleeding Women often feel the passing of blood clots during the expulsion of pregnancy. In clinical trials, vaginal bleeding has always occurred in every woman whose termination process was successful after taking the abortion pill Mifepristone and Misoprostol for terminating their early pregnancy. Women who experience excessive bleeding are reported to have certain changes in hemoglobin concentration. This is uncommon so if you feel such kind of effect then you should immediately contact your doctor. 

· Cramping and Pain: As per research studies, it says that after taking the abortion pill Mifepristone and Misoprostol, more than 75% of women experience cramping during the procedure. The pain during an abortion has resulted in uterine cramping and it is the expected part of the medical abortion. The severity of cramping pain is linked with the duration of a woman’s pregnancy and depending upon that the pain ranges from gentle pain to severe pain. These side effects usually occur one hour after consuming the second abortion pill Misoprostol and recover back after the completion of the termination process.

Experiencing severe or mild cramping and pain is a very common side effect of the abortion process through pills. There is no need for you to panic if the pain is mild. However, if the pain that is experienced is accompanied by other signs and symptoms like fever, heavy bleeding, and anxiety, then its highly suggested to visit the doctor and take proper guidance to control the after-effects.

Gastrointestinal Side-effects

These side-effects are mostly related to the second abortion pill Misoprostol as it is the prostaglandin analogue, but in some cases, it can also result from Mifepristone. Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting are the effects that can be associated with the gastrointestinal problems that are associated with both the abortion process and early pregnancy. These side effects are the primary side effects concerning gastrointestinal problems. They can be managed by getting treated with antiemetics or antidiarrheals.

· Nausea: Nausea is one of the most common side-effects that have been reported in the gastrointestinal side-effects. These side effects are experienced while consuming both the pills viz. Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

· Vomiting: In medical abortion, vomiting usually occurs along with nausea. It is an indication of an underlying disorder rather than a precise illness itself. The medical term used for vomiting is emesis. Vomiting is the forcefully emptying the stomach which overcomes the pressure that is normally in place to keep food and secretions within the stomach. The reasons for vomiting vary and comprises of food-borne illnesses such as food poisoning, issues with the brain and central nervous system, infections, and systemic disease.

Disorders such as diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting are self-limited and mild asperity. According to studies related to medical abortion, there’s no ultimate proof that can benefit these interventions. The research indicates that the occurrence of gastrointestinal side-effects tends to increase with higher doses of Misoprostol. Nausea and vomiting significantly have higher results in women with gestation 50 -60 days than in women with gestation less than 49 days.

Thermoregulatory Changes

The term thermoregulatory changes refer to fever, a sensation of warmth or chills may be experienced during the medical abortion process. According to studies, it has resulted that the short temperature elevations or chills can result from hormonal fluctuation or any of the medicine used in medical abortion. Along with the fever, chills, and warmth sensation, even headache and dizziness are the side-effects that are reported as the effect that occurs approximately 20% in the medical abortion patients.

Dizziness and Headache

· These are the effects that come under the thermoregulatory change which occurs during the medical abortion usually after taking the second abortion pill Misoprostol. Dizziness is the most common symptom which gives a mild effect that recovers immediately. As it can be managed by taking rest, gradually after changing position, hydration, or assistance with ambulation.

· In comparison to headache, the reports of headache are reported heavily by the patients who are having heavy bleeding during the process. As after having the loss of blood in high amount can cause hypovolemia. Whereas the headache can be managed with analgesics. Till now no cases have been reported of cerebrovascular accidents with the usage of the abortion pill Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

While reporting, the clinics should ask every detail and query of the patient for further process like the quantity of bleeding and the symptoms that occurred with the bleeding like weakness, diaphoresis, and presyncope as the patient who is facing these types of symptoms should be taken immediately under medical evaluation.

Follow-up Post Medical Abortion

After completing the process, it is necessary to have a follow-up to know the result of your medical abortion. You should take proper appointments and visit your doctor and should follow-up and follow everything that your doctor has prescribed without fail. Having a follow-up of the entire medical abortion is very crucial for the patient to check the result or to check whether there are some complications. In case if the abortion is not completed, then it is necessary to undergo a surgical abortion procedure to complete the abortion process, or else the abortion would be incomplete and you might have a chance of getting pregnant again. After the abortion, it is also important to avoid things that were instructed by your health care provider to recover after abortion.

In the follow-up visit, they also provide an opportunity for the patient to decide on the contraceptive options and the health care provider offers them the health services according to the condition of the patient.

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