Chances are that if you clicked on this post, you or someone you care about has recently found out she is pregnant. This news often comes as a surprise during a time in your life when circumstances are not necessarily the way you always imagined they would be when you brought a baby into the world. With pregnancy come new hormones that heighten whatever feelings you might have about the pregnancy. Stress, worry, doubt, and a seemingly endless array of choices before you can work together to cause that feeling of being in a crisis. During this time, it is important to take a deep breath and realize that you do not have to make a quick decision on how to proceed. Most likely if you are reading this and you are pregnant there are people in your life that have opinions on what you need to do. Remember, this is your body and your choice. You owe it to yourself to learn all of the information necessary to make the choice that is right for you and your baby. In the following posts we will look at those options in depth and explore the pros and cons of each. We will also look at other issues surrounding sex, relationships, pregnancy, birth control, and more. First, we will take a candid look at the abortion option.
Abortion is one of the most widely controversial and common medical procedures in the country. Chances are, you know someone who has had an abortion, whether they told you about it or not. It is imperative to remember that abortion is a form of surgery, and that there is a risk of serious complications. Let’s look at the most common abortion procedure.
The most common abortion practice is suction aspiration. This is performed in the first trimester of pregnancy, between 5 and 12 weeks LMP. Most women do not even know they are pregnant until they have missed a period at 5 or 6 weeks, at which point the baby is already to large for the abortion pill. It is during this time that the baby’s heart is already beating, the spinal cord has developed, and facial features are evident. These weeks are a time of rapid growth, By week 8 the eyes have formed and by week 12 the baby is already male or female, though you won’t be able to tell for sure which via ultrasound for a few more weeks.
The suction aspiration abortion is a multi-visit procedure. During the first appointment, a long, thin tube called a laminaria cervical dilator is placed into the cervix in order to stimulate dilation. This process takes up to 24 hours, so it happens the day before the abortion is scheduled to take place. You are awake for this.You are also awake for the actual suction aspiration procedure. Local anesthetic, pain reliever, and a mild sedative are given. The abortion takes about 15 minutes. A long hollow tube attached to suction is inserted into the cervix. Once turned on, the machine is loud, and the force of suction is stronger than that of a household vacuum cleaner. This suction tears the forming baby apart into pieces for disposal. Even under sedation, it is common to feel the suction.
After the procedure, pain, cramping, and heavy bleeding are normal. Serious complications include severe bleeding, large clots, fever, abdominal swelling, and decreased heart rate. These require immediate emergency medical attention. The strength of the suction also creates scar tissue in the uterus. This scarring can lead to sterility later in life, and that risk increases exponentially after multiple abortions.
Strong emotional reactions are also common. Often women feel an immediate sense of relief after the procedure, but that relief all too often turns into depression, guilt, and emotional turmoil. This reaction comes on within a few weeks and lasts for years. It is related to Post-Partum Depression, and is commonly known as Post Abortive Syndrome. If you or someone you know suffers from Post Abortive Syndrome, please seek help immediately.
Abortion may be common but it should not be taken likely. As we have seen above, pregnancy can be very stressful. In contrast, abortion can seem like a very easy solution to a complicated situation. In reality, abortion is a serious procedure rife with its own complications and risks. If you are pregnant and feeling unsure of what to do, please contact the Women’s Clinic today. Knowledgeable peer coaches are available 6 days a week to sit down and listen to your concerns, answer your question, and give you the information you need to make the right decision for you and your baby. All services are free of charge and completely confidential.