Medical abortion

Medical abortion Treatment, Procedures, Risks | Hospitals & Doctors in India

Medical abortion is a way to end a pregnancy in women. A non-surgical procedure, this process can be initiated in either the hospital or at home with a doctor visiting your afterwards. The safest time to undertake this procedure is during the first trimester of the pregnancy.

However, medical abortion is not a desirable procedure in most cases as there are several emotional, physical and psychological implications associated with it. Therefore, before you are undertaking this procedure, you need to make sure that you have weighed in all of the options.

What are the reasons to get this procedure done?

The reasons for taking up this procedure can either be:

  • Medical: there are some complications regarding the pregnancy.

  • Personal: the pregnancy is unwanted in cases where the mother is too young or some other social matter.

Preparation for this procedure

In order to make sure that you are prepared for this procedure, you need to do the following:

  • do a complete evaluation of your medical history,

  • Use the physical examination techniques to check as to whether the pregnancy is even there or not.

  • Make sure to do an ultrasound in order to confirm the baby is not outside the uterus. Furthermore, make sure that the pregnancy is not molar.

  • A complete urine and blood test should be done before. 

  • Make sure that you are completely aware of the procedure and also the risks and complications associated with it.

What are the medications given in order to induce abortion?

As we have already established that the process is non-surgical, the following are the medications given to induce abortion:

1. Oral misoprostol or oral midepristone: these medications are taken within a few weeks of the first day of the last period and it is the most common form of medication given in order to induce abortion.

  • The misoprostol causes the uterus to contract and the embryo to exit out of the vagina.

  • The midepristone causes the uterine walls to be thinned so that the embryo cannot stay at one place.

2. Oral midepristone along with vaginal, buccal or sublingual misoprostol: the medications are the same, but the way to introduce it to the body is different. Misoprostol can be given through vagina, mouth and check or under the tongue.

3. Methotrexate and vaginal misoprostol: the Methotrexate are rarely used to remove unwanted pregnancies

4. Only vaginal misoprostol: if used 9 weeks before the ingestation of the embryo, then only the misoprostol is enough.

What happens after the procedure is complete?

Once the procedure is complete, the following are the side effects that you are likely to encounter and all of them require some sort of medical attention:

  • Heavy bleeding 

  • There also can be a severe abdominal or back pain

  • There can also be a fever that can last for 48 hours. 

  • You can also encounter a foul smelling vaginal discharge. 

There are several complications associated with this procedure. To that end, if you have conducted it yourself, you need to get to the doctor as soon as possible and they will give a complete test regarding:

  • The changes in uterine size

  • Bleeding regions

  • Side effects.

  • Is the abortion complete?

If the case is made where the abortion is not complete, surgical abortion might be necessary. After the abortion, your ovulation will return after a few weeks. However, there can be severe complications to this as well.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

The risks of medical abortion are as follows:

  • The abortion might be incomplete

  • There is a chance that the procedure does not work

  • There also can be heavy and prolonged bleeding.

  • There can also be a face of infection or fever

  • Digestive discomfort is also common.


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Dr. Madhu Goel

Senior Gynecologist and a Senior Consultant

Dr. Madhu Goel is a well renowned senior gynaecologist and a senior consultant at Fortis La femme, New Delhi. She runs a private consultation in Goel’s surgery and Gynea centre and prior to being associated with Fortis; she was a consultant a Rockland Hospital.