When you find out that you are pregnant, you have several options in front of you. Even though for some it is an inconceivable act, for others abortion can be the only way out of a highly complicated situation, such is an unplanned pregnancy. When it comes to the U.S. – abortions are very common. In fact, 3 out of 10 women have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old.
Regardless of everyone’s opinion about it, abortion is a complicated medical procedure which comes with its possible negative effects, which can be medical/physical and psychological.
If you are trying to decide if abortion is the right choice for you, then you should know that there many things to think about before making your decision. Learning the facts about possible side effects, as well as knowing more about this medical procedure is essential when it comes to making your final decision.
Possible Reasons Behind the Abortion Decision
Several studies have shown that women who chose abortion gave similar answers to why they decided to go with this decision. It is important to think about your current situation, which also means it’s important to see why other women were not able to continue with their pregnancies.
- Negative Impact on Your Life
This is one of the most controversial reasons because it may sound selfish. However, it is important to think about the path you’re on, as well as to see why other chose this option and how it affected their lives.
Numerous studies have shown that only half of teens who become pregnant before age 18 graduate from high school. Additionally, college students who become pregnant are also less likely to complete their education than their peers.
Employed single women are facing this decision as well, especially if they have other children at home. By having a child, they face an interruption of their job, which also impacts their earning ability. This is why a pregnancy that occurs in the wrong place at the wrong time can have lifelong consequences.
- Financial Insecurity
Single women who are earning just enough to live independently are facing the staggeringly high costs of pregnancy and birth. An unplanned pregnancy is an enormous financial burden. This is also associated with the lack of adequate medical care, which places the newborn at a higher risk for complications during pregnancy and birth.
- Unwillingness to Be a Single Mother
This is a common issue for women who do not live with their partners or have committed relationships. Many are unwilling to continue with pregnancy due to reasons such as: interruption of education or career, inability to care for an infant, and financial uncertainty. The outlook for unmarried women as single mothers is also discouraging, where women in their 20s living with their partners at the time of birth often end their relationship within two years – one third of them, to be exact.
Types of Abortion
There are two kinds of abortion in the U.S. – in-clinic abortion and the abortion pill.
If you are thinking about abortion, you need to talk to your health care provider that will inform you in detail about different abortion methods. Continue reading to learn more about each of these methods.
- In-clinic Abortion
Even though there are several in-clinic abortion methods, the most common one is called aspiration. This procedure ends pregnancy by emptying the uterus using the gentle suction of a manual syringe or using machine-operated suction.
Knowing what to expect can make you feel a bit better, so here is what you can expect from this abortion method.
Most women describe pain during this procedure as being similar to menstrual cramps. However, it can be more uncomfortable for some. What is important to know is that you will receive pain medication as well as local numbing medicines. It is advisable to relax for the rest of the day since you may feel cramps afterwards.
It is also important to know how safe in-clinic abortion is. Even though these procedures are very safe, this is still a major medical procedure, which means that some risks are involved and you have to be aware of them. Some of the possible risks are: an allergic reaction, infection, failure to end pregnancy, injury to the cervix or other organs, heavy bleeding, and undetected ectopic pregnancy.
Finally, note that you can feel confident that in-clinic abortion methods are very effective. In some very rare cases, it is required to do another procedure. You will follow up with your doctor in order to make sure that everything is okay.
In general, in-clinic abortions cost up to $1,500 in the first trimester. Costs can vary depending on how long you’ve been pregnant. Keep in mind that after 24 weeks of pregnancy, abortions are performed only for serious health reasons.
- Abortion Pill
When it comes to abortion pills, there are two medicines to end a pregnancy – mifepristone and misoprostol. Note that an abortion pill can be used up to 63 days (9 weeks) after the first day of a woman’s last period. In case you are pregnant for longer than 9 weeks, your doctor will advise an in-clinic abortion method.
Knowing how abortion pills work can make you feel less nervous, so it is important to read a medication guide, as well as any instructions your doctor gives you.
The first step is to take the first medicine (mifepristone), in addition to some antibiotics that you will be given. Mifepristone works by blocking the hormone called progesterone, so the lining of the uterus breaks down. You will take the second medicine (misoprostol) 24 to 48 hours after taking mifepristone. This medicine will cause you to have cramps and bleed heavily, which should last a few hours. Many women abort within five hours after taking the medicine, but it can last longer (up to a few days).
Even though abortion pills are considered to be safe, all medical procedures come with some risks. Some of the possible side effects are: an allergic reaction, incomplete abortion, infection, failure to end pregnancy, blood cloths in the uterus, heavy bleeding, and undetected ectopic pregnancy.
Abortion pills cost up to $800 in the U.S.
Keep in mind that costs could be higher depending on whatever addition tests, visits, or exams are needed.
What to Expect Afterwards?
In most cases, you will be referred for ongoing counseling and support after abortion. However, you can continue eating regular diet and it is advisable to resume normal activity. Your doctor will tell you to avoid heavy activity for a couple of days. In addition, you should not insert tampons or douche, or have sexual intercourse for at least one week after abortion.
In case you are wondering if you will receive any medication, your doctor will give you pain medication. However, these are not necessary for every woman.
Even though there are numerous medical side effects connected to abortion, you will be asked to follow up with your doctor to make sure that you are feeling well. However, many women experience some psychological effects of abortion. In many cases, this is sadness and grief, as well as depression. This is why it is very important to come to terms with your decision prior to having an abortion. Because of this, the most common feeling experienced afterwards is a sense of relief and confidence in the decision.
Counseling may help you cope with your emotions and feelings, and you should not be afraid to ask for help from your health care provider.
Being Underage and Pregnant?
If you decide to have an abortion and are under 18 years of age, you will have to act according to your State’s law.
Some parental notification laws require the health care provider to tell your parent of legal guarding 48 hours before an abortion. However, it is highly advisable to open up and talk to your parent or guardian about your decision.
In some cases, you are not required to notify anyone about your decision. Differently said, the law concerning parental notification does not apply in some specific situations, such as:
- You are or have been married or divorced;
- You have a minor child dependent of you;
- There is a medical emergency;
- You get a court order to bypass the parental notification requirement;
- A court has emancipated you.
If you do decide to have an abortion, this is what you can expect on the day of your visit.
You will be required to fill out a paperwork as well as to meet with an educator. It is required to meet with an educator or counselor in order to learn about the abortion process, after-care, as well as to talk about different birth control options. This appointment last about 2 to 3 hours.
When it comes to possible fees, you have to think about the following: medication, pregnancy testing, follow-up exam, options education, lab work, as well as 24-hour on-call nurse.