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The first thing you need to know is that the abortion laws may be different in different countries, yet in most countries it is legal and hence, if you're thinking of an abortion, you're not doing anything wrong and you don't need to worry. A pregnancy may have to be terminated for a variety of reasons, both personal and medical.
While there are multiple safe methods of doing so, some people have created a lot of misconceptions about the same. An abortion doesn't necessarily have to be physically painful, nor does it have to be life-threatening. The difference lies in the method you choose to terminate your unwanted pregnancy.
Some women often panic and refuse to see a doctor because of the social stigma. Hence, they resort to unsafe methods to abort their unplanned pregnancy, and this leads to complications or side effects. This is the reason you must visit a gynaecologist or at the very least educate yourself about the different medical as well as natural methods available and which one's best suited for you.
Most abortion methods are safe only up to 4 months or about 16 to 17 weeks. Even though a gynaecologist would be the only person who can provide you with a proper prognosis, you can read this article to understand the options available to you.
Medically Supervised Abortion Methods
Hands down, this has to be the most effective way of aborting an unwanted pregnancy. Medically supervised abortions performed in the hospital, under the guidance of an expert gynaecologist will, without a doubt, terminate your pregnancy a safely and effectively. Following are 6 such methods of abortion performed medically.
1. Dilation and curettage
This method is usually performed if the pregnancy is about 14 weeks to 4 months old. A curette is a small surgical instrument used for scraping. One or both edges of the instrument are curved more or less like a sickle which does the action of scraping the uterus to remove the unwanted foetus. But before this, the cervix is dilated (1). It is extremely important that this is performed only under the guidance of an expert gynaecologist in the operation theatre, else it may cause complications.
2. Abortion pills
This method has been quickly gaining ground because of the convenience it offers. You'd be surprised to know that these pills can work till 7 weeks of your conception! These pills are of two types. One is an emergency pill which needs to be taken within the 48 hours following unprotected intercourse. The other one is basically a hormone tablet that needs to be taken as soon as you miss your period or within 7 weeks or 49 days of conception to induce a miscarriage.
Yet, resorting to the latter regularly as a method of contraception will cause complications and side effects. Moreover, you need to visit your doctor and only buy the hormone pills she or he prescribes. There may be chemists who'll not hesitate to provide you over-the-counter hormone pills of the second type, yet you should never take those medications without consulting the doctor.
3. Vacuum aspiration
this method is safe only till the 12th week (mostly between the 8th and 12th week) of pregnancy. It has been continuously practised for a long time now. This method involves inserting a sharp-edged tube through the vaginal tract and into the amniotic sac. The sharp edge does the job of cutting the foetus into pieces. Thereafter, a vacuum pump is attached to the other end of the tube to suck out the pieces. Once again, if you opt for this method, ensure that you visit only qualified and efficient doctors.
4. Surgical Abortion
In the advanced stages of pregnancy, the normal methods of abortion will not work out, and hence, to ensure optimum efficiency, a surgery may be performed. This is especially applicable in the case of ectopic pregnancies (wherein the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus), when there are complications with the pregnancy and also when it poses a threat to the mother's life.
This method involves a surgery similar to C-section and the foetus is killed by severing the umbilical cord, after which it is delivered (2). That's the reason why this method is usually the last resort and needs expert supervision to be carried out successfully.
5. Induction Abortion
Sometimes, the foetus might not be growing in the way it should, or there might be other defects with the foetus. This is when an induction abortion may be performed. Usually, this is around the 4th or 5th month of pregnancy.
6. Salt Poisoning
This is usually used in the second trimester of the pregnancy, mostly when there are defects with the baby. As the name suggests, it involves the process of injecting the amniotic sac with a saline solution which kills the foetus. The mother then goes into labour in a few hours. Although this method is not used anymore as there are better drugs and medications that can be used instead of the saline solution.
Natural At-Home Methods Of Abortion
Natural abortion methods are safe and don't necessarily require you to see a doctor unless you have some or the other medical condition like hypertension, diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, nephrology problems, epilepsy, etc. Moreover, if you're unsure about whether or not you're pregnant, just because of a missed period, you can safely try natural methods and rely on them to not cause any side effects.
In fact, these are safe and affordable methods of abortion. However, there's a down-side to it. Natural and at-home treatments only work during the very early stages of your pregnancy, i.e. preferably well ahead of or within 4 to 5 weeks. In addition to that, only small doses of these natural agents must be consumed at once.
How to prepare yourself for a natural abortion?
In order to carry out a natural abortion, you will need to prepare your entire body and relax. For this purpose, you can consume fruits which contain vitamin C, herbs like parsley or pineapples. certain oils like primrose oil can also be massaged on the cervix. You can also drink warm water every 4 to 5 hours as it increases the chances of bleeding. Once you've done this and you're ready for an abortion, you can use any of the following at-home methods to try and terminate the unwanted pregnancy.
When a pregnant woman has an upset stomach, the contractions while passing the stools can sometimes cause miscarriage. Hence, you can use laxatives to bring about the same effect in your body and thereby induce an abortion. Yet, do not consume too much of it.
2. Sesame seeds
You can consume one teaspoon of fried sesame seeds along with honey, sliced papaya and jackfruit every day, on an empty stomach, to naturally abort the foetus and cause heavy bleeding during that month. Sesame seed oil also has other benefits like relieving period pain.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent agent that can induce a miscarriage because of its ability to produce heat in the uterus. Hence, consuming products rich in vitamin C may help you abort an unwanted pregnancy at home.
Well, there is no scientific proof to the fact that aspirin can induce or cause an abortion. Yet consuming high doses of aspirin has been traditionally known to induce a miscarriage during the early stages of pregnancy. Yet you must not overdose or consume very high amounts of it. It is advised that you consult a doctor before trying this method as Aspirin has been related to multiple side effects and complications.
Believe it or not, this tasty and healthy spice has the ability to abort your pregnancy. This is because cinnamon has the ability to stimulate menstrual hormones. Moreover, being a healthy spice, it is safe to consume.
Certain fruits also have the ability to trigger a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy. However, it is not a given that these fruits will definitely cause abortion although the chances are pretty high. Some of these include:
• Papaya - So, you thought papaya was one of the healthiest fruits on earth, yet it has the ability to induce abortions! In fact, papaya has the ability to melt meat and will have a degenerating effect on the foetus (3).
• Citrus fruits - Citrus fruits contain vitamin C which has the ability to produce heat in the uterus and thereby induce abortions.
• Pineapples - Even though pineapple isn't a citrus fruit, in the unripe state, pineapples have the ability to produce heat in the body and cause the same effects that citrus fruits have on your unwanted foetus (4).
Certain herbs also have the ability to induce a miscarriage and abort the unwanted the foetus. But aren't herbs supposed to be healthy and not cause any side effects? True, yet the early stages of pregnancy before the foetal implantation are very important and delicate. Some of the herbs used for abortions are:
• Parsley - Parsley (5) has been considered a very effective method of natural abortion at home. It is a mild emmenagogue which stimulates menstrual hormones and also increases menstrual flow. Consuming minimal amounts of parsley during the early stages of pregnancy can help you induce an abortion. Do note that large amounts of parsley can lead to toxicity.
• Pennyroyal - This herb (5) can be consumed in one of two ways - either as oil and/or tea or in the form of pills. If you opt for oil or tea, you can consume 20 to 40 drops of it every day. If you choose to take pills, you can consume 3 to 6 pills per day. Yet, be warned as it may make you feel nauseated, sweaty and/or tired. If you have a urinary infection or disorder, do not consume this.
• Chinese herbs - Dong quai and black/blue cohosh are two Chinese herbs that can be used for a natural abortion. These can be consumed with honey and water. Yet if you've encountered hormone problems before or are suffering from them right now, you can safely avoid these two herbs. Both the herbs stimulate uterine contractions pretty quickly and are also used to treat many reproductive problems. Yet, taking them in high doses can cause haemorrhage.
Apart from these, some simple exercises, hot bath, corn diet and even an orgasm can help to bring about miscarriage or abortion so as to naturally terminate the pregnancy.
Abortion is not something you need to be afraid of. While it is okay to try at home and naturally abort the unwanted pregnancy, you must never resort to surgical or mechanical abortions at home or under the supervision of unqualified doctors. This article is only for reference and informational purposes and any abortion methods for your pregnancy must be carried out after consultation with your gynaecologist only.