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Abortion

SOME FACTS ABOUT EARLY PREGNANCY

The first 8 weeks in the womb:

  • 21 days from conception, the heart begins to beat.

  • At 28 days, the face now makes its first appearance.

  • At 40 days, reflex movements begin.

  • At 44 days, organs are present and electrical activity is detected in the brain.

  • At 52-56 days, spontaneous movement begins including hiccupping, frowning, moving arms and legs, yawning, and breathing (without air)

A healthy baby develops these important milestones before 10 weeks gestation, or 8 weeks from conception.

References taken from Milestones of Early Life, copyrighted and produced by hh76.com

LMO offers evidence-based medical education about abortion, however we do not offer or refer for abortion services. The information presented on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice. LMO Pregnancy Care Center is not a medical facility.

You are not alone if you are considering abortion.

Many women feel that an unplanned pregnancy can only be resolved with an abortion, however there are other options. No matter what option you choose, your life will be changed. Consider the long-term effects and risks as well. Before you decide, please consider the physical risks of abortion and the methods as to which an abortion is obtained. Contact us to learn more.

The Medical Risk of Abortion

The risk of complications for the woman increases with each week of pregnancy. Below are descriptions of possible complications.

Pelvic Infection (Sepsis): Bacteria (germs) from the vagina may enter the cervix and womb and cause an infection. Antibiotics are used to treat an infection. In rare cases, a repeat suction, hospitalization or surgery may be needed. Incomplete Abortion: Fetal parts or parts of the placenta may not be completely emptied from the womb, requiring further medical procedures. Incomplete abortion may result in infection and bleeding.

Bleeding: Some amount of bleeding is common following an abortion. Heavy bleeding is not common and may be treated by repeat suction, medication or surgery.

Painful Cramping, Nausea and/or Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fever are all possible complications of an abortion.

Allergic Reactions: An allergic reaction is possible to the medications given and/or the anesthesia used during the procedure.

Cut or Torn Cervix: The opening of the womb (cervix) may be torn while it is being stretched open to allow medical instruments to pass through and into the uterus.

Perforation of the Wall of the Womb: A medical instrument may go through the wall of the uterus. Depending on the severity, perforation can lead to infection, heavy bleeding or both. Surgery may be required to repair the uterine tissue, and in the most severe cases a hysterectomy may be required.

Anesthesia-Related Complications: As with other surgical procedures, anesthesia increases the risk of complications.

 

Long-Term Medical Risks

After an abortion, it could be more difficult to become pregnant in the future. It is also possible to experience pre-term labor or be unable to carry a baby to term later in your life. Women who undergo abortion often experience emotional side-effects, such as feelings of emptiness, guilt, and sadness. 

Abortion Methods Before 14 Weeks Gestation

Early Non-Surgical Abortion: A drug is given that stops the hormones needed for the fetus to grow. This causes the placenta or attachment of the fetus to the womb to separate, ending the pregnancy. A second drug is given by mouth or placed in the vagina causing the womb to contract and expel the fetus and placenta. 

Vacuum Aspiration Abortion: A local anesthetic is applied or injected into or near the cervix, the opening to the womb, to prevent discomfort or pain. Conscious sedation and/or general anesthesia are also commonly used. The opening of the cervix is gradually stretched with a series of dilators. The thickest dilator used is about the width of a fountain pen. A tube is inserted into the womb and is attached to a suction system to remove the fetus, placenta and membranes from the womb.  

Dilation and Curettage Abortion (D&C): A local anesthetic is applied or injected into or near the cervix to prevent discomfort or pain. Conscious sedation and/or general anesthesia are also commonly used. The opening of the cervix is gradually stretched with a series of dilators. The thickest dilator used is about the width of a fountain pen. A spoon-like instrument (curette) is used to scrape the walls of the uterus to remove the fetus, placenta and membranes.  

Abortion Methods After 14 Weeks Gestation

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): Sponge-like pieces of absorbent material are placed into the cervix. This material becomes moist and slowly opens the cervix. It remains in place for several hours or overnight. A second or third application of the sponge material may be necessary. Following dilation of the cervix, medications may be given to ease pain and prevent infection. After a local or general anesthesia has been administered, the fetus and placenta are removed from the uterus with medical instruments such as forceps and suction curettage. It may be necessary to dismember the fetus.

Source: Georgia Department of Public Health, Abortion: A Mother's Right To Know, dph.georgia.gov

Abortion is not your only option! LMO is here to help you consider other options for you.

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