Abortion is the medical procedure carried out when someone terminates their pregnancy. Previously an extremely contentious issue, it is spoken about slightly more today than it used to be.
There are four different types of abortions women can opt to have, and these are:
- An early medical abortion– This type of abortion can be carried out on women who are 9 weeks pregnant or earlier. This process involves the woman taking two different tablets that induces cramping, to break the uterus. The embryo is then flushed out.
- A vacuum aspiration abortion– This is an option for women who are five to 15 weeks pregnant. A tube is inserted into the vagina and the embryo is sucked out.
- A dilation and evacuation abortion– Used on women who are 15 to 19 weeks pregnant, the dilation and evacuation abortion involves using forceps to stretch the cervix open and again, suck the embryo from the uterus.
- A late abortion– this is the abortion method available to women who are 20 to 24 weeks pregnant, and provides the woman with two different options. They can either opt for a surgical two-stage abortion, which is carried out over two days, or they can opt for a medically induced abortion, where they have to stay overnight.
Abortions are legal in the UK, but only up until the woman is 24 weeks pregnant, as this is deemed to be the age a baby can survive from. Abortions can also be carried out in both NHS hospitals/clinics and private hospitals/clinics. However, there is normally a minimum of a three-week waiting list for abortions on the NHS, so women need to act quickly in order to qualify to have this procedure done, without paying u to £1700 at a private clinic.
An abortion isn’t damaging to the life of a woman on a long-term basis; however, it does have side effects, such as bleeding. The process can also damage the cervix and/or womb, with there being a likelihood of a fever and increased vaginal discharge after the process has been carried out.
For those thinking of having an abortion, the best action to take is to book an appointment with their GP or another health professional, to discuss their options. An abortion is not a decision to be made lightly, and the process should be fully understood before someone decides to go ahead with it.