What Needs to be Considered Before Having an Abortion
ALL ABORTIONS CARRY WITH THEM PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL,
AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SIDE EFFECTS, SOME OF WHICH
REQUIRE EITHER MEDICAL ATTENTION AND/OR
FIRST TRIMESTER ABORTIONS
A first trimester abortion is an abortion done up to 12 weeks of
pregnancy. There are two types of abortions that can be performed
during the first trimester, a surgical abortion and a chemical abortion.
1. SURGICAL ABORTIONS
Surgical abortions can be performed starting from the earliest that the pregnancy can be seen by ultrasound. A surgical abortion can be done safely only if the pregnancy can be definitely seen inside the uterus on careful ultrasound exam. The lower limit of visualization
of a pregnancy by ultrasound is 5 weeks by menstrual age (approximately 3 weeks after conception). The surgical abortion method used for first trimester abortions is known as suction dilatation and curettage (D&C). During the procedure, the cervical canal is very gently dilated with sterile dilators, and the uterine contents are gently suctioned out with sterile, one-use-only, disposable plastic uterine curettes.
2. CHEMICAL ABORTIONS
Chemical abortions may be done in pregnancies less than
6 weeks by menstrual age. In this method, medications are
used to cause the pregnancy to stop growing and be expelled
in a manner similar to a miscarriage. The benefits, side effects,
and alternatives are extensively discussed with each patient
who chooses a non-surgical abortion. While this method may be
appealing to some, it is not the ideal choice for every woman.
SECOND TRIMESTER ABORTIONS
A second trimester abortion is done between 12-26 weeks of
pregnancy. The procedure sometimes can involve two or three
consecutive office visits all depending on ultrasound information
and patient medical history, although some patients are able
to have the procedure in one visit.
During the first step, sterile, disposable laminaria sticks are gently and expertly inserted into the cervix to dilate or open it. Once the laminaria sticks are in place inside the patient’s cervix, a period of time elapses to allow the laminaria sticks to gradually dilate the cervix. The patient usually returns the following morning for the second step of the second trimester abortion.
During the second step of the procedure, the gynecologist, with special expertise in second trimester abortions, uses a method called dilatation and evacuation (D&E). D&E is the safest method for second trimester abortions. In order to increase the safety for women having a late term abortion, ultrasound guidance is used but there are always risks involved since this procedure is more invasive.
THIRD TRIMESTER ABORTION
Often referred to as late term abortions, are legal in a number of
states including Maryland and Washington D.C. The time frame
referred to as late term is often based on when a baby is considered
“viable” (meaning able to survive outside the womb). However, the point of “viability” is a grey area in many medical communities.
Most medical communities establish 24 weeks gestation, the later
part of the second trimester, as the earliest time of viability. Therefore,
the availability of any procedure used in the third trimester is based
on the laws of that state.
The procedures that can be done in the third trimester include:
Induction Abortion:a rarely done surgical procedure where saltwater, urea, or potassium chloride is injected into the amniotic sac; prostaglandins are inserted into the vagina and Pitocin
is injected intravenously.
Dilation and Extraction:a surgical abortion procedure used to
terminate a pregnancy after 21 weeks of gestation. This procedure
is also known as D & X, Intact D & X, Intrauterine Cranial
Decompression and Partial Birth Abortion. In the latter, there are
two possible procedures: 1) severing the brain from the spinal cord
using a sharp instrument once the baby's head is delivered; and 2)
injecting digitalis into the baby's heart using a long amniocentesis
needle which causes a heart attack (monitored it by using an
ultrasound so that it can be determined that there is no heartbeat
in the baby).
Choosing to continue your pregnancy and become a parent can be challenging and rewarding. With the support of caring people, educational classes, and other resources, many women find the help they need to make this choice. We offer free services designed to assist you in your parenting decision and walk you through the pregnancy.
Helping you with Parenting
As a soon first-time parent (or a parent of more than one child), we will help you to get off to a great start. We offer our Pregnancy Education Classes which helps to provide information about:
Eating for Two
Going it Alone (Single Parenting)
Labor and Delivery
Bonding with your Unborn Baby
Getting Ready for Baby
You will meet with a mentor who will guide you through the pregnancy, encourage you, and advocate for your needs with other agencies. Many women who have gone through this program say it was very helpful and fun! It is a great step to begin your parenting. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!
You have lots of choices with adoption. Will it be open or closed? Will it be private or will you use an agency?
Copyright © 2019 Forestville Pregnancy Center - All Rights Reserved.
THE FORESTVILLE PREGNANCY CENTER WILL NOT GIVE REFERRALS FOR AN ABORTION BUT INSTEAD WILL PROVIDE ABORTION COUNSELING AND ABORTION ALTERNATIVE REFERRALS, SUCH AS, ADOPTION AND PARENTING.