Choosing what to do about an unplanned pregnancy takes its emotional toll. If you decide to terminate the pregnancy, ensure that you opt for a safe abortion procedure. ‘Backstreet’ abortions are not only illegal, but they are also often ineffective and can even be fatal. In this article, we discuss the differences between the two safe abortion methods that are available, so that you have the information you need in order to decide which one is best for you.
How Marie Stopes can help you
Marie Stopes South Africa is here to help guide and support you through the whole process.
MSSA offers two types of safe abortion procedures:
- The Marie Stopes Medical Process (often called the abortion pill)
- The Marie Stopes Procedure (a minor same-day surgical procedure)
Medical abortion is available once pregnancy is detected via an ultrasound test. A gestation period (stage of pregnancy) ranging from 5 weeks up to 9 weeks (63 days) is the window period for this safe abortion option. After 9 weeks, you’ll need to have an in-clinic surgical abortion.
How it works: Abortion is achieved using a combination of two medications which work together to terminate the pregnancy. The first pill is commonly known as the abortion pill (mifepristone). It stops the ovaries from producing the hormone, progesterone – which is needed for pregnancy. The second pill, called misoprostol, needs to be taken 6 – 48 hours after taking the first pill. It causes cramping and bleeding which empties your uterus.
Note: The abortion pill is 98 – 99 percent effective.
Surgical abortion is most commonly performed in the first trimester, (up to 14 weeks’ gestation) – it has a low complication rate when carried out during this time period. The procedure can also be performed when you’re in your second trimester (up to 20 weeks). However, the surgery is more complicated.
How it works: A doctor will stretch your uterus and insert a hollow tube, removing the lining of the uterus through aspiration of the tissue.
Your safety is always our primary concern and therefore if you consider the procedure option, having it performed in your first trimester is the safer choice.
Note: The procedure is 99 percent effective.
Marie Stopes currently has 17 centres across South Africa that offer safe abortion procedures and support. We know that an unplanned pregnancy can be stressful and that having an abortion raises a lot of questions. To make an appointment for a safe abortion book an appointment or call us on 0800 11 77 85.
An expert nurse or doctor will provide pre-care information on the day of your appointment and make time to answer any questions you may have. Marie Stopes is here for you, always.
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