Microsoft word - ending your pregnancy

Ending Your Pregnancy
What is abortion?
Abortion means ending a pregnancy. Most abortions are done in the first trimester (the first 3 months of the pregnancy). They are done by a doctor and other health care professionals in a hospital, doctor’s office or health center. There are 2 types of abortion: medical and surgical.
What is medical abortion?
It is an abortion caused by medicine. It can only be done in the first 9 weeks of pregnancy. The medicine used for medical abortions is called mifepristone (brand name: Mifeprex). This is a pill that blocks progesterone, a hormoneneeded for pregnancy. It causes the lining of the womb (uterus) to thin.
After taking mifepristone, the woman goes home. She comes back to the doctor a few days later to take another medicine called misoprostol (brandname: Cytotec). This medicine makes the uterus contract and empty. Many women have bleeding for about 13 days after taking it. Light bleeding or discharge (called spotting) can continue for several weeks.
What does medical abortion feel like?
For most women, it feels like a bad menstrual period with strong cramps, diarrhea and upset stomach. Acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol) or ibuprofen (one brand name: Motrin) can help the cramps. These symptoms are normal. However, the doctor will want to know if any of these occur:  Bleeding through more than 2 sanitary pads in an hour Fever above 100 degrees for more than 4 hours Pain even after taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen How effective is medical abortion?
Mifepristone is about 97% effective. In rare cases when medical abortion doesn’t work, surgical abortion may be tried.
What is surgical abortion?
It is a procedure done by a doctor to remove the lining of the womb. There are 2 common types: manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) and dilatation and suction curettage (D&C). They both use suction to empty the womb. MVAuses a handheld tool. D&C is done with a suction machine and tools.
MVA can be done in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. D&C can be done after the first month of pregnancy but before the end of the 13th week.
For both types, medicine can be given to help the woman feel calm. Then the doctor injects the opening to the womb (cervix) with a medicine to make it numb. The cervix is stretched open with a tool called a dilator and thedoctor inserts a tube. The uterus is emptied through this tube.
What does surgical abortion feel like?
For most women, it feels like strong menstrual cramps. Women are usually given medicine to help with the pain and told to rest when they get home.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also help. Bleeding may continue off and on How effective is surgical abortion?
When done by health care professionals, both medical and surgical abortions are generally very safe. Serious complications are rare. Abortion generallydoes not reduce a woman's ability to get pregnant in the future.



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