Abortion (Termination of Pregnancy)
It is very easy to distinguish between legal and safe service providers compared to illegal providers. By following the guide lines below, not only will the patient receive the best care possible, their ability to bear children in future would not be hampered.
|LEGAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
Has a physical Clinic with a street address
|ILLEGAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
Has no clinic, No physical address
VERY IMPORTANT – THE PILLS THAT GETS DELIVERED IS NOT ABORTION PILLS
The pills that get delivered are used for stomach ulcers and as a side effect can cause a miscarriage. It is not the abortion pill!! You are not examined before hand to make sure you are a suitable candidate for a medical abortion. You get no information on normal and abnormal bleeding and no backup service or advice is provided.
DANGERS OF ILLEGAL ABORTIONS
The tablets might not work.
Incomplete abortions – it can happen that not all the products come out and that can lead to excessive bleeding and infection.
- Patients can bleed themselves to death.
- They can develop an infection in the retained products that can also cause death or sterility in future.
An abortion is always a tragic experience. Make sure your abortion is safe and allows you the best chance to be healthy after the procedure and have normal pregnancies in future.
We offer a comprehensive TOP service. We aim to create an emotionally caring, private and confidential environment as this can be an emotionally traumatic experience. Counselling forms an integral part of our service – the counselling is informative, non-directive and according to the needs of the client. All information is kept strictly confidential!
Termination of pregnancy (TOP) is a term to describe abortion. Abortions in South-Africa were legalized in 1997. Women can go to any doctor, hospital or clinic to ask for an abortion. Trained medical personnel at approved clinics and hospitals like Reproductive Choices Clinic can perform TOP.
We perform surgical and medical abortions at our clinic
Terminations are performed between 6 and 19 weeks of pregnancy.
Our doctors have appropriate training and experience. Sedation as well as local anaesthesia is administered and we advise patients not to eat a big meal 3-4 hours prior to the time of the procedure. The client can bring her partner/friend/family member to accompany her.
To ensure quality care, prepare yourself to spend about 1-2 hours at the clinic. The procedure itself will only take about 15 minutes, but we need enough time to take an accurate medical history, do some tests, e.g. sonar.
We use the latest vacuum aspiration method, which has been used in Europe for many years. This is considered to be a very safe and low risk method and does not affect the patient’s future fertility in any physical manner.
Between 12 to 19 weeks of pregnancy, the aspirotomy technique is used.
We allow enough time to rest comfortably before leaving the clinic.
You can have a light meal before the appointment. Coffee or tea is provided after the procedure.
Wear comfortable clothing, preferably two-piece, loose fitting outfit, socks, full panties and a sweater.
We provide a sanitary pad.
Full payment is required on the day of the procedure. Cash, credit or debit cards are accepted.
Please check with your medical aid if the procedure is covered We will provide a specified amount which you can then submit to the medical aid claims department.
Counselling services are also offered to the partners or parents. Post-abortion counselling is available to all our clients should they require further support.
What is a medical abortion abortion?
Medical abortion is when specific medication is administered to women for termination of pregnancy. We use the French Abortion Pill in our clinic. This specific medication is approved by the South African Medicines Control Council and must be taken strictly as prescribed.
When can a woman have a medical Abortion?
A woman can have a medical abortion as soon as her pregnancy has been confirmed.
Medical abortions are only effective within the first 56 days of a woman’s pregnancy. This implies 56 days since the first day of her last menstrual period.
The woman should be willing to have a surgical abortion if the medical abortion does not work.
The women should be willing to return to the clinic 14 to 21 days later for a follow-up visit.
When can a woman not have a medical abortion?
A women cannot have a medical abortion if one of the following is present:
- An entopic pregnancy is suspected (a pregnancy outside the womb)
- Her adrenal glands does not function normally
- If she is taking long term corticosteroid medication. i.e. for asthma or blood thinning medication
- She has a history of a bleeding disorder
- She has severe and uncontrolled asthma
- She has porphyria
- She has an intra-uterine device in her womb
- She has severe cardiovascular problems
- She has severe high or low blood pressure
- She cannot return to the clinic for her two week follow-up visit
- She cannot go to a clinic or hospital in case of emergency
- She has severe anaemia
How effective and safe is a medical abortion?
Medical abortion is effective in 95% of cases. When the abortion is not complete, the surgical procedure is performed at the follow-up appointment free of charge.
Having a medical or surgical abortion will not affect a women’s chance of having a baby in future.
How does medical abortion work?
Two sets of medication is administered to terminate the pregnancy
The first medication is given orally to the women at the clinic and will weaken the attachment of the pregnancy to the womb. The second medication is given 36 to 48 hours laterto the women. The second set of medication causes the womb to contract and bleed.This expels the pregnancy.
VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER
ONCE A MEDICAL ABORTION IS STARTED, IT NEEDS TO BE COMPLETED BECAUSE OF DAMAGE TO THE FOETUS. BOTH SETS OF MEDICATION, THEREFORE, NEED TO BE TAKEN CORRECTLY.
Both the medical and surgical abortion is appointment based and includes a counselling session beforehand, a sonar and a two week follow-up appointment after the procedure. Partners or significant others for support are welcome to accompany the woman.
Post Procedure Advice:
These notes will give you more information on what to expect after the procedures.
- The termination is a very safe procedure and will not affect your future fertility in any physical manner.
- This is a sterile procedure with a very low risk of infection.
- We would advise you to try and “take it easy” for a few days after the procedure. Try to structure your day so you can rest if necessary.
- Please remember to ask for a sick leave note should you require one.
- Please remember to ask for a specified account if you plan to submit the account to your medical aid.
To Lessen the risk of infection please adhere to the following:
- Do not use tampons until you have had your 2 – 3 week check-up, use sanitary towels instead.
- You may take a bath or shower as soon as you feel like it. It is preferable to shower.
- Should you take a bath, use tepid water and do not add any bath oils, salts or disinfectants. This tends to change the pH in the vagina and can cause infection.
- Do not use a vaginal douche/rinse.
- Do not have vaginal sexual contact until you have had your check up after two weeks.
- Drink the antibiotics as prescribed.
Blood loss and first menstruation:
Most patients have very little or no bleeding directly after the procedure. Bleeding usually starts a day or two after the termination but it can vary remarkably. This is not a menstrual period but occurs because of hormonal changes. Your first normal period will be 4 to 8 weeks after your termination.
We find that whatever bleeding you experience, it usually settles or stops after about two weeks. Some patients bleed a lot more than what they are used to.
Don’t worry if this happens – it can still be normal. It is important that the bleeding slows down after a few days. The colour can vary from bright red with many clots, to a slight brownish discharge. This is a hormonal bleed and unpredictable. There is also the possibility that the bleeding will only start in the second week or that you will have no bleeding at all. During this time you are advised to use sanitary pads only as tampons may cause infection. Your body is going through changes. It is therefore important to eat healthily and regularly. Make sure you take in adequate amounts of fluids. Should you at any stage feel uncertain or concerned do not hesitate to contact us.
The discomfort you experience during the procedure should have subsided by the time you leave the clinic. You may experience pain – similar to bad period pain – especially when bleeding starts. If you bleed and pass clots you can experience a great deal of discomfort. This is quite normal. Ordinary painkillers and a hot water bottle should give relief. As the bleeding decreases the discomfort will subside. Do not take Aspirin (Disprin, Anadin or Grandpa’s) as this has a thinning effect on your blood. The use of Paracetamol, Myprodol or Neurofen has proved to be effective. We often see patients developing signs and symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome after the Procedure – especially if they have suffered from this previously. Symptoms include bad cramping, pain in the sides and bloatedness. The time before an abortion is usually stressful and this causes the flare-up of the bowel problem. This is not clinically related to the abortion and symptoms are usually relieved by eating correctly and taking medication such as Buscopan, Spmasmo-Canulase or Colofac.
The third of fourth day after your termination you may have a slightly raised temperature or feel a little feverish. This is due to hormonal changes and is normal. A temperature of higher than 38.5 for longer than 24 hours especially if accompanied by pain may indicate infection – please contact us immediately.
Strenuous exercises too soon after your termination can lead to increased blood loss. Wait until after your check-up before you resume exercise.
Signs of pregnancy:
Due to a drop in hormonal levels pregnancy symptoms start to disappear 2 -3 days after your termination, e.g. morning sickness (within 48 hours), tiredness and moodiness, breast tenderness and breast enlargement. Breast tenderness will be the last to go and can take more than a week. Secretions from your breast can be normal. Do not press on your breast and apply cold cabbage leaves on the breasts to relieve swelling and discomfort if needed. Take Brufen for the swelling and limit fluid intake. If it persists for longer than a week after the termination, please contact the clinic. It can also take some time (sometimes 2 -3 months) for your periods to return to a normal cycle.
Note: A urine pregnancy test may be positive for up to four weeks after the termination.
We prefer to give your body a short rest after your treatment. You should start with your contraceptive method directly after your check-up visit. Please discuss this with the clinic staff. Contraceptives will also regulate your menstrual cycle. Remember that you can fall pregnant easily again soon after your termination!
Post Termination counselling:
If you or your partner experience difficulty coming to terms with your pregnancy and decision to terminate, you can discuss your feeling with us. We also offer a counselling service or will refer you to someone in your area. Feel free to contact us at any time to make an appointment for counselling, a referral or just a friendly chat.
Post Procedure check-up:
It is extremely important for you to have a check-up 3 weeks after the termination. If you were less than 6 weeks pregnant there may be a small possibility that your pregnancy has not been terminated successfully. This, as well as other complications should be ruled out during the check-up visit.