Unplanned pregnancy and abortion Care

Unplanned pregnancy and abortion Care


For many women, obtaining a positive pregnancy test can be significant. But for others, an unexpected and unplanned pregnancy is welcome news. The purpose of this brochure is to help you know what your options and your rights if the pregnancy is not planned. It also deals with some of the questions often asked about having an abortion. Despite the fact that about 160,000 abortions are performed in England and Wales each year, there is very little good information and a lot of misinformation about abortion.

Emergency contraception

If you had sex without using contraception, or if the condom broke, pregnancy can be prevented if you act quickly. Emergency pills can be taken to three days after unprotected sex, or an IUD can be fitted to five days. Emergency contraception is available from your doctor, family planning clinics, and most of genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics or sexual health clinics.

Missed a period?

If you have missed and think you might be pregnant, you must have a pregnancy test as soon as possible. You may agree with some of the early signs of pregnancy such as swollen breasts, fatigue or ill feeling, especially in the morning, but not all pregnant women have these symptoms. You can also use these symptoms if you are not pregnant. And sometimes when you are pregnant, there is still some bleeding or spotting at the time of an expected period. It is important to have a pregnancy test done so you can start thinking about what to do.

Pregnancy tests

Pregnancy tests differ in how quickly they can detect a pregnancy. Some tests can tell when your period is one day too late (although it is recommended to wait for a period of five days). You can pregnancy test done at various locations:
  • Your doctor should be able to service the same day pregnancy tests. Some health authorities no longer do pregnancy unless a medical reason to do so. Make sure you know how long it will be before the result.
  • Your local charitable clinic (see section). The fee is £ 10 - £ 12, but under 25s can get a free test centers Brook.
  • You can buy a home kit of the pharmacist. This cost £ 8 - £ 10. It is best to buy one to two tests. The tests are reliable if instructions are followed carefully. If a test is negative, but you still have not had a period of one week later, repeat the test.
If you are pregnant and know how

Even if you expect a positive can be quite a shock. Deciding what to do can not be easy. Maybe you want to talk with someone - your friends, your family, your partner or family doctor can help. If you prefer not to talk with one of them, can you advice and guidance and information from various centers, including the organizations listed in the section. You can also call women's health, which might indicate someone you can talk. At present, there are three options for you:

1. You may want to continue the pregnancy. The Ministry of Social Security and / or the Council Housing Department can advise you on housing and benefits. You need to arrange things early. It is important to your doctor to arrange antenatal care. There is a useful book called Who's your baby? Who explains what you are entitled to. (See the section.)
2. You may decide to pregnancy, but if the possibility of the baby for adoption. Your doctor or local social service can advise you. You can also provide information and assistance of the British Agencies for adoption and promotion, Skyline House, 200 Union Street, London SE1 0LX. Tel: 020 7593 2000.
3. You can have an abortion. The rest of this leaflet gives you basic information about having an abortion, and where to go to get help if this is your decision.

Risks and complications of abortion

Before abortion was legal in 1967, women had to move to the back streets for abortion. They are seriously endangering their lives and health drinks and dangerous instruments. After the 1967 Abortion Act, abortion is a safe surgical procedure with a low incidence of complications. But it must still be seen in the context of all the operations - a medical operation some element of risk.

The majority of abortions are performed early, 88% were done under 12 weeks in 1995. Early abortions (up to 12/14 weeks by vacuum aspiration or medical abortion using mifepristone) are safe, simple and fast and have a low complication rate.

The risk associated with abortion depends on many factors: how many weeks pregnant woman, her age, the nature of the operation, whether and how often she is pregnant and her general health. Another important factor is the skill of the doctor performing the operation. If abortions are performed by experienced staff to a comprehensive abortion services, the risk of complications is much reduced.

The most common complication is infection. Other, less common, problems were retained fetal tissue and perforation of the womb (uterus). On average, women on January 1 in 50 chance of a minor infection and January 1 in 200 chance of a major infection. Two to three percent of women have a problem that results in the adoption of the hospital or clinic. In most cases, abortions after 14 weeks in the NHS, and after about 18 weeks in a non-NHS clinics, to spend on (inducing) work. Later abortions have a higher complication rate. Between 13 and 18 weeks the risks are twice that of early abortion after 18 weeks and carry three times the risk.

The incidence of problems is greatly reduced in recent years through the use of prostaglandins. These are hormones that cause the uterus to close and open the cervix. In young women, 15-16 year olds, an abortion prostaglandins are less risky to the cervix than a surgical abortion (called a D & E), because the cervix is much more difficult to dilate surgically. The main risks of late abortions bleeding, damage to the uterus and infection.

The percentage of deaths as a result of early abortion is about 1 in 100,000 in this country. Comparing it to the maternal mortality, abortion is eight to ten times safer than childbirth.

Abortion and infertility

Unless a serious infection occurs, there is no evidence that abortions affect future fertility, the cause of stillbirth, ectopic pregnancies, low birth weight babies or birth defects. Some studies indicate a slightly increased risk of late miscarriage in subsequent pregnancies, caused by 'cervical incompetence "- the cervix can not remain closed during pregnancy. But abortion techniques have improved, this should happen less and less. There is also no evidence that repeated abortions carry an increased risk of most problems, although some studies show a slightly higher risk of miscarriage. There is now a greater awareness of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia (a bacterial infection) and their effect on fertility. Screening for abortion, and a course of antibiotics if necessary, cut the incidence of infection-related infertility.

Caring for yourself after an abortion is important and any problems should be reported to your doctor or clinic immediately to reduce long-term effects on reproductive health.

Anti-abortionists claim that abortion have serious side effect, in order to deter women from terminating an unwanted pregnancy. This is scaremongering and very unethical. The relatively low risks associated with abortion should always be considered in relation to the risks of continuing an unwanted pregnancy. Only women themselves can judge it.

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