Abortion

Article

23. 04. 2018 Gynecology

The purpose of this procedure is to end pregnancy. At the patient's own request, it can be carried out until the 12th week of pregnancy. The allowed time period is determined by law and starts from the first day of the last menstruation. 

The reasons for carrying out this procedure can be the request of the patient as well as severe health issues where the pregnancy endangers the health and life of the patient.

Prior to the procedure

You should receive all important information concerning the planned procedure from your doctor. 

You should however inform your doctor with the following information:

  • You suffer from allergies
  • Any long-term medication you are using
  • Any coagulation disorders you may have (bleeding disorders)
  • Any surgeries you have undergone
  • Any other disease that you are suffering from

Prior to the procedure itself, you can eat dinner. However, from midnight onwards, you should not drink or eat anymore. If you are using long-term medication, ask your doctor if you should take them on the day of the procedure.  

 

During the procedure

The surgical procedure is most commonly carried out under short combined general anesthesia. During it, an anesthetist will apply the substance intravenously into the arm as well as with a breathing mask. The procedure is carried out in the so-called gynecology position where you lay down your back with your feet angled and supported.

After the insertion of the speculum into the vagina, the cervix is widened (dilated) using metal dilating rods. A suction catheter is then used to extract the entire egg (fetus). The uterine cavity is then treated using a curette. If the abortion is carried out for health reasons, then in some cases, the extracted tissue is then sent for a microscopic histological examination.

The entire procedure lasts anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. 

 

After the procedure

After you wake up from the procure, you will find yourself in the resting room where you will remain for 4 more hours. These complications typically last several days, but no longer than 2 weeks after which they should disappear. In the first hours following surgery, you can feel nauseous or like vomiting. In such cases, you will be given medication to make you feel better.

Only once you are fully conscious and stable, you will be released from the clinic. For the journey home, please make sure you have someone to take you. You should most definitely not drive yourself. 

 

What to ensure following the procedure

  • You should not drive a car for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • For the first 4 days following the procedure, measure your body temperature 2x per day and note down the measurements in case you would need to urgently visit a doctor.
  • Avoid any heavy physical strain for a period of 1 week following the procedure. For the same amount of time, avoid lifting heavy objects (5 Kg and more).
  • For a period of 2 weeks, only use the shower instead of baths, or accordingly based on the recommendation by the doctor responsible for treating you. For the same time (at minimum), do not swim, use tampons or flush the vagina. 
  • You can have sexual intercourse 4 weeks after the procedure.

 

Complications

Complications following this procedure are quite rare. They can be split into early and latent in nature. During the procure, the wall of the uterus can be damaged including perforation which can result in bleeding. Latent complications can include adhesions around the cervix, namely in the cervical canal or the uterine cavity (so-called Asherman's Syndrome).

 

When should you call an emergency?

  • When you suffer from pain that is not getting better even after using painkillers or you experience sudden and escalating pains.
  • When you identify a smelly discharge from the wound or the vagina.
  • When you experience a rash.
  • When you start bleeding more than you do during menstruation or you are bleeding with blood clots.
  • When you experience a fever.
  • When you are experiencing chest pains or have difficulty breathing. 
  • When your head is spinning and you are fainting. 
  • When you experience intense pain shooting up to the shoulders.

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