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How Does A Medical Abortion Work And What Are The Side Effects?

Human cells dividing

Unplanned pregnancy is one of the biggest challenges facing the US female teenage population. Luckily, medical abortion has been legalized across the United States and due to the risky nature of abortion, it’s important to find the right abortion clinic to perform it. But as much as medical abortion is safe and has given thousands of women a second chance in life, it often comes with certain side effects, as you’ll see below

Abortion Procedure

Medical abortion can be performed legally at any time before the 16th week of pregnancy. After this milestone, it becomes too risky to perform an abortion since it can endanger a woman’s life. Women who wish to have an abortion will visit the inpatient abortion clinic, where their ob-gyn will do a full physical and laboratory examination. It’s necessary to understand that medical abortion is a surgical procedure that needs general anesthesia.

During the procedure, the ob-gyn will try to relax the cervix and pass an endoscopic camera with an absorbing mechanism inside the uterus. The physicians’ goal is to find the developing fetus and gently detach it from the uterus inner layer. Needless to say, this will cause some bleeding since the underlying vessels will have developed to feed the fetus. Obstetric surgeons will remove the fetus and ablate the uterus part to stop the bleeding. This will create an internal wound that would heal within several months.

However, it’s important to know that sometimes an abortion procedure can be medically impossible since it can cause massive bleeding and become a danger to the life of the patient. In this case, a woman will have to carry the baby to full term.

Medical Abortion Side Effects

Like all other surgeries, medical abortion may cause long-term side effects to the woman’s body. Some of the most frequent are presented below:

Uterus Inflammation And Atrophy

After removing the fetal tissues, the underlying uterus parts can become inflammatory and atrophic. For this reason, abortion can cause future fertility problems that can’t be easily addressed with pills or surgery. Most obstetric surgeons believe that the uterus part where the abortion took place is less likely to develop a new healthy fetus in the future and could cause automatic abortions.

Creation Of Uterus Fibromatosis

Fibromatosis is a condition that creates fertility problems and automatic bleeding or menstrual cycles abnormalities. Fibral tissue might develop in the spot the medical abortion took place.

Internal Bleeding

A serious side effect that is always bound to happen in medical abortions is internal bleeding. The uterus vessels directly connect with the abdominal aorta -one of the biggest vessels in women’s bodies. Massive internal bleeding may occur in the spot where the obstetrics surgeon removed the fetus. That is why uterus removal (hysterectomy) is done as a procedure of last resort to save a woman’s life in case a medical abortion goes wrong.

Menstrual Cycle Disruptions

Women who undergo a medical abortion need to take hormone therapy to regulate their menstrual cycle over the first three months following the surgery. These hormones imitate the action of estrogens and could delay or disappear the menstrual cycles for as long as they are active in the blood circulation.

These menstrual cycle disruptions end up obstructing the new eggs being produced in the female ovaries. If this keeps on, women face serious infertility problems that need proper treatment. Every woman who goes through a medical abortion should know about the risks of future infertility issues.

Syndrome Of Overactive Ovaries

Physicians may prescribe hormonal therapy to deal with the side effects of medical abortion and allow the uterus to heal quicker. However, these hormones could impose negative feedback on their hormonal balance. Excessive hormonal levels may cause a syndrome called overactive ovaries. That syndrome causes the overproduction of eggs in the ovaries that cannot be collected by the fallopian tubes. As a result, they fail to enter the uterus for the fertilization process.

Overactive ovaries could lead to another persistent condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, which is one of the most frequent reasons for infertility in the western world.

It’s important for any woman who wishes to undergo medical abortion to know all the risks associated with medical abortion surgery. They should feel free to ask their doctor any question because it’s only by asking and getting answers to their question that they will be able to decide whether to proceed with the surgery or not.


More on this topic:

9 Ways to Stay Healthy During Pregnancy

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