Prevention of Unsafely Performed Abortion – Questions & Answers

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Readers are invited to send in their questions about Family Planning, we will try to respond to these where possible and appropriate.

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Question:

Where can I find the most up-to-date information about safe abortion?

Answer:

Recently WHO published a new booklet: Clinical Practice Handbook for Safe Abortion, with the following contents:

Contents

1) Pre-abortion

  • 1.1 Information, counselling and decision-making P10
  • 1.2 Medical history P14
  • 1.3 Physical examination P16
  • 1.4 Laboratory and other investigations (if necessary and available) P18
  • 1.5 Discussing contraceptive options P19

2) abortion

  • 2.1 Summary of methods: medical and surgical abortion P22
  • 2.2 Infection prevention and control P24
  • 2.3 Pain management P25
  • 2.4 Medical abortion P28
  • 2.5 Medical abortion: 12 weeks (or 84 days) of pregnancy P29
  • 2.6 Medical abortion: >12 weeks (or >84 days) of pregnancy P34
  • 2.7 Surgical abortion: cervical preparation P37
  • 2.8 Drugs, supplies and equipment for surgical abortion P40
  • 2.9 Surgical abortion: 12–14 weeks of pregnancy P42
  • 2.10 Surgical abortion: >12–14 weeks of pregnancy P49

3) Post-abortion

  • 3.1 Prior to discharge from the health-care facility P56
  • 3.2 Additional follow-up with a health-care provider P57
  • 3.3 Post-abortion contraception P58
  • 3.4 Assessing and managing abortion complications P61

It can be found online HERE

Question:

How soon after a medical abortion can a woman safely use tampons again?

Answer:

An abortion can be seen by the woman as a heavy menstruation. She can resume her work and other activities the next day. If antibiotics have been prescribed, all tablets should be finished. For one week it is best not to use tampons, not to take a vaginal douche and not to have intercourse.

Question:

Some clients are afraid that an induced abortion causes infertility. Is that true?

Answer:

In general: No.

The risk of fertility problems after abortion increases only if the procedure is performed in an unsafe way. Unsafe abortions, with non-approved methods and/or by unauthorized providers, can cause infections, which in turn can lead to infertility. That is why it is so important that abortions are done in a safe way, in a clean environment, by a trained provider. Safe methods include medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol tablets, orvacuum aspiration, or dilatation and curettage.

Question:

How soon after an abortion can I insert an IUD?

Answer:

If a woman wants protection against pregnancy, there is nothing against inserting an IUD or IUS immediately after the procedure. Be careful though, because the uterine wall is weaker and softer in pregnancy.

Question:

'If a woman chooses medical abortion with the mifepristone-misoprostol tablets and she has an abortion at home, does she needs to come to clinic for check up?

Answer:

It is advisable for the woman to come back 10-12 days after taking the misoprostol tablet to make sure that the abortion was indeed complete.