Home | Procedures | Medical Termination of Pregnancy/ Abortion
By Dr Prathista Rao M
Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology

Article Context

  1. Overview and Indications
  2. Methods of MTP
  3. Procedure
  4. Complications
  5. Care at Medicover
  6. Frequently Asked Questions

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP)

Medical termination of pregnancy or (MTP) is a medical procedure to end the pregnancy. It is also known as Medical Abortion.The pregnancy is terminated either by taking medicines or by performing a surgical procedure.

Most abortions are carried out before 24 weeks of pregnancy. It can be ended medically if the pregnancy is 7-9 weeks old or earlier, otherwise, a surgery is required. Medical abortion is permitted in India if the pregnancy has not exceed 20 weeks. Legally, approval of only the pregnant woman is required for a pregnancy termination.

Why MTP is done?

The indications for MTP could be diverse ranging from medical, personal to social reasons. A few of the common indications for termination of pregnancy are listed below:

Indications for MTP:

  • Women whose physical or mental health are at risk due to pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy caused by sexual abuse.
  • Failure of contraception in married couples.
  • When there is risk of a child being born with birth defects, physical or mental abnormalities.
  • Poor economic status which may affect mother or child health conditions.

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Methods of MTP / Abortion

The different methods of medical abortion include:

  • 1. Oral medication:
    • If your pregnancy is less than six weeks, you can have abortion using certain pills. The medication should only be taken under the supervision of a gynaecologist. In a few hours, one might begin to bleed and the abortion will occur.
    • It can cause severe cramping and bleeding that can last for several days. As a result, it is recommended that you take some time off from work to manage the bleeding and recover fully.
  • 2. The suction method:
    • This is used until you reach the end of the first trimester which lasts for 12 weeks or the beginning of the second trimester. Gentle suction is used to extract the foetus from your uterus.
    • The procedure itself does not take long, but you may need to stay at the hospital or clinic to ensure that the abortion is complete and that you are safe.
  • 3. Dilation and evacuation( D&E) method:
    • Once you have reached your second trimester, this method can be used. Your cervix must be dilated in order to perform abortion.
    • Once dilated, the doctor will use surgical equipment to remove the foetus from your body, bringing the pregnancy to an end. This procedure may result in pain and discomfort. As a result, make sure you get enough rest after the procedure to recover.

Procedure

Before the procedure:

  • Medical abortion is performed by experienced gynaecologist because even if the procedure is minor, the risk involved is high.
  • A pregnancy test will be performed by the gynaecologist to verify the period of the pregnancy.
  • An ultrasound examination is performed to check the age of the pregnancy and to confirm whether the pregnancy is inside the uterus or not.
  • You will also be checked for anaemia, viral and sexually transmitted diseases and other health conditions.
  • Getting advice early will give you more time to make a decision if you are unsure of going for the procedure.

During the procedure

1) If the MTP is done by non surgical procedure, then

  • The doctors usually recommend Mifepristone.
  • This pill can be given orally. In order to prevent infection, antibiotics are also given.
  • The mifepristone blocks the hormone named progesterone and its shortage affects the uterine lining. This fall in progesterone prevents the pregnancy from growing further.
  • This process causes contractions and expels the foetus out of the uterus which may take a few hours or days to get completed.
  • A medical assessment is also performed a week to two later to ensure the full termination of the pregnancy and to rule out any other complications.

2) If a woman wants an abortion in the later weeks of the pregnancy, then she has to go for surgical termination. This type of abortion can be done in the early as well as in the later stages of the pregnancy.

The procedure is performed in the below way:

  • Surgical methods of abortion, usually involve a suction evacuation or a dilatation and curettage (D & C), also known as a dilatation and evacuation. The surgery takes usually very less time and its side effects are comparatively low than medical abortion.
  • The doctor uses a speculum to view inside the vagina and cleans the vagina and cervix with gauze soaked in soap.
  • Local anaesthesia which prevents pain during the procedure is applied to the cervix.
  • The cervix is dilated with the use of thin metal rods.
  • To remove all the pregnancy tissue, a narrow flexible tube is inserted into your uterus and gentle suction is applied to the other end of the tube.

After the procedure

  • Medical termination of pregnancy is a lengthy process. The recovery of the patient depends on individual’s health conditions and the age of the pregnancy at which the procedure is performed. The patient can experience heavy bleeding for a week, depending on the number of the weeks of the pregnancy.
  • Sometimes it takes longer than a month to return to daily activity. Additionally, you should see a doctor to ensure that your recovery is proceeding normally and to confirm that the pregnancy has been completely aborted.

Complications following MTP / Abortion

Few women might experience some complications following the abortion, which include:

  • Heavy bleeding or passing large clots.
  • Bleeding that lasts more than 14 days.
  • Fever over 100 degrees.
  • Signs of infection
  • Vaginal discharge that has increased in amounts or smells bad.
  • Pain, redness or swelling in the genital area.
  • Abdominal pain that is worse than normal period.

Care at Medicover Hospitals

Medicover hospital is the one of the best hospital for MTP procedure with highly experienced gynaecologists and well equipped infrastructure

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the best team of gynecologists and counsellors who have years of experience in handling safe medical abortion with complete confidentiality, utmost care and precision. Our team is capable of guiding you in the right direction with the most suitable methods of treatment tailored for you. We provide end-to-end care and guide our patients for healthy recovery by continuously monitoring their progress.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Yes. Medical termination of pregnancy is a procedure that uses medication to end a pregnancy. It is safer and most effective during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Contrary to medicinal or surgical abortions, miscarriage occurs spontaneously. Another name for a miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion.

It differs from individual to individual depending on the medications you get and how far into your pregnancy you are.

No, There isn’t abortion pill that you can get over the counter. You should meet gynaecologists to get an exam, lab tests and ultrasound to figure out the length of pregnancy.

Surgical abortion has much higher success rate as the whole procedure is supervised by gynecologist. This method is recommended when the gestation age is more than 14 weeks.

Medical abortion may cause heavy and painful bleeding, infection, and vaginal discharge which should be addressed speedily to prevent further complications.

Yes, one can refer to Medical termination of pregnancy act 1971 and their amendments for guidelines

It is normal to bleed and spot on and off for several weeks after your abortion. So your period should go back to normal within 4-8 weeks after your abortion.

The various methods for administering abortion pills include oral (pills swallowed with water) , buccal ( pills are inserted between gum and cheek) , sublingual(pill are inserted below the tongue for better absorption) and vaginal( pills are inserted into vagina).

References:

  • https://www.ucsfhealth.org/treatments/surgical-abortion-first-trimester
  • https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/abortion-procedures-medication