Abortion at 4 weeks pregnancy – What you need to know?
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Pregnancy brings different reactions when it happens to different women and in different situations. Moreover, the same woman may react differently to her pregnancies happening at different times in her life.
While wanted and planned pregnancies are awaited, the unwanted and unplanned ones bring unexpected reactions. It is a surprise to know that you are pregnant even after you took precautions.
But, there are some circumstances in which an unplanned pregnancy can knock on your doors. The scope of this post is to cover the abortion options for women who are only 4 weeks pregnant. So, we’ll begin with what it is like to be pregnant at 4 weeks. Along the way, we will discuss the changes your body may be undergoing at this very time.
How will you feel at 4 weeks pregnant?
Most women do not realize that they are pregnant when they are only 4 weeks into the gestation period. They may be expecting their period by this time. However, some women have their menstrual cycle beyond 28 days and they may not be expecting their period until next week. It is very normal. And by this time, the changes in the body are also not so prominent to tell whether one is pregnant or not.
The first 2 weeks of the pregnancy are the ones when one is technically not pregnant, before ovulation. The first day of the gestation period is the first day of your last menstrual period. So, in the first two weeks, there is no ovulation and no fertilization, which means no pregnancy. So, at 4 weeks pregnant, you are actually 2 weeks ahead of fertilization only.
What happens after fertilization?
In the first week after fertilization, the fertilized egg passes down the fallopian tube to reach the uterine cavity. Here, it attaches to the uterine lining and implants. This may cause a slight abdominal cramp, while most women ignore it for being too mild. Some women also experience slight bleeding at this time, called implantation bleeding.
Some women who are expecting their periods soon may think it of as an early period even. So, it may be a little difficult for women to ascertain whether it’s premenstrual light blood flow or implantation bleeding.
This is the case of a normal pregnancy. It is known as intrauterine pregnancy since the embryo is inside the uterus. However, there are some other pregnancies known as extrauterine or ectopic pregnancies. In such pregnancies, the fertilized egg fails to reach the uterine cavity. It may either stay in the fallopian tube itself. Or it can also mislocate to other places like the abdominal cavity or the cervix lining.
Ectopic pregnancies are medical emergencies. They need immediate treatment to save the woman’s reproductive health and life. There are no very different symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy when we are speaking of a 4-week pregnancy. However, the patient may feel mild to severe pain on one side of the pelvic region. But that can be confused with premenstrual pain or even the pain with an intrauterine pregnancy.
Therefore, it is essential that as soon as you discover your pregnancy, you consult your gynecologist. Once she rules out the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy, you may consider your further options. This should be your first step after discovering your pregnancy, whether wanted or unwanted.
What changes your body is undergoing at 4-weeks of pregnancy?
At 4-weeks pregnant, you may sometimes feel some very early symptoms of pregnancy. While most women do not get them until the end of the 5th week, some sensitive ones may feel them earlier. And even women who have quite higher levels of change in hormones may experience some of these symptoms.
These very early signs of pregnancy include:
- Breast tenderness and darkening of the nipple region (areolas).
- Frequent urination.
- Changes in eating habits lead to bloating and even constipation.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Heartburn that often gets misjudged with acidity.
- Slight pain in the lower abdomen and sometimes even in the back region.
- Cough and cold in some women because at this time, your immune system gets a little weaker.
All the above-mentioned symptoms are quite probable but not essential to have in a pregnant woman. The most probable symptom of early pregnancy is of course the missed period. And you should take up a home pregnancy test if you just missed one.
By this time, the fertilized egg is just the size of a poppy seed. Most women after fertilization pass it out just like a menstrual period before they even realize that they conceived. That’s a case of a very early miscarriage and most early non-viable pregnancies pass out like this only.
Taking a home pregnancy test:
Now, your next step after a missed period is indeed a pregnancy test. You can buy a small Urine Pregnancy Test (UPT) kit or pregnancy card from a nearby pharmacy. Or you can also order it online from a store like Flipkart or Amazon. You can have it at your doorstep.
Now, the first thing to remember is to take the test in the early morning with your first-morning urine sample.
Take a clean container and collect some urine in the same. The UPT kit you buy has a small plastic dish in it. You can also find a small dropper enclosed in the kit. Take a few drops in the dropper and drop them in the plastic dish in the area where ‘S’ or ‘sample’ is written. Place the dish on a flat surface and wait for 2-5 minutes.
The liquid will start rising on another column in the dish where one or two dark pink lines can be observed. In a case, there is a single line, the result is negative, which means non-pregnant. In such a case, you can wait for a couple of days. Either you may have a period or you can take another UPT. Sometimes, hormone levels rise slowly to be evident on the test strip.
In case, there are two dark pink lines visible, the result is positive. You are pregnant. In a case, the second pink line marked with ‘T’ is very feeble, still, there are chances that you’re pregnant. Take another UPT after 48 hours. In a case, no pink line is visible, the test stands invalid. Try it the next day with another kit.
So, next, you have to look for your options according to your test report.
Your options ahead of a pregnancy:
Now that you are pregnant, you have to look forward to what to do next. In case the pregnancy is planned and wanted, congratulations! It’s time for you to plan your gynae visit.
In a case, the pregnancy is unplanned but you can still think of it as an option, it’s also a good option. Some married couples are not ready for a child quite early but the news of pregnancy can change their perspectives. And there is nothing to bother in that. You too may need to plan your gynae visit at the earliest.
But there are many cases when the pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted. Such women may choose to terminate the pregnancy early. Pregnancy termination is absolutely legal in India. And you can get a safe, legal, confidential and painless abortion if you choose this option.
You have another option besides abortion. You can choose to go through childbearing and give the child for adoption. But most women do not want to go through this because either they are unmarried or are not ready for taking the pregnancy to full term. Even married women hesitate in making this choice as they find it difficult to find suitable parents for the child. And they prefer an abortion rather than sending away the child to an unknown couple.
More than 70% of unwanted pregnancies go through the option of early abortion. Since we are talking about 4-week pregnancy in this post, you are quite early. And hence, pregnancy termination at this stage may be an easy-going process.
By this time, you don’t even know whether the pregnancy is viable or not. Nearly 25% of pregnancies are non-viable and may face the fate of a miscarriage before the first 20 weeks.
Relax! Do not act in panic.
Abortion for an unwanted pregnancy at 4 weeks:
Now, if you have decided to go ahead with early pregnancy termination, please calm down. You are not alone. So many girls and women undergo legal abortions every year and that too safely and confidentially. You too can get similar abortion care at the best abortion hospital.
It’s time for you to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist.
Next, when you visit the abortion hospital, the doctor will check for your exact pregnancy length and location. You will have to complete a small 2-minute ultrasound for the same. And it is a very important test. You may not want to skip it. Besides, no qualified doctor will ever prescribe an abortion without confirming the pregnancy length and location.
It is this test that can help in the early detection of an ectopic pregnancy. Early detection can make way for early and safe removal without harming your fertility. Delay in treating an ectopic pregnancy can pose a patient with life-threatening conditions.
The doctor may also ask you for some other additional blood tests. These may depend on your medical history, any medical condition you may be suffering or any medicine(s) you may be taking. The doctor will ask for these tests only if they are essential for your safety.
Do not worry! Most of the tests are routine blood tests. The reports are usually out within an hour. If you choose to visit American Hospital Bangalore for an abortion, you can rest in your private room until then.
After all the reports are in hand, the doctor will detail you about all your available abortion options.
Abortion methods at 4 weeks of pregnancy for ectopic pregnancy:
There are two safe abortion methods for removing extrauterine or ectopic pregnancy. The choice of the method will depend on the patient’s specifics like the size of the embryo and its location. The two methods are:
- Medical removal of an ectopic pregnancy
- Surgical removal of an ectopic pregnancy
Medical removal as the name suggests uses medicines to remove the nonviable ectopic pregnancy. The dose and mode of administration are ascertained by the doctor as it is in the best interests of the patient.
Sometimes, the patient’s condition may call for surgical removal. In such a case, the procedure involves a small laparoscopic surgery. However, there is quite a probability that the doctor may have to remove an ovary and the connecting fallopian tube on one side. This may reduce the patient’s probability of future pregnancies.
However, early detection can make this loss only partial and there is still a probability of the woman being able to get pregnant in future. Delaying in this procedure may lead to ectopic pregnancy rupture. It in turn may call for immediate surgery and then, the loss can be either partial or complete. Hence, it is advisable to never delay in case an ectopic pregnancy has been detected.
Abortion at 4 weeks of pregnancy for an intrauterine pregnancy:
Intrauterine or normal pregnancy at 4 weeks has the fertilized egg of very small size. Sometimes, it is not even detectable in an ultrasound. A transvaginal scan can however show the location and size of the gestational sac by this age. So, the doctor will now have two options to terminate the pregnancy.
Considering that you visit American Hospital Bangalore, the two methods and their specifics have been detailed below.
It is also known as the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP). The doctor will choose this method for you only if he/she seems this method suitable for you. And also, if you approve of the same because most patients prefer Gentle Care suction abortion over a medical abortion due to several advantages. For detailed advantages you can visit: Medical or Suction abortion method: What may be best for you
How is a medical abortion done?
Medical abortion is abortion with the help of two abortion pills. The first pill is given to the patient to be taken orally at the clinic. The second set of pill(s) may be given to the patient at the same appointment. However, she receives directions as to when and how to take them.
The second set of abortion pills is taken at a gap of 6-72 hours. The doctor tells the best gap for each individual patient. And also decides the best dose and mode of administration since these tablets can either be taken orally or inserted vaginally.
So, you can expect to take them after a day or two when at home. After taking these pills, the patient may experience moderate to severe abdominal cramps and pain. It may be usual to expect her to start bleeding within half an hour. The embryo expulsion is expected to occur within the next 6 hours.
So, you can expect to bleed quite heavily until then. After that, the bleeding may slow down but eventually, it may take time for it to stop entirely. Most women bleed for up to 5-7 days post-medical abortion. Some others may bleed for even longer.
However, in case the bleeding does not stop by day 10, it is time for an appointment with the doctor. This is to rule out the possibility of incomplete abortion. An incomplete abortion is one of the most common complications due to which women opt for Gentle Care suction abortion. With a Gentle Care suction (vacuum aspiration abortion), the patient can go back home with a successful procedure. That’s why patients from across the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Oman and others visit American Hospital Bangalore.
Who can undergo a medical abortion?
Now, the doctor will check your eligibility for abortion pills before prescribing them to you. So, you are eligible for a medical abortion if:
- You are less than 8 weeks pregnant. In this case, you are 4 weeks, so you are eligible.
- The pregnancy is intrauterine. Medicines for ectopic pregnancy are different. The abortion pills Mifepristone and Misoprostol work only on intrauterine pregnancies since they contract the uterus and result in embryo expulsion. But when the embryo is not in the uterus, you cannot expect them to be working as expected in a case of an ectopic pregnancy.
- You do not have any known allergies to any ingredient(s) of the abortion pills.
- You are okay with bleeding, abdominal cramps and pain for hours and even days.
- It is okay for you to undergo a surgical abortion in case of incomplete abortion. Since abortion pills are nearly 95% efficient, there are always some chances of incomplete abortion.
- You are not anemic. Anemic patients may not be able to deal with blood loss of medical abortion and hence, the doctor may suggest them to undergo vacuum aspiration abortion.
- You are okay with one or more appointments.
All those married and unmarried women who are either not eligible for an MTP are usually prescribed vacuum aspiration abortion. Even the ones who want complete abortion within the same day and with minimum bleeding and zero pain can opt for a Gentle Care suction abortion.
Vacuum aspiration abortion:
This is the second but the most preferred method for first-trimester abortions. The tools and techniques for the same may vary from abortion hospital to hospital and the performing doctor to doctor.
If you choose to visit American Hospital Bangalore (AHB), you can get a Gentle Care suction abortion. It has several advantages over the medical abortion method which makes it the most widely accepted option.
- Gentle Care suction abortion is completely painless. Whereas abortion pills induce natural miscarriage, which is accompanied by abdominal cramps and pain.
- It is a short and very quick procedure that takes less than 5 minutes. Whereas, abortion pills work in steps and may take days and even weeks before a complete abortion.
- A Gentle Care suction abortion is more efficient. It means the abortion gets completed in the clinic. The patient can return home knowing that she underwent a successful procedure. And hence, she knows that she is no longer pregnant even before she leaves the hospital premises. Whereas, abortion pills are less efficient and the fear of incomplete abortion can always keep you up at night.
- A Gentle Care suction abortion is a single-appointment procedure. The patient may not have to return for any follow-up post-abortion. She gets a post-abortion recovery prescription and guidance before discharge. The patient can take discharge in less than an hour post-abortion. Until then, she can rest and recover privately in her private room. Companion is also welcome.
- No sedation, no discomfort, no pain and no worries with a Gentle Care suction abortion. Whereas, with a medical abortion, pain, discomfort, and fatigue may have you to take days off from your professional or personal routine. With a Gentle Care abortion, you can resume your activities soon enough as you feel comfortable. Most women start their routine the next day itself.
How is it done?
A Gentle Care suction abortion is a very quick procedure taking no more than 5 minutes. A highly caring, friendly and supportive nurse shall be by your side throughout. She will make you get dressed for the procedure and lie in a comfortable position. Next, your cervix region will be disinfected and numbed to make the suction painless for you and also keep infections off the bay.
The doctor will have a small hand-held device in her hand. Its one end will connect to a small and flexible disposable tube. She will insert it softly through your cervix into your womb. Then, she will turn on the device to create suction. She can easily control the pressure and suction according to the needs.
The vacuum created as a result of suction will suck the pregnancy tissues. These will collect in a collection bottle. The doctor will evaluate them to check if the abortion is complete. Then, she will turn off the device and remove the tube gently. And that’s it! The nurse will clean the cervix region again and help you relax. Your pregnancy is over and the abortion is complete.
You can rest for a while until you feel okay to go home in your private room. You can take discharge in less than an hour. Before discharge, the doctor will give you post-abortion advice and prescription to help you in early recovery.
However, Gentle Care abortion is available only to a single patient at a time. Therefore, most of its slots are pre-booked. You may not want to delay. Inquire about the earliest available slot for a Gentle Care abortion by calling on AHB helpline number.
- Up to how many weeks can you have a medical abortion?
- The period after abortion: What to expect, how to deal with
- Cost of abortion: Medical vs Surgical methods of abortion
- Failure of contraception: Where to have a safe abortion?
- Private and confidential abortion clinic: Finding the best?