Abortion at 5 weeks pregnancy – What you need to know?
Contents in this post:
Discovering an unwanted pregnancy can be stressful for any woman living in any part of the world. So, what options does she have?
Can she terminate the pregnancy of her own choice?
Will she be legally permitted to do so?
Is abortion even safe?
Will abortion affect her future pregnancies?
And there are endless similar queries and concerns women undergoing a stressful situation like that of an unwanted pregnancy undergo.
Acts of intimacy can result in unplanned pregnancies. It can come to any woman during her reproductive age. She may or may not want to proceed with the pregnancy. However, abortions are not available by choice throughout the world. While many countries allow legal abortions, there are others that treat abortions as criminal offences.
Where can women in such circumstances go and seek help?
This post helps to intend you find answers to all the aforementioned queries in the context of 5-week pregnancy. So, this post is to help women residing in any part of the world know about their abortion in India rights. If you too are one such woman, you are at the right place.
Abortion in India at 5 weeks: What do you need to know legally?
The most important thing you need to know is that abortion in India is legal under a variety of circumstances. These include:
- A pregnancy that is essential to terminate to protect the woman’s physical and/or mental health and/or life.
- When pregnancy is a result of contraceptive failure.
- In an event, fetal anomalies have been detected.
- When the pregnancy is a result of rape/incest.
Since we are talking about abortion at 5-weeks of pregnancy in this post, it is very early to be able to detect fetal anomalies. However, non-viable and faulty pregnancies such as ectopic pregnancies are detectable. And they are treated as medical conditions needing immediate treatment.
So, at 5 weeks, most likely you can obtain an abortion for the other approved reasons. However, the Indian abortion law permits legal abortions for up to 20 weeks in most circumstances.
Consent for abortion:
Do you know the most relaxing thing about having an abortion in India? It is that a woman can obtain it only with her consent. She does not need any parental or spousal consent for the abortion.
In countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Maldives, Mauritius, Bhutan, Oman, Philippines, abortions are either illegal or highly restricted. In very restricted circumstances, such as to save the woman’s life or fetal anomalies, the government may allow abortions. However, the rules for abortion are very stringent. More than one doctor have to prove the need for an abortion with evidences. Even the partner’s consent is essential. In the absence of the partner during the specific time, paternal parental consent is necessary.
However, abortion in India is legally available to all adult women seeking it at 5 weeks with their consent only. Adult here means all women above 18 years of age.
Many unmarried women fall in for unsafe abortion methods. Most of it is because they do not know that abortion in India is legal for unmarried women. Married women too attempt unsafe abortion methods such as buying abortion pills without a prescription due to similar reasons. It is due to the lack of knowledge of their reproductive rights. And sometimes due to fear of stigma and fear of being judged.
Although in the modern world, we try to openly communicate regarding issues such as premarital sexual intimacy, live-in relationship, safe sex practices and sexual education. Surprisingly, abortion is still talked about less often and revolves around being a taboo topic.
The Indian government took an initiative for women to help them with safe abortions with its abortion laws. The laws were first introduced in the year 1971 and abortion was made legal under the MTP Act and Rules, 1971. There have been further amendments and revisions in the same from time to time. The most recent amendment is the MTP Act, 2021.
And it is with this amendment, that any woman, married or unmarried can obtain a legal abortion in India.
Women from many parts of the world like Dubai, Fujairah, Muscat, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait City, RAK, Sharjah, Ajman, Al Ain, etc. travel to India to obtain safe and legal abortions. The first thing is that they are not legally permitted to abort in their resident countries. Next, being unmarried makes them double the criminal for indulging in premarital sexual activities.
Abortion in India at 5 weeks: Available abortion methods
As mentioned earlier, abortion in India is legally obtainable at up to 20 weeks normally. However, the abortion methods vary largely as per the pregnancy length and location.
Since the scope of this post is 5-week pregnancy, let’s first talk about the pregnancy location.
Ectopic pregnancy removal at 5-week pregnancy:
Ectopic pregnancy is a non-viable pregnancy. It refers to instances where the fertilized egg fails to implant in the uterus lining. Either it may remain in its pathway, i.e. the fallopian tube between the ovary and the uterus. Or it may misroute to some other place like that abdominal cavity.
Other forms of ectopic pregnancy are rare. However, tubal pregnancy is quite common. In any case, ectopic pregnancies are medical emergencies. The patient needs immediate treatment by evacuation of the pregnancy tissue as soon as possible.
At 5 weeks of pregnancy, the embryo size is very small. This means that is is possible to safely remove the ectopic pregnancy at this stage without any surgical intervention. There are different medicines available for treating an ectopic pregnancy. The dose and method of administration of the medicines can be oral or parenteral (injectable). The doctor decides the best for the patient depending on her medical condition and considering other specific factors.
In some further rare cases, ectopic pregnancy at 5 weeks may ask for surgical intervention. A small laparoscopic surgery can save the patient’s life as well as her reproductive health.
An ectopic pregnancy may continue to grow wherever the embryo implants itself. However, no other location besides the uterine cavity can sustain the growing embryo through full-term. So, whenever the embryo finds the space insufficient or not feasible for growth, it may burst within the body. This can lead to internal bleeding (hemorrhage).
The patient can go into syncope. She may need emergency surgery to save her life. The doctor then surgically removes the ruptured pregnancy. It may also be essential to remove some or more of the reproductive organs, ovary and the fallopian tube (in case of burst tubal pregnancy).
As a result, the patient may lose her fertility, partial to complete depending on the case’s severity. When a woman pops in abortion pills without the doctor’s consultation for an ectopic pregnancy, they do not bring about the abortion. Rather, the pregnancy tissue grows until it ruptures soon enough. This is how an unsafe abortion can impact her future pregnancies.
But, do you know one thing?
Early detection of an ectopic pregnancy can save both the patient’s fertility and her life. Even if surgery seems essential, timely treatment can save the patient’s partial fertility.
In case you are pregnant with wanted or unwanted pregnancy, please make sure to visit your gynecologist at the earliest. In any case, the doctor will first ask you for an ultrasound to check for the pregnancy location. This will also help her learn about the exact pregnancy length. Your options ahead depend largely on these two things.
Intrauterine pregnancy removal at 5-week pregnancy:
Now, coming to the normal or intrauterine pregnancies. These pregnancies are the ones where the embryo successfully implants in the uterine lining and continues to grow. At 5 weeks, an ultrasound can see the embryo only as a tiny dot in a small gestational sac.
The cardiac activity develops most likely in the 6-7 weeks of pregnancy. This means, at 5-weeks, the doctor cannot ascertain whether the pregnancy is viable or not. Deciding on whether to proceed ahead with pregnancy to full-term is absolutely the patient’s choice. And so, is her decision of abortion.
If you are finding it difficult to decide, you can schedule a consultation with the gynecologist. You can choose to schedule a consultation at the most prestigious abortion hospitals recognized internationally for its best abortion team.
In case, you have already decided to proceed with an abortion, it may be a good idea to proceed with it early. An early pregnancy termination presents itself with lesser risks and side effects.
The two safe and approved abortion methods for terminating intrauterine pregnancies at 5-weeks are:
- Medical abortion
- Vacuum aspiration abortion
Let’s discuss each method so that you can easily decide which method to choose for your pregnancy termination.
Medical abortion at 5-week pregnancy:
What it is?
Medical abortion is the medical method of terminating an early intrauterine pregnancy. Safe abortion pills, Mifepristone and Misoprostol can stop the embryo’s growth and aid its natural removal. It is more like an induced miscarriage.
How is it done?
Medical abortion takes place with the help of abortion pills. The doctor first checks for the patient’s eligibility for a medical abortion.
A woman is eligible for a medical abortion if:
- Pregnancy is intrauterine.
- It is less than 6-8 weeks.
- The patient is convenient with abdominal cramps, bleeding that lasts for days, and associated pain, discomfort and fatigue.
- The patient can seek emergency medical aid on time in case of any need.
- If she is not taking any medicine(s) that can interfere with abortion pills.
- If she is not suffering from any medical condition that can negatively impact how abortion pills work.
- The patient is not allergic to one or more ingredient(s) of abortion pills.
- She is ready to undergo a surgical abortion in case of incomplete abortion to get it completed.
A woman is not eligible for a medical abortion if:
- The pregnancy is ectopic.
- It is more than 6-8 weeks.
- The patient wants a painless abortion.
- If she is suffering from a medical condition for which she is taking certain medicines such as antihypertensives. Or if the patient is suffering from a condition such as adrenal failure. She is also not eligible if she is having any blood clotting disorders like varicose veins, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), etc.
- In a case the patient is anemic.
- If the patient has gotten pregnant due to failure of Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD).
- She is allergic to any medicine(s).
- She wants a complete abortion in a single appointment.
- If the patient does not want to take a long professional break. Also if she does not want to wait for a few days to be sure before the abortion is complete.
- The patient cannot seek emergency medical care in case of an emergency. She may need immediate care in case of very heavy bleeding, severe pain, passing large clots for a longer time or any other similar situation.
Working on abortion pills:
If the patient is eligible for a medical abortion, the doctor hands her the first abortion pill to be taken at the same time. The doctor may advise the patient to take the medicine orally. The doctor will hand her over the second set of abortion tablet(s) also on the same appointment. He/She will direct the patient as to when and how to take them. The doctor decides the same after dose adjustment according to the patient’s medical condition. He/She also advises the method of taking the medicines. The method may vary from oral to buccal or even vaginal depending on the patient’s needs.
After taking the first pill, the embryo growth will come to a halt. It will block the action of the pregnancy hormone, Progesterone. In the absence of Progesterone, the embryo will not be able to grow.
It is after taking the second abortion tablet(s) that the uterine muscles will start contracting. These uterine contractions will lead to abdominal cramps and resulting pain. Next, these contractions are responsible for the expulsion of the embryo through the vaginal route like a heavy menstrual period.
Heavy bleeding with large clots is an expected outcome. It may start nearly half an hour after taking the second abortion tablet(s). It is expected to last for 4-6 hours. After this, the bleeding slows down. But it may continue up to days and even weeks. In case the bleeding does not stop altogether beyond day 10, you may need another appointment to check if the abortion was complete.
In a case of an incomplete abortion, you may need a small surgery to complete the same.
Vacuum aspiration abortion at 5-week pregnancy:
Women who are not eligible for a medical abortion can undergo a vacuum aspiration abortion. It is the available abortion method for terminating first-trimester pregnancies. At 5 weeks, although both abortion methods are available, most women prefer Gentle Care suction abortion. Their preference is based on several advantages that the Gentle Care suction abortion has over abortion pills. We will be discussing them below.
How is it done?
Gentle Care suction abortion is the premier abortion method available at American Hospital Bangalore (AHB). The method is as gentle as is the name. It is because of this exclusive procedure that women from different parts of the world travel to Bangalore for abortion.
The doctor first provides the patient with a private one-on-one consultation. He/She addresses all her concerns and queries. The doctor helps the patient understand the procedure in an easy-to-understand language. Malayali women from different cities and towns of Kerala often visit AHB for Gentle Care abortion procedures. Similarly, there are patients from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, etc. Hence, AHB is equipped with multi-lingual staff who are fluent in languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi as well as English. So, you may not find any difficulty in communicating either with the doctor or the staff.
A caring and supporting nurse dedicatedly stays with a single patient throughout her stay at the hospital. She helps in attending to all her needs and care. The nurse disinfects the patient’s cervix region to keep away the infections. Then, the doctor gently inserts a small, thin, flexible, disposable tube called a vacurette inside the cervix. Next, she creates suction with the help of a manual aspirator. She gently controls the amount and intensity of the pressure.
As a result of the suction, the pregnancy tissues along with the embryo get easily detached from the uterine lining. These collect in the tube that flows down from the other end into a collection bottle. The doctor then examines the contents to ensure the abortion is complete. Once she is sure, she turns off the aspirator and removes the vacurette.
How lengthy is a Gentle Care suction abortion?
The entire procedure lasts less than 3-5 minutes for terminating a 5-week pregnancy. The nurse then helps the patient to comfortably relax in her private room as long as she feels like resting. Most women feel normal in less than 15 minutes. And they usually take discharge in less than an hour post-abortion.
The doctor advises each patient on the post-abortion recovery and guidance before she leaves the hospital premises.
Why do women prefer Gentle Care suction abortion over medical abortion?
5-week pregnancy is an early pregnancy. Women have a choice of terminating their pregnancies by any of the two methods if their medical condition permits. Still, most women prefer Gentle Care suction abortion over medical abortion. 9 out of every 10 women visiting AHB for an abortion prefer the Gentle Care suction method.
Several advantages that the Gentle Care suction abortion has over a medical abortion at 5-week pregnancy are:
Efficiency and the waiting period:
Gentle Care suction abortion is an in-clinic abortion method. The abortion gets completed within the clinic itself. The patient can go home knowing that she is no longer pregnant.
Whereas, with a medical abortion, the patient has to wait for the abortion to get complete until the bleeding stops. And still, there is a probability of incomplete abortion. An incomplete abortion is a very common complication. It presents itself with continuous bleeding of varying intensity, abdominal cramps and pain with or without fever. An incomplete abortion will then have to be surgically corrected.
On the other hand, Gentle Care suction abortion is nearly 100% efficient. There are nearly zero cases of incomplete abortion after a Gentle Care suction abortion at 5-week pregnancy.
The waiting period for a Gentle Care suction abortion is only a few minutes after the procedure. Whereas, with a medical abortion, the patient is sure of a complete abortion only after days and sometimes weeks.
Abdominal pain and bleeding:
Gentle Care abortion is painless. Whereas, medical abortion involves an induced miscarriage. It involves varying intensity of abdominal cramps and pain that varies from patient to patient. She may bleed moderately to heavily after a medical abortion. On the other hand, with a Gentle Care abortion, bleeding post-abortion is very light. Since most of the pregnancy tissue is already evacuated, bleeding does not last more than a couple of days.
With a medical abortion, the patient may recover only after the abortion is complete. This may take up to days and weeks. Whereas, with a Gentle Care suction abortion, the patient recovers the same day. She can return to her work routine the following day. She starts feeling better in less than 10-15 minutes. However, overnight rest is recommended for her to heal both physically and emotionally.
Fatigue and discomfort with a medical abortion last as long as the bleeding does. Whereas, there is no fatigue after a Gentle Care suction abortion. It is only the time a patient needs with herself to psychologically feel normal to be back to work.
Even the pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, tender breasts, and frequent urination subside soon after a Gentle Care abortion. Whereas, with a medical abortion, these symptoms may take a little longer to subside entirely.
Gentle Care suction abortion is available at AHB only to a single patient at a time. This ensures her privacy. Even the medical staff is dedicatedly reserved to caring for a single patient at a time. Therefore, there are very limited seats available for abortion on a day. Most of the abortion slots are prebooked since overseas patients and patients coming from different cities get their seats reserved in advance.
If you are looking for abortion in India at 5 weeks, you can get a safe, quick, legal, confidential and painless Gentle Care abortion at the earliest appointment. Inquire about the earliest slot available before you cross the 5-week mark and seek an abortion in the next week.
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