First Trimester Abortion: Everything you may need to know!

The gestation age in humans is 40 weeks. This period is divided into three trimesters with three months making up each trimester.

The first trimester as evident from the name is a collective term for the first three months of the pregnancy.

Nearly half of the pregnancies every year worldwide end up in a first-trimester abortion or miscarriage.

The scope of this post is to highlight the causes, methods, procedures and cost of a first-trimester abortion. Besides, we will also sum up safe early abortion options for unwanted pregnancies.

Access to Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC): A challenge for unwanted pregnancies:

Many first trimester abortions or miscarriages that happen for wanted pregnancies avail them in nearby abortion clinics and hospitals.

It is for unwanted pregnancies that women find it difficult to access early abortions. Due to a lack of knowledge or healthcare facilities, such women seek unsafe abortions.

Sadly, but more than 50% of abortions happening worldwide are unsafe. Further adding to the misery is the morbidity and mortality percentage that is more than 10%.

Can unwanted pregnancies not be terminated?

Do women have no reproductive rights?

Can they not choose what happens to them?

Relax! We just want to raise the questions that can help women look for safe abortion methods rather than resorting to unsafe abortions.

We want to let every woman carrying an unwanted pregnancy know that she is not alone. And that she does have legal rights to safe abortions. It is just a matter of knowledge.

We stand for access to CAC. Hence, we keep coming with our posts to equip women with the piece of knowledge that can help them make the right abortion decisions.

Regardless of the fact where ever in the world you are and reading this post, we want you to know that ‘Earlier you are in availing an abortion, better it is for your health.’

Early abortion options:

Let’s begin with your gestation length.

Do you know how far have you reached in your pregnancy?

If yes, then keep reading further to read about the procedures for first-trimester abortion.

If you do not know of the same, just type your Last Menstrual Period (LMP) date in the comment section and we shall revert you at the earliest.

LMP is the first day of your last monthly menstrual period. For instance, your last period was Aug 21, 2021. Then, your LMP is Aug, 21. And if you have missed your period by the due time in September, then it’s time you get a home pregnancy test done.

Urine Pregnancy Test (UPT): A simple home test:

See, after fertilization or conception, the woman’s body starts preparing for the growing embryo. It starts secreting different hormones like Progesterone. The hormone that triggers the release of Progesterone is Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG). It can be found in different values in the blood and urine of a pregnant woman through different stages of pregnancy.

Where to buy it?

You can buy a UPT kit easily either from a nearby pharmacy or through online resources like Amazon international, Amazon India, Flipkart  and others.

Whether the pregnancy is wanted or unwanted, it is advised to check for the pregnancy test at your missed period.

How to do it?

It is a very simple test and can be easily checked at home. That’s why it is also known as a home pregnancy test.

You just have to follow the instructions mentioned in the kit. The test is designed to find out whether the woman’s urine has traces of hCG.

The possible results:

Negative UPT test:

The test says Positive if hCG is present in traceable amounts. Even if you have a negative UPT test but do not have your period as well, repeat the test after a couple of days.

If still negative, you need to visit a registered hospital and get yourself thoroughly checked. You may be advised to have a blood test to check for hCG level in your blood. And you can expect to be advised for an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy.

If you are not pregnant, the doctor will look out for other reasons like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) to diagnose the reason behind your delayed or missed period.

The positive UPT test:

If the UPT test comes positive, then you are most likely pregnant.

A positive UPT test: What next?

Now that you’re pregnant, it is important to ascertain the length and location of the pregnancy. This is very essential to rule out the cases of ectopic pregnancies.

In case the pregnancy is wanted, you need to visit your gynaecologist. The doctor will help you monitor how you and your young one are doing from time to time.

But if the pregnancy is unwanted, the scan will help in knowing your best abortion options.

Since you just missed your period, you are in your first trimester of pregnancy. And you may have early abortion options open. Coming next to them.

Abortion rules in various countries:

Unwanted and unplanned pregnancies happen to every third woman in the world during some part of her life. But not all of them can easily avail of abortion only because the pregnancy is unwanted. The woman has to abide by the abortion rules of her country where she wants an abortion.

And these women often seek unsafe methods like buying abortion pills illegally, self-administration of them or unsafe abortions. The fear of being caught is so grave that they do not think even once before putting their lives at risk.

Through this post, we want to let you know that if you too are struggling with an unwanted pregnancy, refrain from unsafe abortion. Its consequences may deeply impact your health and life.

If abortion is illegal in your country or is restricted, you can choose to travel to a country where abortion is legal. You can plan an abortion trip to that country and return after a successful abortion.

We will come to your best option ahead in this post. But before that let’s look at the early or the first-trimester abortion procedures.

First-trimester abortion procedures:

The first and the most important thing for an unwanted pregnancy is to know that you do have safe abortion options. So, please do not get maniac and act in a hurry.

The first trimester means the first three months or 12 weeks of the pregnancy. Most likely, after you missed your period, you have a positive UPT in the 2nd month or 5th or 6th week of gestation.

The first trimester abortions are performed by the two methods. These have been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for terminating early pregnancies.

  1. The medical method of abortion
  2. The Vacuum Aspiration Method of abortion.

Now, we will learn about both the methods and how an abortion is performed.

The Medical Method of abortion:

Gestation period:

It is a recommended method of abortion for very early pregnancies, i.e, less than 6-8 weeks.

The procedure:

Since the size of the embryo by this time is very small, it may be removed like a miscarriage.

The medical method of abortion works in two different steps. And, hence you may need at least two appointments for terminating your pregnancy through this procedure.

The first abortion pill:

During the first appointment, you will be given the medicine with an active ingredient, Mifepristone.

The working of the medicine:

We mentioned earlier in this post that after conception Progesterone is secreted in the woman’s body. This is the pregnancy hormone that helps the body prepare for the growing embryo. And also to sustain its growth.

This medicine Mifepristone is an anti-progestin. This means that it stops the secretion of progesterone in the body. Additionally, it blocks the action of available progesterone.

This stops the growth of the embryo and tells the body that it’s time to shed the gestation products.

The method of administration:

Mifepristone may be administered to you either orally or may be placed vaginally.

The method is usually decided by the prescribing doctor who checks for the best mode of administration for individual patients.

The second abortion pill:

The second abortion pill that works along with the first one, Mifepristone to bring about abortion is Misoprostol. It is administered hours later after the first abortion pill. So, you may have to visit the abortion clinic on a second appointment to have the second abortion pill.

In countries like India, a second pill may be given to the patient to be taken at home. Along with the pill comes the directions of the time gap to be followed and how to take it.

The working of the medicine:

Now the growth of the embryo has already been stopped. It needs to be evacuated from the womb. Misoprostol does this job. It brings contractions to the uterus. It is these contractions that are responsible for removing the embryo through vaginal bleeding.

The mode of administration:

Misoprostol is generally given orally but may be administered vaginally. It depends on the doctor’s diagnosis for individual patients.

What to expect with the medical method of abortion?

  • It may be prescribed only for terminating early pregnancies, i.e., less than 6-8 weeks.
  • The location of pregnancy needs to be intrauterine for the medical method to work. The abortion pills may not work in cases of ectopic pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancies may be life-threatening and deserve immediate medical attention.
  • The bleeding with this method may range from moderate to heavy. It usually lasts less than a week but in rare cases may last longer.
  • In case the bleeding persists beyond 7-10 days, you may need to follow up to check whether the abortion was complete.
  • In events, two or more sanitary pads get drenched in a period stretched over two hours, contact your doctor immediately.
  • You may experience mild to moderate to severe pain due to abdominal cramps. You may be prescribed pain management for the same.
  • The medical method of abortion is 95% – 98% effective. This means that even with the highest quality medicines used, there is always a chance of incomplete abortion.
  • For incomplete abortion, corrective surgery is to be performed at the earliest to remove the gestation products from the womb.
  • The medical method may not be prescribed to you even if you are early if you are allergic to abortion pills.
  • There may be some co-existing medical conditions of women that restrict the doctor from using the abortion pill method to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

The advice:

Never self-diagnose or self-administer abortion pills even if you are very early in pregnancy. Risks with abortion pills can threaten your health and life.

Are you unmarried? Are you a single mother? Are you finding it difficult to have a safe abortion?

Do not attempt self-abortion. Please feel free to speak to a healthcare professional. Unmarried girls and single mothers can also avail legal and safe abortions in India. You may feel free to schedule an appointment at American hospital Bangalore (AHB).

At AHB, besides legal and safe, your abortion will also be confidential. It’s just so easy. You need not panic. Please ask your concerns. You may comment below in the comment section or may send us a mail or just drop a message. A helpline number is always available.

Besides abortion, even your entire conversation shall be kept as the confidential information of the patient.

Coming to the next early abortion method.

Vacuum Aspiration Method of abortion (VA method of abortion):

It is one of the most widely prescribed and opted-for methods of abortion owing to several advantages.

Gestation period:

WHO recommends using this method for terminating unwanted pregnancies that have not exceeded the 12 weeks.

The medical method is not recommended to be used beyond the first 6-8 weeks since the embryo size has increased by then. And even if abortion pills are administered, the probability of incomplete abortion also increases. It may not be possible to evacuate all the contents with safe abortion pills.

The procedure:

As suggested by the name, a vacuum is used to create suction and aspirate the embryo.

It is a very short procedure. To help the patient relax and make the procedure efficient, a local or general anaesthetic may be administered.

Then, a slender medial tube known as Vacurette is inserted into the uterine cavity through the vagina. This tube is connected at the other end with a suction device.

If the suction is created manually, the method is known as Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA). Now, electrical devices are also available to create the desired suction. And that method where an electrically driven motor is used to create the suction is known as Electric Vacuum Aspiration (EVA).

There is not much difference in the efficiency of the two methods provided the abortion procedure is performed by a well-trained professional.

This suction device whether manual or electrical is attached to a collection bottle.

The doctor gently inserts the curette and when it touches the amniotic sac, suction is turned on. The embryo, placental tissue gets sucked and starts getting collected in the collection bottle. 

The bottle is examined regularly to see whether all embryonic tissues are sucked. 

Usually, trained professionals can suck the entire tissue in nearly three minutes. However, if any tissue remains, it is removed by scraping the uterine lining with a sterile curette. 

This may not take more than 8-10 minutes.

What to expect with the vacuum aspiration method of abortion?

  • This method may be prescribed to you if your pregnancy is less than 12 weeks.
  • It may even be the preferred method for first-trimester abortions that are less than 8 weeks. Such cases may be:
    • The woman is allergic to abortion pills.
    • Side-effects of abortion pills may complicate a woman’s medical condition.
    • The woman prefers it for being quick and efficient.
    • If the woman seeks a safe single-appointment procedure for abortion.
    • The occasions where the woman is taking any medicines that are contraindicated with abortion pills.
    • The woman’s existing medical history or co-existing conditions forbid the use of abortion pills.
    • In cases where the woman opts for this method as a painless procedure.
  • The procedure is a short, quick and single-appointment procedure that lasts not more than 10 minutes.
  • Bleeding may range from spotting to moderate for nearly 2-3 days.
  • If the bleeding persists for more than a week, please contact your doctor. It may be a case of incomplete abortion. It is therefore essential that this method be performed only by qualified and trained professionals.
  • Again, an incomplete abortion is completed through surgical means.

To schedule a painless and Gentle care first-trimester abortion, feel free to schedule an appointment at AHB.

Travelling to American Hospital Bangalore for a safe, legal and confidential abortion:

We mentioned earlier in the post that a woman who is residing in any country with restricted abortion rules can travel to a country where abortion is legal. So, here is the choicest country for abortions.

It is none other than India. The abortion law in India is liberal and one can obtain an abortion legally in events of:

  • Pregnancy has resulted from contraceptive failure.
  • Pregnancy continuation may be harmful to the health/life of the woman.
  • If sexual assault is the reason behind the ongoing pregnancy.
  • In events where fetal anomalies have been detected.

Some other benefits of travelling to India for an abortion include:

  • Here, only the woman’s consent is sought for terminating an unwanted pregnancy. You don’t need your partner’s permission. You may not even involve your parents if you are an adult, i.e. above 18 years ago.
  • You can obtain an abortion up to 20 weeks under general circumstances and up to 24 weeks for special circumstances.
  • You need not be married to avail an abortion in India. Hence, no hassle about proving marriage as in many countries like the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.
  • The registered abortion clinic needs to maintain the confidentiality of the patient. So, your privacy is safe.
  • You need not be an Indian citizen to avail a legal abortion in India. All abortions in India, performed for Indian women or foreign women are equivalent in the eyes of abortion laws.

Still, in government hospitals, there is huge waiting. And girls who seek confidential abortions are unable to have them trusted for the reason of multiple appointments and meeting acquaintances.

Such women who are living in cities like Chennai, Mangalore, Coimbatore often choose to visit American Hospital Bangalore (AHB) for safe and confidential abortions.

And the hospital is internationally recognized for providing quality abortion services to all patients. You can visit here by scheduling an early appointment.

Many women travel from other countries to avail legal, safe and confidential abortions at AHB.

What to expect during a first-trimester abortion at AHB and how to plan?

It is best to first call AHB’s helpline number and schedule an appointment.

Plan your travel:

First, you need to plan your travel options. Bangalore can be reached by a domestic or international flight, trains, cabs and of course, personal vehicles.

It depends upon your choice and availability. If you are coming from a place like Dubai, Qatar, Sharjah, Kuwait, Bhutan, Bahrain, you may need to check for the flights available both from your place to Bangalore and vice versa at a gap of at least a day.

Even if you are coming from another city or state in India, check for the available flights or trains.

It is advisable to have your hotel booking ready beside your travel option. Remember to schedule your hotel for the duration as long as you do not get the return flight. Most likely, you may get it at gap of a day.

Within the city, there are many cabs and local transport available that can bring you to the hospital and from hospital to your booked hotel.

Keep your documents ready:

Although only your consent is required, please carry a valid ID as proof of age. So, that there is no problem in availing of an abortion.

Other documents you may need depend on your medical history. If you are suffering from any medical condition or are having any clinical reports, you should carry them along.

A private consultation:

Since you will arrive by appointment, there won’t be any waiting period. You will be provided private consultation as to what are your options for abortion.

The doctor will check for the length and location of pregnancy and may also have some diagnostic tests to rule out risks with abortion.

Don’t worry, everything will be private and in-house. You may not have to roam here or there for tests or reports.

Once all the reports are ready, the doctor will let you know your best abortion option.

The procedure:

You may opt for a medical method of abortion. But most women opt for a painless Gentle care Vacuum aspiration abortion procedure.

It is a very quick, easy and painless procedure.

The best thing is that the doctors perform it with high precision. So, you can walk out of the clinic with the confidence of a successful procedure.

After the procedure, you may rest in your private room. A highly caring and compassionate nurse may help you cope up.

Be assured, your personal and abortion details are safe. The hospital never discloses any personal information to anyone.

Post-abortion care:

As a part of CAC, you will be prescribed some medicines and supplements to help you recover soon. You may even feel free to follow up anytime you may feel the need. 

You may get discharged in an hour or so. After that, you may choose to rest in your hotel room until your next flight. Relax and stay stress-free.

The cost of abortion depends on multiple factors and may come in various forms. Remember one thing, no cost is above health. If you are healthy, happy and positive life awaits you!

For any queries, please write to us or contact the AHB’s helpline number to schedule an early appointment.

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