Abortion is the termination of pregnancy. If you chose to have an abortion, it is called an “induced” or “elective”  abortion.  In the UK, South Africa, India and other English-speaking countries the procedures are often referred to as TOPs or Termination of Pregnancy.  It’s easiest and safest to have this procedure within the first 3 months from your last menstrual period.   So, the earlier you decide the easier it will be.  You can opt for an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia.  The procedure can be scheduled in advance and you can be back to work or home within an hour or so. You can also ask your health care provider for medication.  Medication requires at least two visits to the clinic or doctor’s office, and your uterus is evacuated over the course of a day or two. In other words, you’ll experience heavy bleeding and cramping as the uterus contracts.  Some women find the outpatient procedure more convenient while others feel that medication is “more natural.”  Chose what is best for you.

Medically speaking, an abortion can also be “spontaneous” or happen on its own. Health providers will call this a spontaneous abortion. Your sister and your friends will refer to this as a “miscarriage” or “losing the baby.”  Whether you chose to have an abortion or if nature decides for you, abortions and miscarriages can be emotionally challenging.  Also, some family and friends will be really supportive while others you thought you could count on or understand you suddenly disappoint you. Make sure you get the support you need.

What to do if you’re considering an abortion or think you’re having a miscarriage??  In the US, you can look for a Planned Parenthood and in the UK contact Bpas.  In other countries, look for Marie Stopes International clinics or MSI.  For miscarriages, you can call your obygn, and if you don’t have one try SuzyKnew!Find an obgyn.