Whether you choose to keep the pregnancy or terminate it, knowing how far along you are in pregnancy is crucial. The number of weeks of gestation will influence which abortion methods are available to you. This will let you understand if the pregnancy is progressing normally, especially if you want to carry it full-term. Remember that from the first day of your last menstruation, a pregnancy typically lasts 38 to 42 weeks. Counting the weeks and days since the first day of your last menstrual cycle is the simplest technique to determine how many weeks are left in your pregnancy.
In order to determine when the egg was released from the ovary and fertilized, start counting on the first day of your last menstrual cycle. Avoid making some of the typical errors listed below when calculating:
Choose the first day of your most recent menstruation if you need help counting the weeks of your pregnancy Think back to what you were doing when you last had your period if you don't monitor it or can't recall the last time you did. You were where? With whom were you? You may find that this aids in your memory of the day of your most recent period.
The Types of Pregnancy Tests Available Today
Here are some of the ways you can check the pregnancy status:
Urine test: This easy pregnancy test looks for pregnancy hormones in the urine and is quite popular. This test is carried out at least two weeks following unprotected intercourse in order to prevent a "false negative." It has several advantages such as low cost and the ability to perform it alone at home. But it is impossible to determine how old the pregnancy is with this method.
Blood test: When it comes to blood tests for pregnancy checks, there are two options to consider. Qualitative (which identifies the presence of the pregnancy hormone hCG in the blood) and quantitative (which quantifies the hormone's concentration). If quantitative, it may be able to estimate the approximate age of the pregnancy. It can also detect pregnancy earlier than a urine test. But this test is more expensive and needs a doctor's prescription.
Ultrasound: Considering a lab test, the ultrasound pregnancy test is only appropriate if the pregnancy has progressed for at least four weeks or longer. If you are unsure about when you last had a period, it may be especially useful. Estimating gestational age is very accurate, and it can be used to detect ectopic pregnancy or other non-viable pregnancies. However, an ultrasound must be done by a medical professional. Also, it is more expensive than a blood and urine test.
The Abortion Method According to Pregnancy Length
Your pregnancy's gestational age will largely determine which of the many safe abortion options you select. Because there is some overlap in the gestational ages for various abortion methods, the choice may also be influenced by geography, equipment accessibility, and provider preference.
Abortion with pills is the common name for a medical abortion. You can induce the medicines without assistance or a do-it-by-yourself procedure. When you take pregnancy termination pills, there is bleeding and cramps. The signs resemble either a miscarriage or heavy menstrual bleeding, or both. The terms "abortion pills" typically apply to either using Mifepristone and Misoprostol or only Misoprostol. In the following, we will discuss about abortion pills, their working effects, precautions, confirming pregnancy checks, and more.
Need of Mifepristone as well as Misoprostol
Progesterone helps to progress pregnancy. It is a hormone that the Mifepristone pill inhibits. The pregnancy will not go ahead without the hormone progesterone. Mifepristone 200mg is only half of the medication that constitutes an "abortion pill" or "medical abortion.” Hence by itself, it may not end the pregnancy. You have to orally consume it on day 1. It works to relax the cervix and makes the effects of Misoprostol more prominent. Misoprostol is also necessary.
You need 200mcg x 4 pills buccally or vaginally 24 to 48 hours later. Without it, you cannot induce an abortion. People generally administer it to cause a miscarriage or pregnancy termination. Misoprostol is a pill that causes uterine contractions. It allows the expelling of products of conception by causing cramping and bleeding. The medicine alone is good enough for medical abortion. The combination of both medications is better.
Misoprostol is widely available because it has more medical applications than abortion (to cause labor, treat postpartum hemorrhage, treat ulcers, and others.). The World Health Organization also refers to Mifepristone and Misoprostol as important medicines in the process of pregnancy termination.
What Are the Effects of Medical Pregnancy Termination?
You will have symptoms that are comparable to a miscarriage or heavy period after taking the abortion pills. When taking Mifepristone, you often experience no side effects. The majority of the symptoms do not start until after you take Misoprostol. Cramping, bleeding, and even the passage of blood clots are common outcomes.
Although you may experience bleeding for several days or weeks after using Misoprostol, most of the bleeding and cramping usually start within the first 48 hours. Temporary abortion pill side effects can include fever, chills, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. It is quite normal if you do not feel any of them. These do fade away eventually.
How to Understand If Self-Managed Abortion Worked?
It is extremely likely that the medical abortion is a success if you take the medicines as per the advice of your healthcare provider. The above-mentioned signs may give you an indication of the ongoing procedure. The bleeding can last a day or more while the uterus vacates. After taking abortion pills for five days, your pregnancy symptoms (nausea, breast tenderness, and exhaustion) should start to get better before going away entirely. This is also evidence of successful termination.
But after 14 days, you must go for a follow-up and get an ultrasound scan of the abdomen for actual pregnancy results. A blood or urine test to check for pregnancy hormones may not give accurate results. This is because, after pregnancy termination, these hormones still stay active in your system for weeks.
You can expect the bleeding to reduce in a few weeks and get your menstrual period after 4 to 6 weeks. It depends on your gestational age as to when the period will begin. In case of incomplete abortion, you may have to use additional pills or undergo an invasive removal of the remaining products of conception.
When Not to Use Abortion Pills?
For the majority of women, medical abortions are safe. The use of abortion pills is not advisable for only a small number of medical conditions. This is true if you are on long-term steroids (such as Prednisone or Dexamethasone). In this case, you should not take Mifepristone. However, only Misoprostol pills are sufficient to end a pregnancy as well. If you have a bleeding problem like porphyria, are using blood thinners like heparin or warfarin, or have chronic adrenal insufficiency.
The advice extends to if you are allergic to Mifepristone, Misoprostol, or prostaglandins, neither of the abortion pills are suitable. The same is the situation if you have an allergy to the pill ingredients. You are pregnant (but not within the uterus). The abortion pills will not expel the pregnancy here. You should seek medical attention if you are aware of an ectopic pregnancy. The use of abortion pills is not safe if you have an IUD (intrauterine device).
When you have an IUD in place, your risk of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside of the uterus) increases. Additionally, when utilizing the pills with an IUD in place, cramping is probably more severe. The safest advice is to undergo IUD removal before taking the abortion pills.