Exploratory essay on abortion

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Abortion

Abstract

How to deal with unwanted pregnancies has been a question of concern for ages. In fact, because some pregnancies are developed due to accidents or undesired acts such as rape, the law provides for termination of such pregnancies. Whereas there are many mechanisms of abortion including crude ones, medical procedures are the best. The purpose of this research is to investigate the treatment options for abortion. Scholarly efforts have scrutinized the side effects associated with abortion. Ranging from issues such as bleeding, clotting, uterine tearing, anesthesia-related complications and infertility, concerted efforts should be concentrated on how to reduce these emerging fears. It is the objective of the paper to establish the most effective treatment methods that will ensure safe abortion to all clients. Professionally, reproductive health related to abortion is aimed at providing evidence-based clinical practices in different health centers. This paper underscores the effectiveness of individualized treatment according to one’s peculiar clinical needs. Methods such as oral administration of drugs, surgical abortion techniques, dilatation, and evacuation are identified and explained as examples of medical treatment. In order to avoid complications related to abortion, one needs an in-depth analysis of all the fears people express regarding abortion and professional knowledge that provide safe alternatives. This paper concludes that medical treatment is the best option for clients. The recommendation of the paper is that health practitioners should provide adequate medical campaigns to all citizens to promote awareness on safe abortion.

Abortion

Introduction

Abortion is defined as the act of terminating a pregnancy before maturity. It is often done within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Diedrich and Drey (2010) note that most women around the globe prefer to terminate a pregnancy than nurse it to final stage due to a number of cases such as lack of planning and rape. It is, therefore, a great issue of concern. As Diedrich and Drey (2010) add, before one decides to procure abortion, proper counseling is needed so that all the possible side effects are explained to the client. Constant publications done by World Health Organization (WHO) continually update professionals on recommended and up to date methods that can be used to secure the lives of mothers. It is noteworthy to mention that because some pregnancies are a result of irresponsible sexual behavior, many mothers and youths have resorted to crude methods of terminating the fetus. This has often led to numerous complications that border on death.

In a chapter contributed to the World Health Organization, Ngo et al. (2011) note that the question of abortion should be thoroughly addressed because of the guilt and stigma associated with those women and young girls who choose to procure it. Further, legality and prevalence of abortion vary across different cultures in the world. Therefore, scholarly research should concentrate on persuading people to desist from crude methods such as the use of sharp objects, herbal administration, physical trauma and other traditional methods. Statistically, shocking records of abortion in the USA reveal that at least 900,000 cases of abortion are reported annually. In this regard, therefore, the question of effective medical treatment is not only a matter of urgency but also that whose time is come. As Diedrich and Drey (2010) observe, the several feelings victims of abortion should be handled with care to avert consequences such as depression, insomnia, shame and guilt among others. Against this background, the present research investigates the safest medical treatments that promote wellness of mothers who go the abortion way.

Statement of the problem

Abortion is recorded to have been existent for thousands of years. Although ancient abortion attempts were not legalized, the world entered a century of freedom on this issue when most of the western countries legalized abortion. According to Colemen et al. (2002), reproductive health discussions have characterized the better part of many conferences organized by health professionals in different parts of the world. The general transformations in the health sector have seen many individuals update information on the best healthcare required by abortion victims. The induction of abortion using other unsafe methods has called the attention of researchers who address the issue based on scholarly records.

The fact that many risks are associated with abortion itself requires the designing of unique approaches that solve each woman’s problem. Ngo et al. (2011) observe that proactive and responsive measures should be taken to mitigate the many problems that arise after abortions.  Although many scholars have conducted numerous researches on abortion, it is apparent that effective treatment options have not received enough attention. This echoes the opinion expressed by Heikinheimo, Gissler, and Suhonen (2008) who mention that failure to embrace documented treatment options for abortion has led to various psychological problems such as repeat abortions, nightmares, drug and substance abuse, suicidal tendencies and other related issues. As Heikinheimo, Gissler, and Suhonen (2008) stress, it is very important to present adequate information to persons contemplating abortion so that the possible painful consequences are avoided.

The question of abortion should be addressed due to the multifaceted challenges that arise after it. Diedrich and Drey (2010) underscore that in this age of increased sexual activities and biological complications, health workers should be engaged in the perpetual investigation of the safest treatment methods. In order to do this, everyone should deeply understand the consequences of cheap methods of handling this procedure. Whereas medical abortion is preferred as the safest method, scanty research has delved on the mechanisms of averting the side effects of the procedure. This is in line with what Coleman et al.  (2009) note that the painful experiences or aftermath of aborting can be reversed if professional counseling and treatment methods are used on the victims.

According to Coleman et al.  (2009), many people have suffered after abortion and they do not admit willingly making such choices because of the post-abortive experiences. As a result, large numbers of doctors in collaboration with psychologists have provided an integrated model that brings together mitigation techniques and psychological wellness. It is important to point out that the question on proper treatment directly affects both those who have procured and those who have not. It is apparent that the moment cases of excessive bleeding and severe pains were reported by many patients, doctors who had done many surgical operations or administered drugs began to rethink the whole process, save for abortion treatments.  Additionally, developing fever and inability to breathe freely are indications that perhaps some medical procedures were either not well done or completely ignored. Addressing this issue, Ngo et al. (2011) posit that irrespective of whether an abortion is medical, surgical or dilatational, proper treatment should accompany the procedures so that facilitate faster healing. It is against this background that the present research endeavors to investigate the best treatment techniques that promote healing after abortion.

Treatment options for Abortion

The first and widely used method of abortion treatment is the administration of pills. Heikinheimo, Gissler, and Suhonen (2008) observe that abortion pills are good for both termination and healing processes. They cushion further that proper counseling should be conducted on the effectiveness of the drug administration to achieve the best results. In their research, Heikinheimo, Gissler, and Suhonen (2008) approve of pills as the quickest way to relieve pain and accomplish the abortive procedure. Through the approval of the most qualified health professional, administration of mifepristone is done to end the pregnancy. This drug acts by blocking the path used by progesterone. By blocking this hormone, the lining of the uterus is physically broken and the fetus is detached from the uterus. The pregnancy is therefore terminated.

Using pills to procure and treat abortion also requires that misoprostol should be administered to cause the contractions and expansions of the uterine muscles. In a study investigating the effectiveness and availability of abortion pills, Rawson (2012) records that healing properties of the drug called misoprostol enable it to perform, twofold functions. In this, the drug does not only cause cramping but the dissolution of the fetal content thus bleeding in a smooth manner that relieves the victim.  It is evident that when the correct dosage of the drug is administered, the abortion will take a similar form as a miscarriage.

Many doctors agree that no medical procedures are needed after a successful abortion exercise. However, with increased health complications, treatment options must be at the disposal of the patient. Rawson (2012) opine that at certain times, some fetal remains may get such on the uterine walls thus causing great complications. In such cases, the best medical procedure would be to conduct a D & C process on the patient. This is a suction process that opens the cervix and removes certain contents of the uterus. Diedrich and Drey (2010) observe that suction is only recommended as a medical procedure in extreme cases.  As a medical procedure and treatment method, vacuum aspiration is conducted to scrap the uterine wall with a sharp instrument. This procedure is tricky and should only be done by approved gynecologists. After administration of a sedative anesthesia, paracervical anesthesia may follow to prevent any pain during the operation.

Another key treatment option associated with abortion is the administration of intravenous antibiotics to prevent infection of the uterine walls. Every patient who has their cervix checked must undergo the procedure of using dilators to open the uterus. Allen and Goldberg (2007) observe that vacuum aspiration is especially necessary if the gestation has not gone past seven weeks. Of great importance in this procedure is that the contents scrapped from the uterine walls should be delivered to a pathologist who does extra examinations for infections. Once this is done, a patient may have bed rest recommended. It should be noted that the process of suction can be messy if not followed properly, by way of example, problems such as laceration of the cervix and perforation of the cervix may occur. Therefore, correct steps should be followed in relaxing the patient and facilitating recovery.

The suction process as a remedy for abortion complications is highly recommended because it has a number of advantages. According to Meirik et al. (2012), apart from the fact that this procedure guaranteed a limited period of bleeding, it is also cited as one of the least painful. Most gynecologists also agree that proper D &C procedures reduce the chances of needing another operation on the individual. Additionally, when used with antibiotics and other drugs, one easily gets rid of the signs of pregnancy fast hence faster healing. Meirik et al. (2012) note that as opposed to other treatments that may cause cervical weaknesses and future premature births, suction guarantees a patient a safe operation with limited complications in future.

Manual vacuum aspiration does not require much time to perform. In fact, it may simply take around seven minutes.  Operating like a routine pap smear, this procedure is considered one of the safest non-surgical treatment methods. Diedrich and Drey (2010) list four methods of providing treatment to abortion patients. According to them, these include Surgical D&C, the use of Misoprostol, Manual Vacuum Aspiration and natural intervention procedures. They, however, stress that the non-surgical procedures that involve the removal of tissue from the uterus prove to be effective especially if the pregnancy is in its first few weeks of development. This makes it have the advantage because it can be done as an inpatient or outpatient procedure. Termination of pregnancy is especially successful if medical methods are used to procure an abortion.

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Surgical abortion techniques are cited by many scholars to be very expensive and may have a number of side effects. Anyway, every patient has peculiar biological needs and may require any of the four mentioned options. As Ngo et al. (2011) mention, dilation and extraction are serious surgical procedures performed only by experienced professionals. The process is a bit complicated and riskier because part of the whole process is performed two days before the completion of the whole procedure. Patients who choose to go for this procedure should understand that it is best recommended for the second trimester when the baby has tremendously grown. Because the baby’s head will not have turned, the process uses forceps designed to pull the head and hands out (Heikinheimo, Gissler, & Suhonen, 2008; Sedgh et al., 2012). As a treatment method, many patients are warned of the dire consequences as the then baby is nearly approaching the third trimester. This is because the procedure relies on a cut made on the back of the baby as a catheter is used to vacuum the contents. As the baby is turned, the skull collapses and is pulled with the placenta. This, therefore, gets rid of every fetal content.

Conclusion

From the discussion above, it is evident that there are a number of medical treatment procedures available to a woman or a girl who wants to procure an abortion. As opposed to the former years when limited knowledge would be accessed on the available procedures of treating abortion-related complications, the present age has an adequate resource that promotes healthy procurement and guaranteed healing. According to the research, doctors and counselors are working closely to integrate physical health and psychology so that patients make informed choices before choosing any procedure. This is particularly important because any medical operation should meet the individual needs of each patient. The paper has equally established that all the possible treatment options have different side effects ranging from bleeding to further complications, uterine wall tearing, abdominal pain and cramps, damage to the cervix and others. It is however clear that the effectiveness of an option depends on adequate mental preparedness and professional experience of the doctor. One who chooses the options wisely reduces the number of trips made to clinics due to complications.

Recommendations

In light of the present research, the paper makes a number of recommendations. First, if abortion must be chosen as the only way to prevent pregnancy, professional counseling should be thoroughly done to the client so that future side effects such as guilt, loneliness, insomnia, broken relationships and drug and substance abuse do not occur. This idea is cushioned by Joffe (2013) who says that pre-abortion counseling motivates the client to pursue medical attention thus avoiding possible complications. Secondly, the research recommends that those contemplating abortion should procure it in the first trimester of the gestation. This is due to that fact that as the pregnancy nears final stages, the life of the mother is at greater risk. As Ngo et al (2011), certain treatment options such as survival ones are recommended for almost fully developed babies. It is however clear that at this point, the life of the mother is endangered. Finally, health workers should conduct adequate campaigns on abortion procedures and the side effects associated with them so that potential clients can wisely choose the options they are willing to embrace. Done this way, cases of complication and even unwarranted deaths arising for abortion will be reduced.

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  1. Allen, R. H., & Goldberg, A. B. (2007). Cervical dilation before first-trimester surgical abortion (< 14   weeks’ gestation). SFP Guideline 20071. Contraception76(2), 139-156.
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  8. Ngo, T. D., Park, M. H., Shakur, H., & Free, C. (2011). Comparative effectiveness, safety and acceptability of medical abortion at home and in a clinic: a systematic review. Bulletin of the World Health Organization89(5), 360-370.
  9. Rowlands, S. (2012). Abortion pills: under whose control? J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care38(2), 117-122.
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