Common Questions About Pregnancy Terminations to Protect Women’s Health

Having an abortion is a very personal choice and people choose to end a pregnancy for a wide range of different reasons. In some cases there are medical issues that make it difficult or impossible for the pregnancy to proceed. You may decide to have an abortion in order to protect your own health or avoid risks to your wellbeing.

Common Questions About Pregnancy Terminations to Protect Women’s Health

Common Questions About Pregnancy Terminations to Protect Women’s Health

Having an abortion is a very personal choice and people choose to end a pregnancy for a wide range of different reasons. In some cases there are medical issues that make it difficult or impossible for the pregnancy to proceed. You may decide to have an abortion in order to protect your own health or avoid risks to your wellbeing.

How Common Are Abortions to Protect the Woman’s Health?

Pregnancy terminations are only needed to protect a woman’s health in rare cases. Only 181 abortions were performed in the UK in 2019 to save a woman’s life or prevent serious injuries to her physical or mental health.

What Are the Medical Reasons for Needing an Abortion?

The risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth are generally low for women in the UK who have access to excellent medical care. However, some women are at higher risk of complications and health issues can sometimes develop during pregnancy. For example, a woman could be diagnosed with cancer that requires immediate treatment or may have a heart condition that makes pregnancy dangerous. Having an abortion may be the only way to save a woman’s life or to address a serious health risk.

What Happens When You Have an Abortion for Medical Reasons?

If you’re considering abortion because of a medical issue then you will probably start by discussing your condition with your obstetrician or another specialist. It is important for you to understand your condition, the treatment options, and the risks of pregnancy. You can then arrange a consultation at an abortion clinic to learn more about your options. The doctor will explain what happens during a pregnancy termination and help you to make your decision. If you decide to end the pregnancy then you will have another appointment at the abortion clinic for the pregnancy termination. You may be able to take the abortion pill if you are up to 9 weeks pregnant, otherwise a surgical pregnancy termination using suction will be required. Surgical abortions can be performed later in pregnancy (beyond the usual 24 week limit) if there is a risk to your life or health.

Will Having an Abortion Affect Future Pregnancies?

The abortion itself shouldn’t affect your ability to get pregnant or have a baby in the future. However, if you are having a pregnancy termination for a medical reason then your condition or the treatment for it could affect future pregnancies. You might be at higher risk of complications if you get pregnant again or you might need medication or surgery that could affect your fertility. You will need to discuss this with the doctor who is treating the condition.

Where Can I Get More Support?

If you need medical advice then you can talk to your doctors at any point. You may also find it helpful to talk to a counsellor or to join an online support group. Mental health charities such as Mind can help you find the support you need.

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