Abortion counselling can really help women who have recently or at some point gone through with a termination, we know it can be a very difficult ordeal to go through and deal with afterwards and that is why our professional counsellors are here to help and listen to you every step of the way.
If you are feeling down or need some help and advice then our Abortion Counselling service could be just what you need.
Abortion is the term given to the medical procedure of ending a pregnancy so that a child is not born. Reasons why women choose to have an abortion include personal circumstances, risks to the mother’s health or that the baby itself may have some kind of medical condition. Many women go through the dilemma of choosing to have an abortion or to keep the child. Many women find the choice straight forward and relatively easy, whereas many women find the choice to be one of the hardest they will ever face. Many women go through a wide spectrum of emotions during the time frame of choosing to have an abortion, especially those who have had an unplanned pregnancy, which is why the choice to go through with the abortion is very difficult. There are many factors such as social and economic influences that can make a woman feel pressured into making the wrong choice, perhaps one that isn’t their own choice.
Our fact-sheet is here to provide information and advice about abortion, as well as details of several additional services available to help women make the most well informed and appropriate choice for themselves.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) is a charity organisation that give support to women who have been affected by an unplanned pregnancy. They have seen that 1 in every 3 women who are over the age of 45 have had an abortion, so you are not alone. It is more common experience than people realise.
Abortions is the term given for a medical ending of a pregnancy. You also have early natural termination which is known as Spontaneous Abortion. The procedure itself has seen a rise of 8% - 9% from 2000 - 2010 with around 189,500 abortions being performed. Many women are able to think about how an unwanted pregnancy would affect them and their lives, however, the decision can also be an incredibly difficult one for others.
The process of abortion has been practiced for many years now and was made legal in England, Scotland and Wales since 1967. However, the procedure is currently illegal in North and Southern Ireland.
Many cultures around the world see abortion as acceptable, whereas others see it unacceptable – but not illegal and finally, several cultures see it as illegal and that it should not be done at all. All of this can make the whole aspect of abortion seem lonely and sad experience for women. Another factor to be aware of is timing. Many people consider having an abortion earlier will be far safer and leaving it until weeks or months later.
Making the right decision
During an unwanted pregnancy, a woman might want to get support or need counselling in order to make the right decision about whether or not they want to proceed with the pregnancy. An unwanted pregnancy has many consequences and may result in either one of the following: an adoption, fostering, an abortion or having the baby and caring for it as a family.
Many organisations out there that offer tests for pregnancy or those who offer advice may not be neutral in their way of thinking and therefore, cannot offer help on a case-by-case basis and may end up giving the wrong information to the wrong woman. Examples of such things includes: false claims, wrong evidence or they may be biased. One such organisation that offers excellent advice, is not biased and will listen to whatever you have to say, is the Department of Health Register of Pregnancy Advice Bureau.
Once you have gone through the process of having an abortion, there is still a load of help out there for you. You can get counselling to reassure you and help you through the first couple of months – and beyond – after the procedure. If you are feeling sad or guilt, counselling is a great way to get past those barriers. You can also get counselling and help years after if you find yourself looking back and just want a helping hand.
The choice to end your pregnancy can be easy and a simple matter for some women, whilst others see it as a more complex and harder decision. This can be brought on by the pressures of modern society as women often feel like they are being judged on their decision, which is not the case. Counselling can be a great option if you find yourself in this situation. Through statistics, we find that the women who are most vulnerable are those who are currently not in a stable, healthy relationship and those who are under 16.
There are a few laws and legislations that you may want to be familiar with when considering an abortion. The main legislation that covers abortions is the Abortion Act 1967. Covering England, Scotland and Wales, the act states the following:
“Abortions must be carried out in a hospital or licensed clinic, with two doctors that must agree that an abortion would cause less damage to a woman’s physical or mental health than continuing with the pregnancy. “
The legislation also states that an abortion must be performed within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. There are, however, times when an abortion is allowed past the first 24 weeks. If a person is looking to have an abortion, then they can ask their GP or, another route to take is to go to a family planning clinic or genitor-urinary medicine clinic. A doctor whose religious beliefs are against abortion can refuse to issue one, however, they should be able to recommend another doctor who has no religious objections. You can get an abortion on the NHS (National Health Service) or through a private clinic, although prices from a private clinic will vary.
There are many reasons why a woman would consider an abortion. This is grouped into two different areas: Therapeutic and Common. reasons for women to consider an abortion include:
1. To save her life if the pregnancy would cause the woman harm.
2. If congenital disorders are diagnosed within the fetus.
3. If the physical or mental health of the woman is considered to be in danger.
1. If the woman has been victim of rape or incest.
2. If there is no stable relationship and/or abuse.
3. If there is no financial means to support a child.
4. If the mother is deemed too immature to support the child.
When is the right time to seek help?
When a woman is considering to have an abortion, the earlier they look for help, the better it can be. Termination is an option and is better when performed earlier, rather than later. There are other options as well, such as medical and surgical procedures – all with their own pros and cons. If you are looking at a medical procedure, this will involve taking a pill, and, if you are looking at a later procedure, will also include and injection. On the other hand, is surgical. Surgical procedures come in two forms: Vacuum Aspiration for pregnancies up to 15 weeks and Dilation & Evacuation for pregnancies of 15-24 weeks.
If you are looking at an abortion, there are many things that you may be considering and it could get on top of you, make it hard to think about your future and just generally grind you down. However, you can always get help from an unbiased and, more importantly, experienced counsellors that can help you to take the right step and make the right decision. Many women also talk to their partners about the decision to have an abortion and in some cases, close family members, but this doesn’t always happen. A girl who is under 16 years old will need specialist help, and that can be provided.
Abortions can be completed by a variety of different means. When looking at the most suitable option for you, your personal circumstances will be taken into account, along with how many weeks pregnant you currently are. No matter whether you are using a private clinic or if you are using the NHS, the first appointment will give you a way of discussing your options and what your current circumstances are. You will also be told the risks of the operation and what could happen.
Again, during your first appointment, either a doctor or nurse will take your full medical history. This is to make sure that you are not offered an abortion which could put your own health at risk. Other tests which may be carried out include a blood test, which is to simply to check for anaemia, a test for STI’s an ultrasound scan to confirm how many weeks pregnant you are, a vaginal examination and the possibly a smear test. One of the main things you will need to do before the abortion procedure is carried out is to sign a consent form, which will allow the procedure to be carried out.
There are many different types of abortion procedures, they are listed below:
Early medical abortion - the abortion pill (Up to week 9 of the pregnancy)
This is a non-surgical method that involves taking two different types of medication which will result in a miscarriage. The first drug is called mifepristone and it blocks the hormone which is required to make the fertilised egg stick to the lining of the womb.
48 hours (2 days) later you will be given the second medicine, prostaglandin. This will break down the lining of the womb within approximately 4 - 6 hours after ingestion, and the embryo is then lost through bleeding from the vagina.
Vacuum aspiration or suction termination (Between 7 – 15 weeks of the pregnancy).
This is a surgical procedure which includes a tube is gently inserted into the womb to remove the fetus.
Late medical abortion (from 13 weeks of the pregnancy)
Using the same means as the Early Medical Abortion, Late Medical Abortion used mifepristone and prostaglandin. However, since the medications is used further along in the pregnancy, the two medications will take longer and therefore, a second dosage of the prostaglandin may be required.
Surgical dilation and evacuation (from 15 weeks of the pregnancy)
This procedure is carried out whilst you are under general anaesthetic. This method involves gently stretching the cervix with tools known as dilators. Once the canal is large enough the womb is emptied using a suction tube.
Late abortion (between 20 – 24 weeks of the pregnancy)
If you are in the later stages of your pregnancy, then you have two options to go with: Surgical two-stage abortion and Medically induced abortion. No matter which one you choose, you will be required to have a short stay in a hospital.
Surgical two-stage abortion
This procedure is carried out under general aesthetic, the first stage stops the heartbeat of the fetus and softens the cervix. Around 24 hours later, the fetus and surrounding tissue are then removed.
Medically induced abortion
During the procedure, Prostaglandin is injected directly into the womb of the woman, which will start strong contractions. You will remain awake through out the procedure, but if you are able to have medication if you are in a lot of pain. Once the contractions have been completed, dilation and evacuation may then be used to make sure the womb is completely empty.
What are the risks?
During an abortion, there can be potential risks that you may come across. This is because no surgical procedure is ever 100% risk free and there will always be a chance that something could happen. When an abortion is carried out within the first 12 weeks, the chances of anything happening are extremely low. Even after the 12 weeks, the chances of something happening are slim. Women who are concerned about conceiving again shouldn’t be, as there is little risk in this.
However, there are 3 main problems that could occur during the abortion, but bear in mind that they have a low risk factor.
This is when excessive bleeding occurs. However, it is very rare, only affecting 1 out of every 1,000 abortions.
This is when damage to the cervix occurs. This is rare and only affects 10 out of every 1,000 abortions.
This is when damage to the womb occurs. It can occur in every 4 out of 1,000 abortions and 1 out of 1,000 medical abortions carried out between weeks 12 and 24.
Post abortion risk
Once you have gone through an abortion procedure, there can be some things to consider post-procedure. One of the main concerns is that there could be infection to the womb. This is a rare problem but it can happen. If some of the fetus and tissue remain, it can cause infection. You could also see heavy bleeding and pains similar to menstruation pains, however, these can be easily stopped with medication.
However, if the infection of the womb goes untreated for a set amount of time, it can lead to more serious problems, such as infection of the reproductive organs, including pelvic inflammatory disease. Diseases such as these could lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy. It’s important to get medical attention as soon as you think you have symptoms.
As abortions are not particularly dangerous procedures, the risk is low, however, the more stress the cervix has the more likely it is to become weak or possibly damaged. Therefore, is is not recommended for you to undergo repeated abortions. Repeated abortions could lead to higher chances infertility or miscarriage if you fall pregnant in the future.
With emotional after effects, having an abortion has no lasting psychological impact. However, some women may come to experience feelings of guilt and/or sadness after an abortion and post-abortion counselling can be hugely beneficial.