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Hello YeneHealth members! I am Dr. Yodit, one of the doctors here at YeneHealth. I have prepared this article on the basics of abortion and what you as a woman should know about it.

What is abortion?

Abortion is the termination of pregnancy before 28 weeks or 7 months of gestation.

We can classify abortion as spontaneous (what is commonly known as miscarriage) or induced, which is abortion by medical or surgical methods. We will be talking about spontaneous abortion on this video.

What are the causes of abortion?

  • Unexplained (40 to 60%) unfortunately most causes of abortion are unknown.
  • Genetic factors (almost 50%) 

 like chromosomal abnormalities

  • Endocrine and metabolic factors(10%) 

like thyroid, DM

  • Anatomic abnormalities 

The common one being cervical incompetence. It is the dilation or opening of the cervix in the second trimester it could be congenital or acquired. Once diagnosed it can be treated by clearage i.e sewing up the cervix so that it won’t dilatate early during 14 weeks of pregnancy or 2 weeks before previous miscarriage.

  • Immunologic diseases
  • Infections (5%)

What are the major symptoms of abortion?

-Vaginal bleeding

– passage of tissue from the vagina

-Abdominal pain

-Passage of liquor

-Absence of fetal movement (after 20 weeks of gestation)

If you have any of the above symptoms while you are pregnant do visit your obstetrician immediately.

What are the types of abortion?

Threatened: process of miscarriage has started but is yet irreversible. If caught early and the necessary precautions are taken the chance of the pregnancy may reach as high as 60 to 70%

Inevitable; the membrane has ruptured and there is no chance of continuing the pregnancy.

Complete: all components of conceptus are expelled.

Incomplete; parts are expelled, and parts are retained.

Missed: intrauterine death of the fetus.

What is recurrent abortion?

Three or more spontaneous consecutive abortions.

If these happens to you make sure you visit an obgyn so that you can get some workup done to know what the cause is.

Possible causes are:

  • Parental chromosomal abnormalities
  • Untreated hypothyroidism
  • Uncontrolled DM
  • Hormonal disorders

Is abortion preventable?

Sadly, since most causes of abortion are unknown, we cannot do much to prevent it. But there are somethings that you can do to reduce the risk. These are:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Balanced diet
  • If you are a diabetic or hypertensive patient make sure you have good control and advice your doctor when you are planning on getting pregnant
  • Prenatal supplements

What to do once abortion has occurred?

If you experience abortion or a miscarriage, make sure to visit your obgyn. If you didn’t have one yet you can go to any clinic near you and if there is a need of referral they will do so.

What to expect at the clinic

 One of the first thing that will be done once you get to your doctor is confirmed you were pregnant if you haven’t started any antenatal care. Once it is confirmed that you were indeed pregnant you will probably get an ultrasound to confirm an abortion has actually occurred and if it did, to see if all the conceptus tissue is evacuated. If it is you will be given some supplements after bloodwork and you will be sent home with family planning options discussed. In cases where there is some conceptus tissue left in the uterus the doctor will proceed with either surgical or medical evacuation.

This is all I have for you on basics of abortion, thank you for being part of our YeneHeath family and make sure if you have any questions regarding this topic or any other SRH related questions don’t hesitate ask on our website and we will make sure to answer them.