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Abortion Myths

Let’s start this post with an Abortion fact: Terminating an unwanted pregnancy is pretty common. It is estimated that 1 in 3 UK women opt for termination of pregnancy. The choice is completely theirs whether they want to go ahead with the unplanned pregnancy or opt for an abortion.

However, being a highly-stigmatized topic, women or individuals, in general, are not comfortable talking about it in the open. This has led to a rise in the number of abortion myths. Thus, here are some of the commonly asked questions about abortion answered that’ll help you debunk these abortion myths. Let’s check them out!

1. Is Having an Abortion Dangerous?

Abortion is one of the safest procedures when carried out by an expert professional. For early pregnancy termination, women have two options – medical abortion using a pill and surgical abortion. What you opt for, or what is recommended to you, would largely depend on your pregnancy stage.

For instance, medical abortion is the best method to terminate a pregnancy between 6 & 9 weeks. However, if you are in your first trimester (12 weeks pregnant or less), then surgical abortion is recommended. Both these procedures carry slight risks, but neither risks are fatal nor do they affect future fertility.

2. Are Abortion Procedures Painful?

Does an abortion hurt, or is an abortion painful is a quite common question. The truth is, it might be painful, but the level of pain varies from person-to-person. The procedures in itself are quite painless, as a general or local anaesthetic is administered during a surgical abortion, and you only need to pop a pill for medical abortion.

However, you are likely to experience mild to severe cramps and bleeding, as your body expels the pregnancy. Experiencing fatigue, nausea, and diarrhoea is also quite common. But, none of these is life-threatening, and your gynaecologist would prescribe pain medication, so you are unlikely to feel any severe pain.

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3. Does the Fetus Feel Pain During Abortion?

One of the most important facts about abortion that everyone should know is that the fetus doesn’t feel the pain in either of the two procedure. According to this study, it has been noted that a fetus cannot feel pain until at least the 24th week of pregnancy. Thus, whether you opt for an early medical abortion or a surgical abortion, you can lay your fear to rest about fetal pain.

4. Does Abortion Pill Have Severe Side Effects?

The common abortion pill side effects are nausea, fatigue and diarrhoea. Since it is a non-surgical & non-invasive procedure, the side effects are limited. In rare instances, you might contract a uterine infection. Also, medical abortion pain is not profound. Thus, to debunk this myth, the truth is that there is no such thing as abortion pill pain, and the abortion pill side effects are not severe.

5. Does Abortion Affect Future Fertility?

Can you get pregnant after an abortion? The answer is YES, you can! Having an abortion doesn’t affect your chances of becoming pregnant. You can have normal pregnancies after an abortion.

However, there is a slight risk to future fertility for women undergoing multiple surgical abortions, as it could cause trauma to the cervix. Thus, to avoid multiple abortions, women can opt for coil fitting services right after an abortion to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

6. Does Abortion Cause Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is something that most women fear, however, various studies suggest there is no link between abortion and breast cancer. The scientific evidence gathered by these studies support that abortion of any kind doesn’t raise the risk of breast cancer, or any other type of cancer. Thus, this is another myth that you shouldn’t believe in.

7. Does Abortion Cause Lasting Emotional & Mental Harm?

It is never an easy decision to terminate an unplanned or an unwanted pregnancy. So it is not unusual for a woman to undergo some emotional & mental distress. However, there have been no recorded instances where abortion has caused any type of lasting emotional or mental harm. This myth is as untrue as those that claim abortions are dangerous. As such, pay no heed to them and make your own decision based on what is best for your future self.

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Is abortion wrong or right is an ongoing debate with no definite answers, but what is definite is that it is a choice. These myths accompanied by the facts on abortion gives you a truthful picture of what to expect when you choose to terminate a pregnancy. When you opt for abortion, ensure you pick an experienced gynaecologist and surgeon who offers quality care. This will go a long way in post-abortion recovery.

Read our FAQs on Abortion here.

Neha Goel

Neha Goel, a Psychology alumna and MBA graduate from CASS Business School, London, brings together her expertise as a Reiki Practitioner and Practice Manager. She integrates psychology and business strategies to foster holistic well-being and personal development.