On International Safe Abortion Day, gynaecologists in Chandigarh talk about the risks involved and complications in aborting a foetus.
Abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality, says GMSH-16 gynaecologist. The figures show that a total of 5,414 abortions were performed in city in 2017-18.
What worries doctors is that majority of women seeking abortion reach late and there are complications.
Abortions include both spontaneous and Medical Termination of Pregnancies.
“Any abortion done without the guidance of a doctor is an unsafe abortion. There is risk involved in every case,” said Dr Alka Sehgal, gynaecologist, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. Dr Amandeep Kang, gynaecologist from Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, said, “Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality. On most days, during any emergency shift, there are one or two cases where women approach us for abortion.”
‘Easy access to pills should be looked at’
The doctors said over the counter availability of abortion pills is one of the reasons, which is leading to incomplete abortions or excessive bleeding.
“Usually the first pill is given to disrupt the pregnancy and after 24 to 72 hours another set of pills is given to start the bleeding. Lots of tests are done before giving these pills. We check haemoglobin level, have to rule out other medical disorders and monitor side effects,” Dr Kang said.
“But because of the easy availability of abortion pills, women take them without any supervision. There are many side effects and most common are excessive bleeding, allergic reactions, shivering, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting,” she added.
“Many come to us with heavy bleeding and there’s a chance of haemorrhage, which could turn fatal,” she said.
Dr Alka Sehgal said, “Sometimes, there is incomplete abortion or there is a pregnancy outside uterus. We have to do surgical interventions. But young girls are not aware of such complications.”
“Every government hospital has Family Planning clinics. Any female, married or unmarried, can visit these clinics and avail the services for abortion. We are also creating awareness under various schemes,” said Dr G Dewan, director, Health Services.
When asked about the stigma attached with it, Dr Kang said, “We are not judgmental and understand the change in the society.”