How Does a Termination Work?
There are two types of terminations: medical terminations and surgical terminations. In a medical termination, you take drugs (medicine) that empty the contents of the uterus. In a surgical termination, a doctor performs an operation in a clinic to remove the contents of the uterus. Generally speaking, if you are less than 8 weeks pregnant, you are likely to have a medical abortion. If your pregnancy has progressed further than 8 weeks, you will have to have a minor operation (surgical abortion) in a clinic or hospital.
What will happen if I go for a medical termination?
During the consultation at the clinic you will be told how it works and given two doses of medicine. You will take the first dose at the clinic. It will weaken the attachment of the pregnancy to the womb. The second medication you will take at home two days later. It will cause the uterus to contract and the pregnancy will be expelled. A follow-up exam will be done one or two weeks after to make sure that the abortion has happened.
What will happen if I go for a surgical termination?
Before the procedure, a doctor will usually give you some medication to relax you. They will then use an injection to numb the cervix. During the procedure, the doctor will insert a tube through the cervix and empty the uterus. The surgery will be done with either a local anaesthetic or under a general anaesthetic.
Don’t ever try to abort your baby yourself. A termination of pregnancy is legal in Zambia. It is offered under certain conditions at government health facilities, PPAZ or Marie Stopes / Blue Star clinics. Call the Marie Stopes helpline for emergency advice on 5600.
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