Methods of Contraception and Aspects of Abortion

Often, ardent anti-abortion supporters will argue that if abortion is allowed then women will abuse this freedom and use abortion as a method of contraception. Women do NOT desire to have abortions.

However, in a society that permits promiscuity and yet does not provide adequate contraception, then abortion must be made available as an option. Contraceptives are seldom advertised and none of them are 100% effective, so unwanted pregnancies will always occur whilst this situation exists.

Effectiveness of current contraceptive methods

  • IUD (intrauterine device) – 5% failure rate
  • Diaphragm -17% failure rate
  • Pill – 4% failure rate
  • Foam – 22% failure rate
  • Condom – 10% failure rate
  • Rhythm – 21% failure rate.

Intrauterine device: They are made of plastic. Possibly work by setting up an inflammatory reaction in the wall of the womb making it an unsuitable site for a fertilized egg.

They are fitted during a period or shortly after. They should not be used if you have irregular, painful and/or heavy periods, if you’re not having regular monthly periods, if you’ve had surgery involving incision in the womb, or if you’ve had a pregnancy begin in the tube.

They may have possible adverse effects such as painful periods, cramping, heavy periods, perforation of the womb and they may change hormonal balance of body. However, they are effective contraceptives for 92 – 97% of women.

The Pill: The hormones, estrogen and progestogen in the pill inhibit the formation of an egg in the ovary. These hormones replace your own hormones, change the lining of the womb so the eggs produced cannot grow there and change the mucous in the neck of the womb so that it is thicker and there is more of it.

There are three kinds available, combined or serial pills, sequential pills and Progestogen only pills.

  • Advantages: very effective, lighter periods, regular periods, less pain with periods, less premenstrual tension and improved condition of hair and skin.
  • Disadvantages: increased risk of thrombosis, liver damage, weight gain, nausea, depression, bleeding between periods, missed periods, breast discomfort, change in libido, migraine, epilepsy, high blood pressure, diabetes and can aggravate cancer of the womb.

Diaphragm: A shallow, soft rubber cap (sometimes plastic) with a flexible, metal spring ring rim. They come in various sizes and are designed to cover the neck of the womb. You must use it every time you have intercourse and with a spermicide Jelly or Cream. If inserted properly they have no bad side effects, are inexpensive and if checked regularly for pinholes or perished areas are quite effective.

Condom: A thin flexible rubber sheath fitted over the erect penis. These are totally non-harmful and are quite cheap. Not for men only, women do well to carry a few around. However, don’t use Vaseline as a lubricant with condoms or diaphragms as petroleum products rot rubber.

Rhythm: Do not contemplate this method seriously. Lots of people try to avoid sex in the middle of their cycle, i.e. after ovulation, but this is very risky – though better than nothing.

Withdrawal: The man withdraws his penis from your vagina before he ejaculates. Withdrawal is extremely risky because there are small droplets of semen-containing fluid released before ejaculation.

It is not good enough for him to ejaculate between your legs either, since sperm can still make their way into the vagina and reach the cervical opening. It is not good to ejaculate on the woman’s stomach either since it is fucking messy and sticky.

Spermicides: These are inserted or squirted into the vagina with an applicator. They contain sperm killing chemicals, but act primarily as a thick barrier before the cervix. They are not very effective on their own but should be used in conjunction with diaphragms and condoms.

Methods of abortion

Vacuum or suction aspiration: The most widely used method of abortion. A blood test is done to determine which group you belong to. If you are RH negative an anti-D immunoglobulin injection must be given with 48 hours of the abortion.

A tranquilizer/analgesic is given to relieve possible cramping. Then a speculum is used to dilate the vagina so that a doctor can apply local anesthetic around the cervix (there are NO NERVES in the cervix). There may be a little discomfort but this subsides and you are only conscious of the speculum.

After the anesthetic has taken effect a series of dilators, each slightly larger than the next are used to open the cervix and the aspiration suction sucker (cannula) is gently inserted into the cervix. The aspirator then sucks quickly and safely the fetal tissue and placental tissues from the womb.

This takes between 10 and 20 minutes. Then an instrument, like a dessert spoon, is used to go over the area inside the uterus to make sure all tissues have been removed. Then you will be asked to lie down and rest quietly until you feel ready to leave.

Saline: generally used to terminate pregnancies after 16 weeks, and usually requires from one to three days in hospital. After a local anesthetic is administered the doctor inserts a long, hollow needle through the abdominal wall into the amniotic fluid sac inside the uterus.

Some of the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus is drawn off and replaced with a concentrated salt water solution. This injection usually ends fetal life within a few hours and induces labor contractions from 12 to 18 hours later.

Hysterotomy: usually only used in late pregnancy after 24 weeks, and resembles cesarean section.

Menstrual extraction: usually done before a pregnancy is confirmed, about a week after a missed period. Basically the same as vacuum aspiration but a syringe may be employed instead of a pump.

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