Procedures Taken For Safe Abortion In Ghana
Methods Of Safe Abortion In Ghana; See details on Methods Of Safe Abortion In Ghana
HOW THE FACILITIES OPERATE
All the facilities usually have a standard operational procedures.
On a typical day, if you walk into any of these facilities to get abortion done,
A folder will be filled with your details.
They will then request that you get an ultrasound scan done. This is to enable them know how far into the pregnancy you have gone.
That is; First Trimester or early second trimester
The first trimester is the earliest phase of pregnancy. It starts on the first day of your last period — before you’re even actually pregnant — and lasts until the end of the 13th week.
This is your first three months into the pregnancy.
The second trimester starts in week 14 of pregnancy and lasts through the end of week 27.
You would be asked to obtain an Ultrasound Scan on the premises of the facility. Ultrasound scan cost between 40gh to 60gh depending on the facility.
Your Ultrasound will be reviewed by a medical officer who will decide on the best option of abortion for you.
These Facilities practice two types of abortion
- Vacuum Aspiration Abortion
This is surgically induced abortion
- Medical Abortion
This is abortion with pills
Based on your ultrasound scan, a medical examiner may know what’s the best option for you. However, they still find out from you the option that best suit your budget.
VACUUM ASPIRATION ABORTION
Hospitals that perform Vacuum Aspiration usually use the Manual vacuum aspiration method. Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is a very safe method of abortion for pregnancies in the first trimester, and/or early second trimester all the way up to 14 weeks of gestation.
How Manual Vacuum Aspiration is done
Step 1. The manual vacuum aspiration abortion (MVA) begins with a pelvic exam.
Step 2. A local anesthesia is most commonly injected next to the cervix. This is not painful.
Step 3. The clinician will then begin to dilate the cervix with instruments called cervical dilators. These dilators gradually increase in size, and this step is guided by the number of weeks of gestation of the pregnancy.
Step 4. Once the desired dilation is achieved, the clinician will use a handheld suction device called an Ipas to perform the aspiration and remove the pregnancy. Note that you may feel mild pains when suction is applied. Very mild pains.
Step 5. After successful removal of pregnancy, you will be allowed to rest for a while.
The manual vacuum aspiration abortion recovery time is relatively short in the clinic.
The recovery time is typically less than 30 minutes. Once the recovery is completed, you would be given a good amount of pain killers (usually Ibuprofen) and flagyl (this will help repair your womb) and you would be sent home.
You would be asked to report back after two weeks for review.
On the day of review, you will be asked to do an ultrasound scan which will be reviewed by a gynecologist to ensure that your womb is clean and healthy.
MEDICAL ABORTION (Abortion with pill)
Medical Abortions are safe for the majority women. Abortion pills are usually recommended in the first 11 weeks of pregnancy.
The most common pills known on the Ghanaian market are;
- Mifepristone and Misoprostol
What is commonly known as Mifabon, Medabon or Metabon
- Misoprostol only
What is commonly known as Cytotec
Well, these are the two drug options used for medical abortion at the abortion clinics/facilities.
You are likely to get some of these drugs from a local pharmacy shop too. No matter where you stay, being it Odorkor, Mamprobi, Dansoman, Nima, Kasoa, Awoshie, Koforidua, Kumasi, etc, you are likely to find some to buy at local pharmacy shops.
Pills may cost between 150gh to 250gh
Mostly, it is advisable to go to these facilities for medical abortions rather than getting the pills from a local pharmacy shop.
At these facilities, the bleed will be monitored while pain killers are administered to you. Also in case of emergency, you will be well taken care of.
It is well known that the Ghanaian System Stigmatizes these kind of things, but never shy away from these facilities! They are the best!
THE STANDARD INSTRUCTION FOR PILL USE ARE;
- You are sure your pregnancy is within the first 11 weeks.
- You have reviewed all general advice there is to it.
- You have a safety plan in case of emergency
This is what we find lacking when we get the pills from a local pharmacy shop and administer it ourselves.
At the hospitals, you are sure you will be well taken care for in case of emergency.
HOW THE PILLS ARE TAKEN
MIFEPRISTONE and MISOPROSTOL
(Mifabon, Medabon, Metabon)
If you have purchased from a local pharmacy shop, you are likely to find these instructions. The instructions remain the same at the hospitals.
Swallow one mifepristone (200 mg) with water.
Wait 24-48 hours. You should wait 24 hours before using the misoprostol, but wait no longer than 48 hours. While you wait, just do the things you normally do in your everyday life.
Place 4 misoprostol pills (200 mcg each) under your tongue. Hold them under your tongue for 30 minutes. They may make your mouth dry or taste chalky as they dissolve. Do not eat or drink anything for these 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse your mouth with water and drink down everything that is left of the pills.
If you vomit during the 30 minutes that the misoprostol pills are under your tongue, it is likely they will not work.
In this case, it is necessary to immediately repeat step 3. If you vomit after the pills have been under your tongue for 30 minutes, there is no need to repeat that step, as the pills have already absorbed into your system.
You should begin bleeding within 3 hours after using the 4 misoprostol pills. The bleeding should be similar to or heavier than your normal menstrual period. This is a sign that the abortion is working.
After waiting 3 hours, you should proceed to Step 4.
If you had little or no bleeding 3 hours after Step 3, place 4 pills of misoprostol (200 mcg each) under your tongue. Hold them under your tongue for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse your mouth with water and drink down everything that is left of the pills.Bleeding should start afterwards.
MISOPROSTOL ONLY (CYTOTEC)
Place 4 misoprostol pills (200 mcg each) under your tongue.
Hold them under your tongue for 30 minutes.
They may make your mouth dry or taste chalky as they dissolve. Do not eat or drink anything for these 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, rinse your mouth with water and drink down everything that is left of the pills. Wait 4 hours before proceeding to Step 2.
If you vomit during the 30 minutes that the misoprostol pills are under your tongue, it is likely they will not work. In this case, it is necessary to immediately repeat step 1.
If you vomit after the pills have been under your tongue for 30 minutes, there is no need to repeat that step, as the pills have already absorbed into your system.
Bleeding should begin within 3-4 hours of using misoprostol pills. The bleeding should be similar to or heavier than your normal menstrual period.
This is a sign that the abortion is working.
Repeat step 1 with another 4 pills, wait 3 hours for bleeding to start.
At the facilities, you will go through the exact steps and will be given pain killers to manage cramps.
If you do this at home however and you experience bad cramping, ibuprofen is a good medicine to cope with pain. You can buy ibuprofen 200 mg strength over the counter (without a prescription) in Ghana.its common at the pharmacy shops. Take 3-4 pills (200 mg each) every 6-8 hours.
COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH TAKING PILLS
These complications are high when pills are taken at home without proper monitoring from a trained person.
They are as follows;
- Bleeding may occur but may not be as heavy as it ought to. Bleeding may be light.
- Sometimes there is no bleeding at all even after successfully taking pills
- Bleeding may last for few hours to a day and stop instead of flowing for a whole week.
- Sometimes the pain does not get better after 2 or 3 days.
- You still feel pregnancy symptoms two weeks after taking the abortion pills.
- Your bleeding remains heavy and does not get lighter after 2 weeks.
Listen, if you experience any of the above mentioned complications, your abortion is termed as “INCOMPLETE TERMINATION”
If this happens, you need to visit these facilities for proper removal of the remaining fetal tissues from your womb.
These facilities will receive you with open arms hence, worry less!
It is always advisable to take the straight route by going directly to these facilities where your abortion may be done with no-to-minimal complications.
HOW MARIE STOPES INTERNATIONAL and ALL THE ABOVE MENTIONED HEALTH FACILITIES TREAT INCOMPLETE TERMINATION
If you walk into Marie Stopes/other facilities today with a case of Incomplete Termination, the process you will go through are as follows.
- You will be asked to get an ultrasound scan done. This should cost within 40gh to 60gh.
Before the ultrasound will be done, you will be given two sachets of water to drink. The intention is to make your bladder full. The bladder is positioned in a way that when it’s full, it squeezes the womb.
This is the reason why pregnant women tend to urinate a lot. A full bladder pressing down a womb with a baby can be uncomfortable.
After successfully drinking the water, you will be asked to walk around until you feel the urge to pass out urine. The moment you get the urge, you will be asked to lay on an ultrasound bed and the scan will be done. The scan will give a clear picture of your womb and the tissues left in it after the incomplete termination.
A sonographer will review the scan and write a report of the number and size of tissues left in the womb.
These are the tissues to be removed by Manual Vacuum Aspiration.
You will be asked to take your sonogram to a nurse who will input your details into their system and print out a paper with the amount to pay.
Vacuum Aspiration ranges from 250gh to 300gh depending on the Facility.
You will be asked to go and come back when you are ready with the money or if you have money readily available, it may be done for you immediately.
The procedure is very simple and does not last for more than 15 minutes.
Marie Stopes and all other facilities have wonderful women trained for this surgical procedure. Worry less, women perform this surgical procedure.
The surgical room is usually filled with a maximum of two people (two women precisely). One does the procedure and the other provides you with sanitary pad and cloth to cover yourself as well as pain killers to take.
The procedure does not hurt, they apply drugs that numb your vagina (vulva) hence when they put the Aspirator in your vagina, you feel nothing.
Usually the women in the surgical room try to make you as comfortable as ever. They calm you down, have conversations with you and assure you that it’s very easy and would not hurt.
Upon successful completion of surgery, you will be given pain killers (usually ibuprofen 400mg) and flagyl 400mg (to help repair your womb after going through the procedure).
There is a resting room with beds hence you would be asked to have about 10mins rest.
After a good rest, you will be given a helpline to call in case of any unlikely emergency.
You will then be discharged to go home.
REVIEW AFTER PROCEDURE
Two weeks after the procedure, you will be asked to come back to the facility for review.
At review, you will be asked to get an ultrasound scan done. This cost about 40gh to 60gh.
A Gynecologist will review it to ensure that your womb is clean with no tissue whatsoever.
At this point, Your whole ABORTION EXPERIENCE comes to and end.
Please If you find out you are pregnant, go to these centers. They are the most welcoming people who do not stigmatize. They are there to render the best help to you.
Always make the best decisions when it comes to your health!
The safe way is always the best option!
I hope this article was helpful?
All the best in getting a SAFE ABORTION!
Stay safe, stay healthy!