Termination of pregnancy: The facts

First, what is termination of pregnancy (abortion)?

Termination of pregnancy, or abortion, is the ending of a pregnancy by removing a fetus before it can survive outside the uterus. Terminating your pregnancy is your legal right if you are over 12 years old. By law, abortions can be done until 20 weeks into the pregnancy in South Africa. In exceptional circumstances where the pregnancy is life threatening to the expectant woman it can be done after 20 weeks.

There are two types of safe abortion procedures:

* Medical Procedure (often called the abortion pill): The pill can only be used to terminate a pregnancy during the first 10 weeks after your last menstrual period. This can be done by a doctor, a registered nurse or midwife. Once you have taken the pill, a gentle suction method will be used to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. This is a very quick and simple procedure that takes less than 5 minutes.

* Surgical Procedure (a minor same-day surgical procedure): This is done if your pregnancy is over 10 weeks. This is a surgical procedure where the pregnancy is removed through your vagina. It is performed by a doctor. The procedure takes 10 to 20 minutes. You’ll rest for 30 minutes to an hour after that while your health care providers make sure you are well.

If you’re thinking about having a termination of pregnancy (abortion), you’re not alone. Different people have their own reasons for having an abortion. The reasons may include:

* They’re not ready to be a parent yet.

* They do not want children, or they are not ready for children, financially or emotionally.

* They want to finish school, focus on work, or achieve other goals before having a baby.

* They’re not in a relationship with someone they want to have a baby with.

* They’re in an abusive relationship or were sexually assaulted.

If you choose to have an abortion, make sure you choose a safe and legal provider, as there are many places providing unsafe, ‘backstreet’ abortions that can put you in danger. Most hospitals and some clinics have termination of pregnancy services. To find a clinic near you, click here. If the clinic near you does not offer these services, they will refer you to a hospital that does.

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B-Wise User Anonymous 26 August 2019 19:45

I once did an abortion 5 years back because I wasn't ready for a child both financial and emotionally and no one knew about it not even my boyfriend, so is it possible to fall pregnant again?

B-Wise Expert Expert 28 August 2019 16:13

Hi there. Knowing you’ve had an abortion can leave you worried about the impact on future pregnancies. It’s completely natural to worry about how your abortion may have affected your chances of getting pregnant again but it's important to know that it doesn’t mean it will affect your chances of one day being a mum. After having an abortion, you should wait at least a month before getting pregnant again – your body has gone through a lot and needs time to recover. Read this article for more information about termination of pregnancy: Termination of pregnancy: The facts

B-Wise User Thabiso precise 18 March 2019 12:11

Its possible to make abortion if u have stayed for two months pregnant Can i go to hospital or any abortion place

B-Wise Expert Expert 29 March 2019 09:51

Hi there, please learn about safe TOP here https://bwisehealth.com/article/termination-of-pregnancy-the-facts

B-Wise User Benedict Da Grayt 17 March 2019 12:13

As a groundBREAKER at Sinethemba clinic! Youth abort at an early age can sometimes be critical because when they reach a certain whereby they want to have children thol'uguthi you can't because of termination they've done at an early age!

B-Wise User Anonymous 28 February 2019 18:02

I have done an abortion when I was 19years old and it was for my own good becouse I was still matriculating,but sometimes I feel like I made a wrong decision,Everytime when I think of that day of termination,it pains me so much.The only people who knew about that pregnancy and termination are my friends and my boyfriend,they were very supportive towards me but my parents didn't know anything about it.I kept it as a secret,so what can I do to forget and moving on?

B-Wise Expert Expert 5 March 2019 11:32

Hi there, thank you for sharing your story with us. This is how you can learn how to forgive yourself https://bwisehealth.com/article/how-do-i-forgive

B-Wise User Anonymous 28 February 2019 09:16

If you're older than 18, do you need parent's approval to make an abortion?

B-Wise Expert Expert 3 March 2019 20:07

Hi there, learn about abortion here https://bwisehealth.com/article/termination-of-pregnancy-the-facts

B-Wise User Anonymous 16 February 2019 11:52

Hi I started seen my periods on 3 Feb this year and today is 16 so what can be the problem with me

B-Wise Expert Expert 25 February 2019 16:56

Dear Anonymous. Thank you for your question. Continually bleeding could be a sign of a problem. Visit your nearest clinic so a doctor or nurse can examine you further. You can also read our article for more information: When your period signals a problem: Menstrual problems that may need medical attention. Use our Clinic Finder to help you find a clinic near to you.

B-Wise User Anonymous 12 February 2019 13:35

Good day so I have had a surgical procedure abortion in 2014 and inserted an IUCD loop as a method of prevention but my problem is I have been having a burning sensation everytime I pee for the past three years and my discharge is smelly...could it be the efects of the abortion and the IUCD?

B-Wise Expert Expert 25 February 2019 14:50

Dear Anonymous. Thank you for your question. A smelly discharge is often a sign of an infection. If there is an infection, it will need to be treated for it to go away. Please go to your nearest clinic. They will ask some questions and examine you and most likely give you some medicine for it to go away. Remember if it is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it can be spread by having unprotected sex. It is important that your partner is also treated to prevent repeat infection. Using condoms every time you have sex will stop this from happening again.

B-Wise User Cressy 15 January 2019 15:22

What are the consequences or C-TOP and offen can one make it( any sight effects)

B-Wise Expert Expert 21 January 2019 09:17

Hi there, the side effects and complications differ, depending on the stage of the pregnancy at which the procedure is done, and the technique or medications that are used. In general, termination is a very safe procedure, if it is done by a trained healthcare professional in a legitimate setting. Common side effects can include bleeding, pain, or infection, which is why it’s so important it is to have the process carried out by a safe provider. Repeat terminations can be done if necessary. In some cases, depending on what happens, these might impact future fertility – but your doctor should be able to tell you more about these risks. It's certainly best to prevent pregnancy using contraception, but termination should be freely offered to any pregnant person who needs it. Learn more about contraceptives here: https://bwisehealth.com/article/different-kinds-of-contraceptives-and-family-planning-options-to-prevent-pregnancy