IVG: how does a medical or surgical abortion take place?
Legal deadlines for practicing an abortion
In France, the legal period for abortion is 12 weeks of pregnancy, 14 weeks after the last period. Knowing the stage of progress of the pregnancy is essential to know which method to move: surgical or drug.
- For a drug-induced IVG
It is possible until the end of the 5th week of pregnancy, ie 7 weeks after the beginning of the last period. A delay that can however be increased to 7 weeks of pregnancy when the abortion is performed in a health facility.
- For surgical abortion, by aspiration
It can be performed until the end of the 12th week of pregnancy, 14 weeks after the start of the last period.
IVG: a compulsory appointment to the procedure
In France, the practice of abortion is strictly regulated and women must make several mandatory appointments. The first appointment can take place with a doctor or a gynecologist to whom the woman will express her wish to terminate her pregnancy. The doctor must then inform him of the possibilities available to him and the procedure to be followed. He will usually prescribe a blood test and an ultrasound to precisely date the pregnancy and then give his patient a certificate confirming his request.
The second interview, called consent, takes place 7 days later. The woman must then confirm her decision to terminate the pregnancy in writing. The course of the abortion, drug or surgical, will then be clearly detailed. If the patient is a minor, she will have to go to a psychosocial interview.
Drug-induced abortion: the course of the procedure
The drug-induced abortion, which is 100% covered by the health insurance, takes place in several stages. As a first step, the doctor gives his patient a mifepristone tablet that will block the action of progesterone and interrupt the pregnancy. 36 to 48 hours after taking, the woman will take a second tablet, misoprostol, which will cause contractions and promote the expulsion of the egg. If this second taking is usually done at home, then it is strongly advised not to be alone. It can also be performed in an approved center if the patient wishes. Drug induced angina causes pain that can be particularly severe the day after taking the second drug. Some women also report other symptoms, including severe fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headache, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.
A follow-up visit will then take place between the 14th day and the 21st day after taking the tablet. The doctor will make sure that the pregnancy has been interrupted and that there are no complications. In addition to a clinical examination, the doctor will prescribe a dosage of the hormone beta hCG. In the event of failure of drug-induced abortion, a surgical procedure will be considered.
Surgical abortion: how is it going?
Surgical abortion by aspiration takes place in the hospital as an outpatient. The procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the choice of the patient who is usually offered both options.
The cervix is first artificially dilated with medication and then the patient is placed in a gynecological position. The doctor will then suck the contents of the uterus through a suitable probe. The procedure does not last more than ten minutes and must necessarily take place in an operating room if the patient is under general anesthesia. Surgical abortion is not painful as such but postoperative complications, fortunately rare, are possible. It is therefore important to consult in case of fever, heavy bleeding or pain.
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