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Q&A Topics

Abortion


Angela Lombard Nursing Practitioner View profile

Dear D

Thank you for your question.

I am sorry to hear about your miscarriage, as this can be a very traumatic experience to go through. The dillutage and curitage procedure is an invasive surgical procedure, and both experiences will have upset your hormonal cycle, so it is normal not to have menstruation for a couple of months.

I suggest that you have a haemoglobin check (a simple finger prick test would suffice) at a clinic, or alternatively make an appointment to see me for this simple procedure, so as to determine if there is any iron deficiency anaemia.

There are a number of products which would help to rectify your hormonal levels, however your haemoglobin should be checked first prior to a script being given, so that the correct medication or nutritional supplement can be recommended.

Kind regards

Angela

Angela Lombard Nursing Practitioner View profile

Dear S

Many thanks for your question and for your clinical history.

A woman having an abortion can really shock the body into a hormonal state of flux. And you have had two abortions. It is difficult to say whether you would have a problem falling pregnant now, without me having seen you first so as to fully assess and examine you. I suggest that you make an appointment to see me at the Kloof Clinic in Cape Town, or alternatively make an appointment to see your gynaecologist for a full gynaecological checkup. Do make your gynae aware that you are wanting to fall pregnant again.

Should you have a good medical history and are healthy, and that you eat correctly, drink sufficient water, and destress, then there is a good chance that you may be able to fall pregnant again. However, your gynaecological checkup is necessary, so I urge you to make this responsible appointment please.

Good luck and look after yourself.

Kind regards

Angela

Angela Lombard Nursing Practitioner View profile

Dear S

Many thanks for your question.

I am glad to hear that things have settled down for you since 2008, and that you are getting married. Should you only have had one abortion in the past and are otherwise a healthy young woman, there should be no reason as to why you would not conceive again.

I still strongly recommend that you have a gynaecological checkup to confirm that all is well. Please ask your doctor all relevant queries at the time of your consultation, and for him/her to explain your full examination to you, and to check that you are fully capable of carrying a baby to term. This checkup would also serve to give you peace of mind that all is well.

I wish you much luck and happiness in your marriage and future baby planning.

Warm regards

Angela

Yesheen (dr.) Singh Medical Doctor View profile

Dear M

Thank you for your question. The only way to definitively determine whether you are or were pregnant at this early stage is via a blood test (Quantitative Beta-HCG).

From your history and the symptoms you described I would be highly suspicious of a pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage on March 14. But I cannot confirm any of this without examining you and doing a couple of tests first. If it is a miscarriage it is not unusual - almost 2/3 of pregnancies end up in a miscarriage, most women simply don't notice it thinking it was a particularly heavy period. The urine test will often be negative because it only starts to turn positive in the second or third week of pregnancy. Blood testing is the only way to confirm or deny it. In addition it is not unusual to spot for a couple of days post-miscarriage as the body heals.

I would recommend one of two pathways. The first involves visiting your GP or myself for a proper consult and the appropriate testing. That way we can be certain of the diagnosis and appropriately manage you further. The second involves assuming a miscarriage and watching and waiting - the spotting should stop in a couple of days and so to should the other symptoms. IF they don't then I would strongly urge a visit to your GP.

Contraception is not 100% guaranteed to prevent pregnancy, especially if you change methods of contraception. That is why condoms are always recommended when you are in the transition period.

Many thanks and warm regards

Yesheen

Yesheen (dr.) Singh Medical Doctor View profile

Dear N/J

Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear about your loss. The human body is quite resilient and it is not impossible to fall pregnant quite soon after having had a miscarriage. The reason why your doctor recommended you wait a year before trying is to allow it to fully recover its resources and create the ideal environment within which to conceive and carry a child. If you were to fall pregnant now your pregnancy would invariably be more challenging because of the recent physiological stress it's been under through the miscarriage experience.

During the miscarriage event you may have lost a lot of blood. Ferrous sulphate is a iron supplement aimed at increasing the rate of red blood cell production in your body. It helps improve the transportation of oxygen through your body and facilitates enhanced energy levels. I often find though that this particular formulation of iron, ferrous sulphate, is quite tough for the stomach to tolerate. If you are finding it impossible to swallow or keep in please consult you doctor or pharmacist for an alternate such as Iron Glycinate which is easier to absorb.

Many thanks and warm regards

Yesheen

Yesheen (dr.) Singh Medical Doctor View profile

Dear J

Thank you for your question. A woman can request a voluntary abortion or termination of pregnancy without the need for a doctors consent below the gestation of twelve weeks. This is done either at her local clinic or through organisations like the Marie Stopes clinic, who have branches throughout the country. The procedure usually involves the ingestion of a pill that changes the uterine environment, making it inhospitable to the developing fetus, resulting in an abortion.

I must stress that it is the woman who must consent to the termination and not the male partner. I understand that this may be an inconvenience to you but there are serious psychological and some times physical complications to these procedures and your partner must be fully aware of them before giving consent. Any form of coercion will not be taken lightly. I would recommend discussing this option with her and then giving her the opportunity to visit her clinic to speak to a independent counsellor to determine what it is she wants to do before she makes a final decision.

Many thanks and warm regards

Yesheen

Angela Lombard Nursing Practitioner View profile

Dear M

Many thanks for your query.

A BHCG quantitative pregnancy blood test should always be done in a case like this, so as to definitely confirm whether there is a pregnancy or not. This blood test also determines the age of a foetus in weeks.

A medical history should always be taken from the patient. A full assessment and abdominal palpation would also be strongly recommended.

A gynaecologist invariably has an ultrasound machine which gives a picture of the interior of the uterus/womb so as to see if there is a foetus, or other abnormalities present. Depending on the results of the assessment and examination, a decision would be made from thereon by the specialist, and keeping the patient fully informed.

I suggest your friend contacts her doctor and requests an explanation of what her findings were, in order to fully understand what happened. A miscarriage can be a very traumatic experience, and qualifies for counselling.

I hope my reply assists you in understanding what can be initially done in a case like this.

Warmest regards

Angela

Angela Lombard Nursing Practitioner View profile

Dear N

The Cape Town branch for the Marie Stopes Clinics (021- 4224660) has confirmed that they have 2 clinics in the Johannesburg area.

The Gandhi Clinic can be contacted telephonically on 011- 8383320.

The Sandton Clinic can also be contacted on 011- 4636392.

Kind regards

Angela

Sean (dr.) Gomes Medical Doctor View profile

Periods should normally return between 4 to 8 weeks after an abortion. In some cases it could be longer, but this is normally rare. If you are concerned regarding pregnancy I would recommend your fiancée has a pregnancy test. Kind regards. Dr Sean Gomes

Sean (dr.) Gomes Medical Doctor View profile

It is important for you to see a doctor regarding your abortion. I am unsure as to whether you did abort or whether you may have had an incomplete abortion. Should you have had an incomplete abortion then you could develop an infection plus other complications. Their are a range of drugs used in a medical abortion (as opposed to surgical). It is most likely that you were given mifepristone (an antiprogestogenic steroid). This should have been done under medical supervision and you should have been observed for at least 48 hours. Please see your medical practitioner/clinic urgently. Regards Sean Gomes MD


Please Note:

The Wellness Q & A is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your health, you should always consult directly with your healthcare professional. Wellness Warehouse will not be liable for any errors in the Wellness Q & A, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The advice on the Wellness Q & A is not comprehensive and does not replace the assessment and advice of your own healthcare professional. Consultation with your healthcare professional is extremely important if you are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms.

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Consult your doctor, healthcare professional, and/or pharmacist before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. If you have a chronic illness or routinely take prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) medication, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is extremely important to consult your doctor, healthcare professional, and/or pharmacist before taking any new medication. Do not stop taking any prescription medication without consultation and guidance from your doctor.

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