Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP): What you should know?

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) or abortion is a method of terminating/ending of pregnancy using medicines. It is a method where an embryo or fetus is removed before it is developed fully or before it can survive outside the uterus.

Abortion or the termination of the pregnancy that occurs without intervention is generally called as miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. Whereas the deliberate steps are taken to end the pregnancy due to various reasons that include personal interest and health condition of the mother, the fetus, or both is called an induced abortion. And, doing such induced abortion under doctor consultation and through medicines are called as MTP – Medical Termination of Pregnancy.

This MTP is generally advised before 8-10 weeks of pregnancy and can be done up to 20 weeks with higher observation and medications in case of requirement.

How is MTP done?

MTP is fully based on medications that can be taken at home as well. After determining the pregnancy, the first step taken is consulting a gynaecologist to check the health condition of the woman and the risk associated with MTP. Once the doctor clears and confirms you for MTP, depending on your current pregnancy weeks you will be suggested the medications.

For a woman less than 8 weeks or up to 10 weeks, the doctor will suggest a pill named Mifepristone (Mifeprex) or misoprostol which can be taken orally, through injection or inserted vaginally.

For a woman between 11-15 weeks of pregnancy, the doctor may suggest a suction D & C (for dilation and curettage). This treatment is usually done up to 15 weeks. Suction dilation and curettage is the procedure most commonly used to end a pregnancy.

For women between 16-20 Weeks pregnancy, a procedure Dilation and evacuation (D and E) which is similar to a suction D and C is suggested. In this treatment, the doctor follows a similar procedure to suction D & C but with larger instruments.

The risk involved in MTP

  • Infection
  • Continued bleeding
  • Incomplete abortion

*Note these risks are rare and can be taken care of with proper treatment and observation.

Who should not take this MTP?

  • Women suffering from certain health conditions
  • A woman who has bleeding problems or is taking blood-thinning medication
  • Women, who are anaemia, have chronic adrenal failure, bleeding and seizure disorders or are taking certain steroid medications.
  • Cannot visit the hospital regularly to ensure the abortion is completed.
  • Does not have access to emergency care
  • A woman who has an acute inflammatory bowel disease (for misoprostol).