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Is it safe to go for abortion in the 19 week of pregnancy?

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Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 1587 Questions
Hi, A woman I have been seeing is into her 19th week of pregnancy, which was not planned and we are both scared and not ready for this baby. She also waited to tell me of this situation going into the 20th week. I hear there are so many complications that could go wrong with a late term abortion. The woman is 35 yrs old and healthy but is not sure she really wants to go though with the procedure and is looking at options, putting up for adoption, keeping the child as a single mother and another is aborting the birth. We are really worried about the physical and emotional toll on this situation. She is also worried that it will prevent her from getting pregnant in the future. Also other health risks and a possible damaged uterus from this procedure. Also infection and even death. We are very worried and confused. Like to know the facts and your thoughts.
Posted Sat, 22 Mar 2014 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 46 minutes later
Brief Answer: Hello, I would be happy to help... Detailed Answer: The options available to her would include: 1. Continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the child 2. Continuing with the child and adopting it out 3. Aborting the pregnancy Yes, this is considered a late term abortion. The complications of this procedure are very low (taken together all less than 5%) and include: 1. Bleeding (2-10%) 2. Infection (4%) 3. Injury to the cervix (<3%) or uterus (<1%) 4. Death rates are extremely low (0.64 per 100,000) There have studies on the effects of late term abortions on subsequent pregnancies and the results conclude that there is not a clinically significant increased risk with future pregnancies. I think that the factors that are often not considered, and probably more important, are the emotional and logistic factors. Consider that she is 35 years of age and as she gets older, it is entirely possible that getting pregnant might actually become more difficult. She will also be at increased risk of miscarriage in the future based on her age alone. My personal bias is: if she is planning on pregnancy in the next 1-2 years anyway, then it might be harder to justify ending a pregnancy at this point that is already this far along. The choice is really up to her as abortion at her gestational age is a legal procedure in the US. It might be worth her going to a Planned Parenthood for counseling regarding what to do. This is a very difficult situation and should be well thought out. Finally, she needs an ultrasound to make sure that she is only as far along as she thinks that she is - many women are off on their dates. I hope that this helps.
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