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Engaging in sexual activities is one thing but being irresponsible when engaging is you risking your life. An unplanned pregnancy can bring on a lot of conflicting emotions. For some, these might include panic, fear, excitement, or a mix of all. While some may choose to continue with the pregnancy, it’s totally okay if you choose not to continue with the pregnancy, especially if you were not prepared or financially ready. Here’s some common questions answered about termination,

What is termination of pregnancy?

Termination of pregnancy is when a woman decides to end her pregnancy by medical means before the full term.

How old must I be to terminate?

The choice of termination of pregnancy act states that a woman can terminate at any age. You can never be denied the service because of your age. If you’re young, I advise you to chat to a trusted adult and ask someone to accompany you to the centre for your appointment, but this is not required.

How can you access the service?

If you’re a first-time visitor to a health facility, you’ll be asked to complete a form and a file will be opened.

You will need the following:

Your referral letter (if relevant).

Any medication you are taking.

Your clinic/hospital card if you have previously registered at the facility.

You must sign an informed consent form permitting the termination to be done.

What are the termination options available?

There are two options available to you which are medical and surgical termination.

What is medical termination

Medical abortions use medication (pills or tablets) only. You may experience symptoms similar to a miscarriage. This option is available to women who are 4 to 9 weeks pregnant and is administered by a healthcare provider (nurse), as well as women who are 10 to 13 weeks pregnant where it will be administered by a medical doctor.

What is surgical termination

Surgical abortions are performed by registered nurses (up to 12 weeks of pregnancy) or doctors (from 12 to 20 weeks) who conduct a same-day procedure in a clinic or hospital. Women who choose this procedure will be given tablets that will soften the mouth of the womb, after which the procedure will be done.

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If you’re considering going for termination, speak to a healthcare provider about the safest methods available to you.

Which option is better?

Neither option is better than the other, it’s a question of both personal choice and medical history that will determine the method that is best for you.

Where can you have a safe abortion/termination?

Government hospitals, private doctors and gynaecologists, and non-profit providers such as the Marie Stopes centres, offer safe and legal termination of pregnancy.

I strongly advise you to go for safe, legal termination rather than “backdoor/ ” methods that are likely to endanger your health.

Why can’t I terminate when I am 20 weeks pregnant?

The law restricts procedures at 20 weeks. If you’re more than 20 weeks pregnant, it will be done only if you or the foetus’ life is in danger.

Are home remedies effective?

It’s important to know that termination is a serious medical procedure that should ALWAYS be carried out by a professional. Any and all home remedies for termination are ineffective. Unsupervised termination at home, even with fruits, herbs, or other natural remedies can result in severe complications.

Can I fall pregnant after terminating?

You can conceive again as early as one week after terminating so it’s important to talk to a health care provider about a that’s right for you.

How much does termination cost?

Termination of pregnancy is free of charge at your local clinic. Counselling is provided, an appointment made, and a referral letter is given to a facility where the procedure can be performed. Organisations such as may come at a cost.

What if I get turned away?

Healthcare providers who are unwilling to give the service for any reason must refer you to a facility who is able to assist you.

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