Abortion is the expulsion or extraction of the fetus from the womb before it is viable, usually before the 20th week of gestation.
An abortion that occurs spontaneously is also known as a miscarriage. When deliberate steps are taken to end a pregnancy, it is called an induced abortion, or less frequently as an “induced miscarriage”. The word abortion is often used to mean only induced abortions
Types of Abortion
An abortion can occur spontaneously due to complications during pregnancy or can be induced, in humans and other species. In the context of human pregnancies, an abortion induced to preserve the health of the gravida (pregnant female) is termed a therapeutic abortion, while an abortion induced for any other reason is termed an elective abortion. The term abortion most commonly refers to the induced abortion of a human pregnancy, while spontaneous abortions are usually termed miscarriages.
Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) or recurrent miscarriage (medically termed habitual abortion) is the occurrence of three consecutive miscarriages. If the proportion of pregnancies ending in miscarriage is 15%, then the probability of two consecutive miscarriages is 2.25% and the probability of three consecutive miscarriages is 0.34%. The occurrence of recurrent pregnancy loss is 1%. A large majority (85%) of women who have had two miscarriages will conceive and carry normally afterwards.
Signs and Symptoms of Abortion
The physical symptoms of a miscarriage vary according to the length of pregnancy:
- At up to six weeks only small blood clots may be present, possibly accompanied by mild cramping or period pain.
- At 6 to 13 weeks a clot will form around the embryo or fetus, and the placenta, with many clots up to 5 cm in size being expelled prior to a completed miscarriage. The process may take a few hours or be on and off for a few days. Symptoms vary widely and can include vomiting and loose bowels, possibly due to physical discomfort.
- At over 13 weeks the fetus may be easily passed from the womb, however the placenta is more likely to be fully or partially retained in the uterus, resulting in an incomplete abortion. The physical signs of bleeding, cramping and pain can be similar to an early miscarriage, but sometimes more severe and labour-like.
Homeopathic Medicine for Threatened ABORTION / Missed Abortion
This is a remedy useful to prevent impending abortion occurring about the third month, ushered in by the appearance of blood, which is oftentimes the first symptom; then follow pain in the small of the back, going around and through the pubes ; there are forcing and dragging pains from the sacrum to the pubes. The flow is bright red and clotted. It is useful for metritis accompanied by flooding from miscarriage. Cinamomum. Useful for abortion from a strain or misstep with profuse haemorrhage and slight pain. Arnica. Threatened miscarriage from trauma.
For miscarriage in the early months of pregnancy Secale may be the remedy, especially in feeble and anemic women. It is useful for checking the tendency to miscarriage in the later months, when the muscular tissue of the womb is largely developed. It is indicated by frequent labor-like pains, a copious haemorrhage of black fluid blood, a wan sunken countenance, tingling and formication of the extremities and a desire for air. Hartmann recommended Secale 12.
Threatening miscarriage when the pains come from the back around to the lower part of the abdomen and go into the thighs. It will often stop these spasmodic pains. It is a remedy to be used in frequent and early miscarriages. Sepia is one of our most important remedies as a preventive of miscarriage. It is indicated by nervous irritability, laxness of tissues and a sense of weight in the anus. Belladonna. Threatened miscarriage with profuse hot haemorrhage, backache, headache and the peculiar uterine tenesmus of the remedy and violent aching of the body. The least jar is painful.
One of our most powerful restrainers of abortion; the pains indication the threatened miscarriage fly across the abdomen from side to side doubling the patient up. It suits habitual abortion in women of a rheumatic diathesis. Aconite. Impending abortion from anger, also Chamomilla ; the mental conditions, however , will be different with Chamomilla; great nervous excitement will accompany the pains. Caulophyllum. A very useful remedy in false labor pains and also as a preventive of abortion. There is severe pains in the back and sides of the abdomen, feeble uterine contractions and scanty flow.