Safe and Unsafe Abor tion 241
A safe abortion is less likely to cause harm than having a baby.
Abortion is very safe when it is done:
• by a trained and experienced health worker.
• with the proper instruments.
• under clean conditions. Anything that goes into the vagina and
womb must be sterile (without any germs).
• up to 3 months (12 weeks) after the last monthly bleeding.
Abortion is unsafe when it is done:
• by someone who has not been trained to do it.
• with the wrong instruments or medicines.
• under unclean conditions.
• after 3 months (12 weeks) of pregnancy, unless it is done in a
health center or hospital that has special equipment.
Death from unsafe abortion
Around the world, 46 million abortions are done every year.
Women survive most of them, even if they are not legal. But
unsafe abortions can cause death, or complications like infection,
lasting pain, and infertility.
Women have always tried to find ways to end pregnancy when
they are desperate. Stay away from the following methods. They
are very dangerous.
• Do not put sharp objects like sticks, wire, or plastic tubing into
the vagina and womb. These can tear the womb and cause
dangerous bleeding and infection.
• Do not put herbs or plants in the vagina or womb.
These can burn or irritate badly, causing damage, infection, and
• Do not put substances such as bleach, lye, ashes, soap, or
kerosene in the vagina or womb. Also, do not drink them.
• Do not take medicines or traditional remedies in large
amounts to cause abortion (either by mouth or in the vagina).
For example, taking too much of the medicines for malaria
(chloroquine) or to stop bleeding after childbirth (ergometrine,
oxytocin) can kill you before they cause abortion.
• Do not hit your abdomen or throw yourself down stairs. This
can cause injury and bleeding inside your body, but may not
IMPORTANT Never put anything inside the womb yourself
or allow an untrained person to do so. This can kill you.
getting a safe
1 will die.
But out of 100,000
women having unsafe
100 and 1000 will die.
➤ Avoid unsafe
abortion. Try to
pregnancy before it
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012