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Can a Physician Identify if I Have an Induced Abortion?

Updated: 3 days ago

Indiced abortion is common

Those who seek to self-manage their abortion at home and decide to go to the hospital fear that doctors may realize that it is an induced abortion, especially in settings where laws restrict or prohibit the right to choose. Faced with these situations, many wonder, is it possible to know if I had a self-induced abortion?

It is vital for women to know that the clinical presentation of self-managed abortion is indistinguishable from miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Between 10% and 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the actual number is likely to be higher. This is because many miscarriages occur early on, before women realize they are pregnant."  

There is no reason to believe that everyone who presents with an abortion at a health center voluntarily terminated their pregnancy. Spontaneous miscarriages are quite common.

The only real evidence that the abortion was induced is if the woman says she took the pills or has visible traces of the pills in her vagina.

In settings such as Venezuela, where abortion is illegal, knowing this information is important. Abortion with pills using the World Health Organization protocol is safe and is used up to 12 weeks. It consists of administering the dose of misoprostol alone or mifepristone with misoprostol. Usually, this is done orally, but some women prefer to administer the pills vaginally for different reasons. One of the most common causes is that they vomit the pills or have a digestive condition that prevents them from taking them.

Aya Contigo Accompanies You in Your Process

In Aya Contigo, our accompaniment application, you can have detailed information about the procedure. There we inform you that when you ingest the pills orally, doctors cannot determine that you had a self-managed abortion.

Abortion pills can be traced in the vagina

On the other hand, for those who prefer to administer the dose vaginally, it is possible that traces of the pills may be visible if the person has to go to the doctor in the following hours. Again, unless you say you used the abortion pill, or (in the case of vaginal administration) traces of the pill are visible, a doctor will not distinguish a miscarriage from a self-managed abortion.

This issue is all the more important because it is one of the reasons why many women who self-manage their abortions do not go to health centers when they need to: because they fear that doctors may tell on them. In countries like the United States, where 21 states either prohibit abortion or restrict it in the early stages of pregnancy since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, having this information is paramount for those seeking medical care.

If you want to know more about the abortion protocol and get personalized virtual accompaniment, download our application Aya Contigo.



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