By Samantha Chukwuemeka
The rate at which ladies are having unsafe abortions now is quite alarming.
A lady in her early twenties was brought to the ER by her sisters. She was said to have been bleeding profusely for a few days, so much she would have to change a pad every two hours. Her sisters told us she was having heavy menstrual bleeding because that was what the patient told them but when she got weak and unable to move, they brought her to the hospital .
Their parents were said to have travelled.
Her blood pressure was quite low and her heart beat was very fast which means she must have lost quite a lot of blood and body fluids. She was weak. She told us it was heavy menstrual flow she has been having for a few days. We asked her if she thinks she might be pregnant, she said no.
We took some blood samples for test which included a pregnancy test, blood level test and blood crossmatching and grouping (to know the type of blood she would need) . We put up fluids to rehydrate and replace lost body fluids.
The pregnancy test came out to be positive. I wasn’t surprised. We told her sisters to excuse us. We told her she was pregnant and We asked her if she knew was pregnant, she said no. We then asked her if she had sex recently. She said no. The doctor jokingly said the baby ‘fell’ on her. We made it clear to her that she had to be truthful with us and give us a correct history and info if she wants to get better.
She then said she found out she was pregnant a week ago for her ex-boyfriend who recently tried to reconcile with her although she has a current boyfriend . The guy refused to accept responsibility because he thinks it wasn’t his so she decided to check for pills online and buy them to terminate the pregnancy.
Unfortunately she got the wrong info as she combined a morning-after pill and another abortion pill which she didn’t use rightly.
Her blood level result came out to be quite low. We took her in for an ultrasound which showed that the baby was already dislodged from her uterus and there was clots and dead baby parts left that we had to evacuate by a procedure called D&C so it wouldn’t cause an infection which could be deadly.
At that point, the sisters were told of the new development. They were surprised and started telling us how innocent they thought she was and all that . Anyway, we asked for the patient’s consent to perform the procedure to empty her uterus and she agreed. After the procedure, she had blood given to her as well as medications. She recovered quite quickly and was able to go home after.
I would count her lucky because unsafe abortions are highly dangerous. I hear of all sorts of insane methods that are used now to induce abortions ranging from herbal concoctions to alcohol and certain tablets.
I ve seen cases of people who used cloth hangers to try to pull a baby out.
Some go to unqualified medical personnels who damage their womb and cause them to bleed for a long time and reduce their chances of ever getting pregnant again to almost zero.
We hear stories of young ladies who die as a result of consuming unprescribed drugs or concoctions to induce an abortion.
I encourage people to use contraceptives if they aren’t married but want to have sex nevertheless, so as to prevent not only pregnancy but sexually transmitted diseases. Having unprotected sex with someone who you don’t know his/her HIV status is the most dangerous thing ever. Most people don’t run tests on their supposed boyfriends/ girlfriends and just assume the person’s status by body count. There are various types of contraceptives to chose from in order to prevent ‘stories that touch’
Some people ask me of what to use to have a safe medical abortion with no complications and little bleeding. I know the medications to use and how to use them but ethically, I can’t disclose such info to them so I tell them to visit the hospital.
Most reputable hospitals don’t perform abortions unless it poses a threat to the life of the mother.
Im not trying to encourage abortions. But I’ve come to realise that young ladies who get pregnant before marriage hardly keep the pregnancies most especially when they are from backgrounds that frown to sex before marriage. If one wishes to go through the procedure one has to be medically and spiritually ready to face the consequences.
But then, let’s remember that millions of married couples visit fertility clinics and are trying to have and cherish what other fortunate people are destroying.
We should learn to play wise and safe in our sexual lives.
Chukwuemeka is a nurse, and writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria.