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DIY OR HOME REMEDIES TO INDUCE ABORTION (UNSAFE ABORTION METHODS)

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Abortion has been a part of the human population since the beginning of time and safe medical abortion wasn’t a thing until recently. Aren’t we a blessed and lucky generation? Back then, people had to find ways of inducing abortion when they had an unintended pregnancy and they couldn’t keep it for various reasons. In Chinese folklore, it’s been said that mercury was used to induce abortion 5 thousand years ago. As you can imagine, that is a very dangerous technique because even though mercury is toxic to the embryo/an unborn baby and can induce abortion or cause miscarriages, it is also toxic to the woman. It can kill the woman or leave her with long term health issues just like several other unsafe abortion methods. 

Shockingly, even though safe medical abortion has been made available to women in this day and age, women all over the world still resort to unsafe methods. This is largely because of ignorance, poverty, or lack of funds, the need for parental consent, lack of access to safe abortion, and misinformation. You will be surprised to know that 68,000 women die from unsafe abortion yearly and 5 million women who survive after an unsafe abortion suffer long-term health complications. Isn’t that too bad? It is the reason why I decided to write this post to point out the various unsafe methods and give you a reason to preach against unsafe abortion. 

THE UNSAFE METHODS:

1. TAKING MEDICATIONS THAT ARE HARMFUL TO PREGNANT WOMEN

So many women look out for medications that are very harmful to pregnant women for self-induced abortion. They take them in very large doses which make them pass out because of excessive bleeding and if they’re not rushed to the hospital early enough, the excessive blood loss can lead to the death of both mother and baby. 

In several cases, the pregnant woman is lucky enough to wake up in the hospital but her health and the baby’s is compromised. She might be forced into preterm labor (for an older pregnancy), have a stillbirth or her baby might survive with deformities. Also, her seizure threshold is increased and it makes it more likely for her to get seizures (not pleasant at all).

 In Ghana, women are known to use these herbal mixtures:

  • Agbeve herbal mixture
  • Auntie Mercy herbal mixture

2. INFLICTING EXTERNAL INJURY OR TRAUMA TO THE ABDOMEN

Some pregnant women deliberately fall over a flight of stairs and others jump from the roof of buildings to induce abortion. This is because it’s known that the trauma caused by hitting the abdomen so hard on the ground can cause miscarriages. Even though it might be known to work, it can be very dangerous because the woman could die. 

Other women apply so much pressure to their abdomen or suggest to someone to punch them hard in the stomach/hit it hard with a heavy object to induce abortion. Some also dive into pools or water bodies, engage in physical activities that are harmful to pregnant women, and carry heavy loads to put too much pressure on their abdomen to cause an abortion. 

3. INGESTION OF HERBS AND CONCOCTIONS

Herbs and concoctions that are used for abortion are known to induce menstruation by rupturing the walls of the uterus/womb to cause bleeding. Such herbs include parsley, cinnamon, blue cohosh root, cotton root bark, mugwort, Queen Anne’s lace, and pennyroyal.

The concoctions include: 

  • A mixture of a malt drink and crushed glass (usually a glass bottle)
  • A mixture of cups of sugar, diluted in water and crushed glass (Guinness bottle)
  • A mixture of a malt drink and a lot of coffee
  • A mixture of mint candies and coca-cola 
  • Cups of sugar diluted in hard liquor/spirit (Akpeteshie)
  • Cups of sugar diluted in water
  • A large number of vitamin C tablets diluted in water 
  • A mixture of concentrated laundry blue with camphor and a lot of sugar 
  • A mixture of grounded ‘ablototor’ leaves (local Ghanaian leaves), lots of paracetamol tablets and hard liquor (Akpeteshie)

There is a final concoction that is used by Namibian women to induce abortion. They boil newspapers to dissolve the ink in water, mix the solution with hard liquor, and drink it. Others add petrol, a fabric softener, or Oros drink mix to the mixture and boil it with the Devil’s claw (a root) before drinking it. They believe that that’s the only way the abortion will be successful.

Some other women mix any of the concoctions with livestock manure before drinking it. They do it out of desperation because they need the abortion to be successful. 

What happens if you drink them? 

Even though some of them (the herbs) might cause an abortion, using them can kill the woman. One of them is Pennyroyal oil. If you ingest more than the dose required, you can die with the baby you were trying to abort. 

If the herbs/concoctions don’t kill you, your liver and kidney might be irreversibly damaged and you will have to deal with it till you die. Some women become infertile because their womb is damaged in the process.

4. DRINKING OF TOXIC LIQUIDS 

Some pregnant women drink toxic substances like turpentine and bleach to terminate the pregnancy. DO YOU WANT TO DIE?

5. INSERTION OF HERBS AND OBJECTS INSIDE THE VAGINA/RECTUM

As desperate as some women are, they insert these foreign objects in their cervix/uterus to induce abortion:

  • Sharpened tools
  • Twigs 
  • Coat hangers 
  • Chicken bones 

Other women insert leaves of toxic plants in their vagina. They might also grind the leaves and insert the extracts in their rectum using an enema (‘bentua’). In Ghana, leaves of the local plant, ‘nkradedua’ is used and the stem of ‘gbukagba’ are used. 

OTHER UNSAFE WAYS OF INDUCING ABORTION

  1. Starving for days because it can cause a miscarriage 
  2. Bloodletting- cutting of a vein to remove blood from the body. Bloodletting is considered dangerous to the foetus in early pregnancy (the first three months). 
  3. Pouring hot water onto the abdomen 
  4. Lying on a hot surface for hours. 

HOW DOES UNSAFE ABORTION CAUSE DEATH? 

  • Hemorrhage

Almost all of the above methods of inducing abortion result in heavy bleeding. The excess blood loss can result in the death of both mother and unborn baby.

Hemorrhage can also happen as a result of incomplete abortion. Sometimes after an unsafe abortion, some tissues from the foetus/embryo remain in the body. If the woman doesn’t seek medical care, she might experience heavy bleeding.

  •  Infections

Insertion of objects into the cervix to rip out the foetus can be extremely dangerous because of the risk of infections. Pathogens existing on the object get into the bloodstream to cause blood poisoning that kills women. 

  •  Some women also die because of genital trauma and necrotic bowel caused by the unsafe abortion technique.

LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES OF UNSAFE SELF-INDUCED ABORTIONS

  • Infertility
  • Internal organ injury 
  • Bowel resections
  •  Loss of productivity 
  •  Psychological damage

This post was written to warn you of the dangers of unsafe abortion, so please choose SAFE ABORTION

Wherever you are in the world, you can have access to safe abortion. If you find yourself pregnant or your partner is pregnant, Click this LINK and talk to a qualified professional to discuss your options. You will be directed to a safe abortion service provider near you.

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MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE, WRITER, SEX AND RELATIONSHIP EXPERT

Ami Shikah is a sex educator and mental health advocate. She is passionate about sex education and is working towards making her website/blog a place where people come to for knowledge and information that will help them make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality. Mental health isn't treated with much importance in her part of the world (Ghana, Africa) and as someone who has had to deal with depression and suicidal thoughts, she hopes to share her experiences with the world and help other people like her. She has in-depth knowledge about sex, sexual health, sexuality, vaginal health, pregnancy and abortion and is working to share it all with the world. She has also made it possible for people to ask questions and get answers to them anytime.

One Comment

  1. Good day my girlfriend accidentally crushed her ECP but she swallowed it quickly with an amount
    Of water. She is afraid it will not work. I want to know if it will work.

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