Safe abortions are good. But there are many barriers which lead to unsafe abortion.
Unsafe abortion is mainly caused due to stigma, high cost, restrictive laws, poor availability of services, conscientious objection of health-care providers and unnecessary requirements(like mandatory counselling, mandatory waiting periods, provision of misleading information, medically unnecessary tests and third-party authorization).
There was a study made in 2008, which tells nearly 22 million unsafe abortions were made in every year which leads to 47,000 deaths. And nearly 5 million women had complications like:
haemorrhage(heavy bleeding), infection, damage to genital tract and internal organs due to insertion of objects like knitting needles, broken glass, sticks etc, incomplete abortion(failure to remove or expel all of the pregnancy).
Who are prone to risks:
Any women who has an unwanted pregnancy and who cannot access safe abortion is at unsafe abortion risk. Affluent women have less risk of having an unsafe abortion than poor women. The probability of death and injury is high when unsafe abortion is carried out later in pregnancy. When the access to effective contraception and safe abortion is limited or unavailable the rate of unsafe abortions are higher.
Complications that occur in unsafe abortion which require emergency care:
Infection, haemorrhage, injury to genital tract and internal organs are major life-threatening complications which happen because of unsafe abortion.
The assessment has to be made accurately in the initial stage to ensure proper treatment and prompt referral for complications. The critical signs which need immediate care are injection, abdominal pain, shock(collapse of the circulatory system) and abnormal vaginal bleeding.
It is difficult to analyse complications because of unsafe abortion. As in the case of a woman with extrauterine or ectopic pregnancy, both the symptoms look similar. So, it is crucial for the doctor to be prepared to make arrangements for transport to a facility so that a definitive diagnosis can be done immediately.
Here the delay can be fatal, so a timely treatment is necessary.
The treatment has to be given immediately along with evacuation of any remaining pregnancy tissue from the uterus.
The injury will be to the genital tract or internal organs. In such case, early referral to the appropriate level of health care is important.
Prevention and Control:
This can be prevented by proper sexual education, prevention of unintended pregnancy by using contraception, including emergency contraception and also provision of safe & legal abortion.