Why did my termination of pregnancy have to be this painful?

Hello. I just wanted to share the story of the most traumatic event of my life in the beginning of 2017. I feel like other people could benefit from this and not make the mistakes I made. So, I was just beginning to be sexually active and ended up having unprotected sex on multiple occasions because I wasn’t aware of the absolute necessity of condoms.

However, on the times that there was ejaculation in me, I took an emergency contraceptive pill, thus thinking I had successfully avoided at least pregnancy.

 

However around New year’s I started feeling a dull pain around my abdomen and the area between my vagina and anus (perineum) but ignored it for about a week. A friend advised me to test myself for pregnancy and I tested positive. I was aware or hopeful that an abortion is a relatively easy procedure, so I went to a gynaecologist to get it. It was fortunate that the gynaecologist was an experienced, non judgemental personAnd she asked me to get an ultrasound and a HcG done. I paid her one thousand rupees but in retrospect I’m thankful I spent that money instead of procuring abortion pills from somewhere as I had also considered at a point. Anyway I got a total of four different tests for HCG done, in three different places. And only the third time, at a super speciality hospital were they able to fully confirm that it was an ectopic pregnancy.

I was 18 and had no way I could tell my parents about it. I used up all the money (around 20k) getting various tests and ultrasounds done and due to the incompetence of the earlier two clinics and the pricey third hospital.

The last hospital  wanted to admit me asap as an ectopic pregnancy at the stage I was in (6-8 weeks) could be life threatening. However I didn’t have the money that they were demanding, and there was no way I could ask for it, without telling my parents, and that proved to be the hardest part. Finally in a very difficult call I told my  father about it and he asked me to come home and said that he would get me admitted in AIIMS. He sounded calm, maybe because he was at work. I went home and my parents had a difficult time wrapping their head around what my diagnoses was, the fetus had attached itself in my right fallopian tube and because of the pressure the tube has burst and I had severe bleeding in my uterus. After the internal ultrasounds were done, it would be difficult for me to walk even.

My mother delayed taking me to the hospital because she wanted me to suffer and once I came back home my father’s calmness went away and he just became apathetic.

They didn’t take me to a hospital for another two days in which my friends kept persuading them, and finally when the pain because too unbearable, my mother took me to another hospital, where I waited for several hours as there were I think very few beds/ very few doctors. There was a lady waiting with me whose child had stopped moving and was probably dead, at the end of her third trimester, but her husband and mother in law were extremely casual and apathetic about it. Of course, the milieu was traumatic and added to my overall mental state, and at various points I kept thinking about killing myself, but it was heightened the most that day. Ultimately that hospital did not have the infrastructure to deal with a case like mine so they sent me to big hospital There I was admitted in the emergency ward. The hospital treated me with very little empathy and my mental state was severely deteriorating, but at least they were quick and efficient unlike the other private clinics. They decided to operate on me, to perform a selpingectomy via a laproscopy. It was done on the 20th of January.

The medical emergency/problem was taken care of, but the lasting impact it had on my mental state hasn’t been taken care of till now.

My parents still remember that and are cold towards me, not understanding the excruciating pain I had to suffer through all this. My mother once blamed my ‘character’ for my sister getting home late and tried to stab me in the stomach and I injured my hand trying to defend myself. There was blood everywhere. Even after the surgery, I have what are probably adhesions that are quite painful on some days.

For a very long time, I didnt want to go to college or anywhere at all, even now I have terrible anxiety and I have fucked up my graduation because I wasn’t ablet to concentrate on my studies at all..

And the lack of support from my parents didn’t help. I have become a different person now, sometimes I remember how alone I felt going from clinic to clinic trying to know what was wrong with me, and just not having the energy to do anything but still having to go out to put an end to the pain. I didn’t know how dangerous an ectopic pregnancy could be, and I have realised that there is very little awareness generally amongst people still.This is cathartic for me, and even after close to two years of the incident, even though my mental health has started to improve, I feel phantom pains in my abdomen and am terrified of anything going wrong with my reproductive parts, even something as simple as a UTI sent me into the same spiral of depression. I break down very often in frustration, I recently had a yeast infection and it immobilized me, especially because I feel afraid to discuss these problems with my mother, even though our relationship too has improved. I cannot stand the thought of needles and I’m afraid of blood from my vagina.Of course I understand that an ectopic pregnancy is just a medical condition.

However the way I was treated and because of lack of support of any kind, as well as the desperation and pain I had to be in in the days when I going clinic to clinic have probably traumatized me forever. Added to that was the hopelessness, I didn’t know what to do at all, and until my friends intervened with my parents, I didnt know if I could even survive.

Thank you for reading this. I’m much better now, though the slightest of problems sets me on the same path. Abortion and pregnancy termination of any kind shouldn’t be this traumatic, and I really hope people like you ( Hidden Pockets) will be able to bring about a change (:

 

Editor’s note : We are extremely grateful to this person who shared her story with us and wanted to ensure that nobody should feel lonely and should go through what she went through alone.

We want to again emphasise the fact that Hidden Pockets is just a WhatsApp away : 08861713567. Trust Hidden Pockets. We Care.

Where to find abortion clinics in North East? Kohima!

What do you expect when you’re about to visit a Family Planning Association of India clinic for the first time. You don’t know what to expect. I was at home, visiting one of cities of North East, trying to figure out if I could  find a good health clinic.

I took a bus from BOC point and headed to main town. From there, I got out of the bus and started walking as the traffic jam was massive. It wasn’t much of a challenge finding the clinic as I was initially given the address from which I clearly remember the name of the colony it stood in- Daklane. And as I reached the colony, the first person I met, I asked where Reproductive Health and Family Planning clinic is and he directed me perfectly and I didn’t need to ask anyone again on my way.

 

The moment I reached the clinic, I stretched my neck as it stood at a peak, and realized just how normal the clinic was and how though I’ve been to the colony many times I never really saw this yellow structure with huge billboards on Reproductive Health and Family Planning.

As I climbed up the stairs and entered, I was greeted by the head, who then took me to his office and after a brief conversation, introduced me to his team who will tell me about the clinic and answer my queries. It didn’t feel like I was in an alien place and though it was my first time I felt familiar with it.

The team took me through the process of the clinic right;

Registration,
Immunization (for children),
Counselling,
OPD and so on.

I was told they get about 250 patients coming in every month from all age groups. The number however used to be higher but because of the change in the consulting doctor who was liked by many and with whom many found comfort, had to take leave for further studies. He had a great rapport with the patients and was always the preferred one. Two doctors are currently in chair, one a male and the other a female. They take turns and are available through Monday to Friday. They have also through time have gained trust of patients and the number of visiting patients are increasing.

The clinic follows a No Refusal Policy.

Where though most treatments are FREE, for the few where fees are imposed is also not considered mandatory and if a patient is unable to pay, he or she is relieved from having to pay at all. The fee for MVA which is for safe abortion is two thousand rupees, covering all expenses like meds, procedure, full doses required. Again, even if the patient is unable to pay they will still treat her without payment.

They provide free contraceptives, and also conduct other long term procedures like coppertine, sterilization (both female and male).

The clinic not only receives patient from Kohima but all over Nagaland. Doctors from other districts and villages refer them to the clinic. Even government hospitals like Naga Hospital, Kohima refers patients to the clinic. Apart from these, they also provide Hepatitis B and C services. The clinic also have a good amount of HIV and IDU patients. Apart from such in house treatments, they also cater to an adolescents program called Adolescents Education Program, where they visit government schools and less privileged private schools, and hold comprehensive sexuality program. They conduct events and programs in order to share information on the same and create awareness. They also hold monthly musical program called Top Acts on every 4th Saturday in order to create a positive space for the same. The day I visited the clinic, an abortion was underway. It was the first time in my life that I stood next to a room where an abortion was underway. And rather than feeling anything else, I only worried if the patient is doing okay. And hoped she’d be fit both physically and mentally soon.

 

As I took my leave and was on my way out a young girl working there offered me tea, and as I came out of the clinic, it was just a normal day again. The clinic has two exits and entrances making it easier for patients to take whichever is best directed to their house or bus/taxi station. Just a couple of minutes of walk away is the bus stop and taxi station.

 

Writer : Sekulu Nyekha

Where can I get an abortion in Hyderabad?

If you are unable to find the service, please do write to us.

Write to us at hiddenpocketsinfo@gmail.com
Call us at +918861713567

 

 

Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) Hyderabad :

  • FPAI Hyderabad, 6-3-883/F, Topaz Building, Punjagutta Office Colony Lane,Punjagutta, Hyderabad, 500082

We have been mapping FPAI Clinics in different parts of India. We went visiting the FPAI Hyderabad Branch and it was one of the biggest independent branch we have seen. It was an independent building, in the middle of the city. It had a lovely park outside the hospital. Interestingly enough there was a diagnostic Centre right below it.

The registration fee is Rs 50. There would be a minimal cost for further procedures required.

We went inside the first floor of the building. It had a lot of patients and their families sitting right outside the Out Patient Department section. There were 2 surgeries that were conducted that day. We meet the person in charge who was willing to show us around.

The place had a doctor, a counsellor, some operating rooms and a ward as well.

They even had some posters that provided information regarding Medical Termination of Pregnancy and the number of months under which one could avail the services. We met the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife who was present at the clinic and who also showed us some of the rooms as well as some of the services available. At this specific clinic they only provided abortions for up to 12 weeks ( 1st Trimester).

 

(Poster  in Telegu explaining different months within which abortion can be performed)

The different types of services that come along :

  1. Sterilisation (Both Female and Male)
  2. Temporary Methods : ( IUD, Oral Pills)
  3. Medical Termination of Pregnancy
  4. Cancer Screenings

 

Where can I get an abortion in Bangalore?

If you are unable to find the service, please do write to us.

Write to us at hiddenpocketsinfo@gmail.com
Call us at +918861713567

Namma Bangaluru!!!!! Namma young people staying in Bangalore!!!! Have you ever heard about Family Planning Association of India – Bangalore??
And why should you know about them? So let me introduce you to FPAI.

As you would have already noticed that FPAI stands for Family Planning Association of India. FPA India envisages sexual and reproductive health for all as a human right, including gender equality leading to alleviation of poverty, population stabilization and sustainable development. They have their presence in
Delhi, Ahmadabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Agra, Bangalore, Mumbai and few more places.To know more about them you can visit their website: www.fpaindia.org

So where do you go if you are looking for Sexual and reproductive health aid in Bangalore?
Private hospitals? Clinics? Nowhere? For those who are still struggling, for those who are suffering cause they dont know where to go, for those who have suffered a lot because of judgmental comments by the service provider, high prices, let me introduce you to FPAI – Bangalore. A place where you wont be judged. A place where you would feel safe. A place where services are affordable and a place where proper guidance and counselling would be given for Sexual and reproductive health.

The clinic is situated at City Corporation Maternity Home Complex, 1st Floor, Palace Guttahalli (Guttahalli circle), BANGALORE – 560 003. For those who have no
clue about this place, let me tell you it is very close to Le Meridien Hotel and Bangalore Golf club, Sankey Road. As you reach the complex’s gate, you would see the FPAI board
on the left side of the building. On the first floor you would find the Admin team of FPAI – Bangalore. From the gate if you walk towards the right, you would see a path on your left which would take you to the clinic (currently which is under maintenance now; till it is ready one can visit the doctor on the first floor)
The clinic operates from 9 am -5 pm.

So what is the procedure followed by FPAI – Bangalore?

– The first thing is Registration: Here the person would be asked the reason for coming to FPAI. Is for MTP (Medical Termination of Pregnancy) in other words safe abortion
or sterlization.
– Then the person is sent to the counselor where the counselor discusses what all happened and what can be done. Privacy is given utmost importance.
– Then the person is provided with consultation. It is checked whether the person is on her first trimester or second. Then she is provided with proper guidance on what
she is required to do.
– During the medication, if the person is asked to take abortion pill, she is provided with proper guidelines on how to consume them. And if minor operation is required
the she is guided accordingly. FPAI – Bangalore currently has 10 beds and one minor operation theater. And the clinic is very clean.
– One week later a follow up is done, where the person is asked to come back. This is done so as to check whether the pregnancy is completely terminated and the
person is safe.

FPAI – Bangalore also gives a counselling about Family Planning Methods. They also provide people with free contraceptives for example free condoms.
Apart from MTP, FPAI also does HIV testing, Cervical cancer test (compulsory for women above 30 years), Vasectomy, tubectomy and test for breast cancer.
The tests are done after the consent of the patient only. All the tests are done in the Laboratory.

FPAI Bangalore also has Adolescent health clinic and also does Male sterilization.

FPAI follows no refusal policy, this means nobody is refused or sent back without providing medical services and help.
Privacy and confidentiality is the most important aspect that FPAI follows.Whoever comes to the clinic needs to just register with one’s name.
This is required, to keep a count of the patients. It is not for public to examine. Let it be a married women or unmarried women, the information of the patient is
kept highly confidential. Nobody asks the patient uncomfortable questions like are you married or not? Where is the husband?
Everybody is treated with dignity at FPAI.

Namma bangaluru, I found FPAI – Bangalore very friendly and approachable. If required, kindly try utilizing this clinic. It’s friendly, non-judgmental, safe, clean and affordable.
The whole facility would cost around 500 INR. Kindly utilize this amazing clinic. Try it out and refer it to the ladies around.
Let us all promote safe abortion and health care around us.

PS:  “FPA India clinics may charge, what we prefer to call as a ‘partial user fee’ to the clients for seeking abortion or any other SRH service. This fee is very subsidized and helps the Association meet some running costs. However, all FPA India clinics also have a “NO REFUSAL POLICY”, which states that no client walking into any FPA India facility is denied any service, especially if he/she is unable to afford even the subsidized fee. Thus, poor and marginalized clients can also access quality services in FPAI clinics. Only when the facility is not equipped to provide a particular service (for example some client may need a specialized service, or admission or higher level emergency care) are clients to other facilities.”

Where to get an abortion and other sexual and reproductive health services in Kolkata?

Recently Hidden Pockets set out to find different sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in the city of joy, Kolkata. A primary research of the different health services provided in the city was done before the mapping exercise was undertaken. This research included Internet research and conversations with different individuals, activists and organisations working in the space of public health. The research showed that the status of public health services was inaccessible, unhygienic and crowded. So we decided to picked out a few of the available public health service providers in the city to understand the state of SRH services in the city. Since Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) usually features on our list of recommendations in the cities that we map, we decided to start with FPAI.

What happened to Right to Information?

The FPAI centre in Kolkata is located in Etally. The nearest bus stop is located at 5 minutes walking distance. The centre is located on the inside of a market road. It is a rather old building with a board outside that says Family Planning Association of India and lists all the services provided at the centre. It was hard to miss the strong smell of urine on entering the building premises. It wasn’t the cleanest of centres that we have been to so far, in the country. The first floor has the ward and the office is on the second floor.

On requesting for information about the services provided at the centre, the categorical response given by the medical officer was “Go to the Kolkata headquarters for any information about the services provided here. We will not give you any information.” The staff seemed clearly quite unapproachable. It was quite strange considering that the list of services provided at the centre is listed on the name board displayed outside on the door.

With FPAI off the list, it became important to look into other sexual and reproductive health service centres in the city that were approachable and also provided different services at a reasonable cost. More importantly, were there any reasonable government hospitals in the city providing SRH services?

How good are the government hospitals?

In an attempt to find some answer to that question, SSKM hospital, (located about half kilometer from Rabindra Sadan metro station) was chosen as the next destination. This is a referral hospital along with a medical college attached to it. Reason enough, the hospital is quite large and also usually crowded throughout the day. Located in the centre of the hospital campus, the gynecology department is difficult to locate without any support from the hospital staff. The guard at the gate was quite helpful giving directions to the gynaecology department. Gynecology department is located opposite to the Eye department and diagonally opposite to the Ronald Ross block. However, even with help, it was hard to locate considering the constant crowd on the hospital campus. It is a large department that has a separate building for the neonatal services provided at the hospital.

The cost of acquiring an OPD card in the hospital for all departments is Rs. 2. On checking the OPD registration desk on the ground floor of the building for services provided by the gynecology department and cost involved, we were told to check directly with the gynecology OPD. The administrative staff did not seem approachable. That said, the OPD registration had a constant queue throughout the day. The gynaecology OPD is a clean ward with air conditioning. On requesting from a doctor on duty (an intern), we were asked to talk to the Head of the Department (HOD) of Gynaecology whose office is in the Ronald Ross block. Though Ronald Ross block sounded easy enough, locating the HOD’s office in the building was not easy. The staff and interns that we spoke to, on the ground floor of the building either refused to give any information or said that they are not aware of the office. Being utterly confused in the large hospital, we had to check with several departments including Eye and ENT to be doubly sure of the HOD’s office. Due to sheer exhaustion of locating the different departments and heavy rains, we decided to meet the HOD on day 2.

Eventually on day 2, the HOD’s office was located on the second floor of Ronald Ross building. On landing up at the HOD – Dr. P.S.Chakravorthy’s office, we were asked to come the next day to have a conversation to understand all the sexual and reproductive health services provided in the hospital. Unlike other staff, the HOD was quite approachable and friendly. On day 3, an interview was conducted to understand the different SRH services provided in the hospital. The doctor was willing to answer all questions that were put forth.

Excerpts from the interview conducted:

Sexual and reproductive health services available for men:

“There is a STD clinic in the hospital close to the skin clinic that includes STI and RTI services as well.”

Process of accessing these services:

“The person has to go to the OPD STD clinic and register and see the doctor.”

Most common concerns for men:

“Mostly urethral discharge, burning sensation and gentile ulcers.”

HIV testing centre:

“There is one HIV testing centre that is attached to the blood bank, one to the microbiology lab, one to pathology department and there’s another attached to the antenatal clinc. There may be even more.”

Cost of accessing these services

“Buying the OPD card at Rs. 2 gives access to all services in the hospital including HIV testing centre at no additional cost, for both services and medication.”

AIDs & HIV related services:

“When we find that a person is HIV positive, we send them to the ART centre where they are provided counseling, both the patient and the spouse, medications, lifestyle advices, health education.”

Sexual and reproductive health services available for women

“Same as men and in addition, gynaecology OPD, skin OPD (because of wart). There is an adolescent clinic also – usually for teenage girls related to reproductive problems – menstruation – regular, irregular, pain, discharge etc.”

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (abortion): (Both married and unmarried women)

“We definitely provide abortion services to both married and unmarried women. To us, they are all patients. Irrespective of whether they are rich, poor, no matter the caste or creed, we try to help them.”

Cost of accessing this service

“Even MTP is included in the OPD charges of Rs.2, for MTP involving both medication or surgical intervention.”

SRS services

“The Plastic Surgery department runs the SRS service. It is again, free. In West Bengal, all services provided by the government are free. This also means that we have a lot of crowd here for all services.”

Other sexual and reproductive health services provided

“Family Planning services and Adolescent Friendly Health Clinics are also available.”

A reality check!

Though the doctor confirmed the availability a wide range of sexual and reproductive services, the concerns raised and expressed by people we spoke to accessing the services included:

  • Constant crowd
  • Need to have connections inside or outside the hospital to get access to high quality services
  • Often junior doctors or interns tend to the patient

On having spoken to the Plastic Surgery Department on the SRS service at the SSKM hospital provided in the hospital, Abhirup Kar, President of Civilian Welfare Foundation said, “The concerned person did not know what SRS was. We had to explain it to them and then  We had to explain it to them. We were then told that SRS is not done there and is only a subject of research in the hospital.”

Owing to the concerns raised about government institutions, we thought it necessary to also check with the private institutions on the different SRH services provided. Speaking to Hidden Pockets, a senior gynecologist* with 20+ years of experience said that the price of getting an abortion could range between Rs. 3,500 to Rs.30,000 in any private institution depending on the location. While the cost of getting an abortion could be anywhere between Rs.3,500 to 10,000 in Northern Kolkata, it costs Rs.15,000 to Rs.30,000 in Southern Kolkata depending on the institution and seniority of the doctor.

The senior gynecologist’s (hospital’s) cost breakdown for an abortion was as follows:

Rs. 4,000-5,000 for consultation

Rs.1,000-2,000 for the services

Rs.1,000 or so for medication

____________________

Total: Rs. 7,000-9,000  (cost estimated for his hospital’s services)

____________________

Note: Hidden Pockets studies focus on recommending at least one SRH service provider in any city that we go out after personal assessment of the centre for different parameters. However in Kolkata, owing to the crowd and unfriendly staff, we could not go beyond 2 government service providers during our time there. 

PS: “FPA India clinics may charge, what we prefer to call as a ‘partial user fee’ to the clients for seeking abortion or any other SRH service. This fee is very subsidized and helps the Association meet some running costs. However, all FPA India clinics also have a “NO REFUSAL POLICY”, which states that no client walking into any FPA India facility is denied any service, especially if he/she is unable to afford even the subsidized fee. Thus, poor and marginalized clients can also access quality services in FPAI clinics. Only when the facility is not equipped to provide a particular service (for example some client may need a specialized service, or admission or higher level emergency care) are clients to other facilities.”

Where is a good abortion clinic in Delhi?

If you have more doubts:

Write to us at hiddenpocketsinfo@gmail.com
WhatsApp us at +918861713567

Finally I found it !

FPAI –Family Planning Association of India. Ladies!!! Have you heard about it? If yes, then I am happy for you, if no then get ready to receive an amazing information that I am going to give you. For those who are not aware of FPAI, It stands for Family Planning Association for India. They provide services on family planning and unwanted pregnancies. They have clinics around India. Few of the cities are Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai. Recently, I got a chance to visit the FPAI clinic in Delhi and I was amazed to see how approachable they were.

Abortion is legal under certain conditions.

First of all, let me start by saying abortion is legal in India until certain weeks. To more know about this, please check our article here.

The clinic we recommend is situated at RK Puram Sector- 4, New Delhi -110022, Opposite Capital Court, Munirka, Near HDFC Bank and Methodist Church. It is easy to locate the clinic. As I went inside the gate the surrounding of the clinic had positive vibes. The plants and trees added to the calmness. I dint feel as if I am standing in front of an abortion clinic. I went and met the Doctor who was all excited to meet us and show around the clinic. As we entered I saw the counsellor’s room. The counsellor had a huge smile on her face. I felt safe and welcomed.  We went and sat with the doctor in the examination room where the patients were examined.

“Privacy and confidentiality is the most important aspect that FPAI follows”, told the doctor.  Whoever comes to the clinic needs to just register with one’s name. This is required, to keep a count of the patients. It is not for public to examine.

Married or Unmarried women can receive abortion services.

Let it be a married women or unmarried women, the information of the patient is kept highly confidential. Nobody asks the patient uncomfortable questions like are you married or not? Where is the husband? Everybody is treated with dignity at FPAI.

As soon as one walks inside the clinic, the person is sent to the counsellor’s room. The counsellor makes sure that the person is comfortable. Privacy is given utmost important. The counsellor discusses what all happened and what can be done. Later the person is sent to the examination room and is examined by the doctor who later provides medicines or performs the operation accordingly.

For abortion or also known as Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP), the woman needs to fill a consent form called ‘Form C’.  Only the consent of the women is required for performing the medical termination.

For the first 4-8 weeks, doctors are willing to provide the medicines or the pills to induce abortion.

Procedures regarding Medical Abortion :

The woman is provided with a medicine kit containing mifepristone and misoprostol.  These medicines are best helpful in first 12 weeks (1st Trimester of abortion).

The doctor properly explains how to utilise these medicines as it is important to take these medicines in a proper way and under the doctor’s guidance

miso-and-mife

Procedure:

  • Day 1:One 200 mg tablet of Mifepristone is taken
  • Day 3 (between 24 to 48 hours):Misoprostol pills of 200 mcg each (total of 800 mcg) are given orally or vaginally.
  • Day 14 – 15:Person returns for a post-treatment examination to affirm that a complete end of pregnancy has happened.

The doctor would recommend to come back for an ultrasound check up after 15 days. As per the doctor if it is difficult to come back to clinic, then get an ultrasound (abdomen) done because it is important to find out if the abortion is completed and women is safe.

The doctor told me these medicines don’t have any side effects but should be always taken under the doctor’s guidance.  It is always better to see if the clinic has displayed the certificate for medical termination practice. One needs to be careful from quacks or unregistered doctors.

After 12 weeks, Doctors normally recommend Surgical abortion.

Surgical Abortion :

 

MVA (Medical Vacuum Aspiration) method  is used for surgical termination. It involves using a specially designed syringe to apply gentle suction to remove the pregnancy or pregnancy tissue from the womb. It can be done with or without local anaesthetic (you will be awake), and takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. This method is legal, less expensive and more comfortable than Dilation and curettage (which is an old method). It is also safe.

After five weeks,  a surgical procedure is your only option. If you opt for a surgical abortion, you will need to give your doctor a couple of days to make arrangements at the hospital/ clinic. The actual procedure takes only about 15-20 minutes, but you will have to stay in the hospital for four to five hours.

Is Abortion scary? I am nervous?

These are some of the questions that we have been getting in the past.

Is it safe?

Will my Girl friend treated well?

Does it hurt? 

I am unmarried. Will they provide me service?

 

Let me tell you ladies, I found FPAI very friendly and approachable. If required, kindly try utilizing this clinic. It’s friendly, non-judgemental, safe, clean and affordable. The whole facility would cost around 500 INR. Kindly utilize this amazing clinic. Try it out and refer it to the ladies around. Let us all promote safe abortion and health care around us.

We also wanted to share a story of one of our followers who felt lonely and betrayed while trying to terminate her pregnancy : http://www.hidden-pockets.com/abortion-stories-in-india/

You are not alone, we are here!

PS: “FPA India clinics may charge, what we prefer to call as a ‘partial user fee’ to the clients for seeking abortion or any other SRH service. This fee is very subsidized and helps the Association meet some running costs.  Only when the facility is not equipped to provide a particular service (for example some client may need a specialized service, or admission or higher level emergency care) are clients to other facilities.”

 

Sexual and Reproductive Health Centres: What Chennai has to offer women

As a woman and as a Public Health practitioner, women’s sexual and reproductive health is of extreme importance and relevance. So, I thought I could start off this series with a look into Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP), in layman’s terms Abortion. There’s no better place to start than at home, Chennai. MTP raises a variety of moral, social and legal questions. If the pregnant woman feels the necessity to terminate her pregnancy, does she have the right to do so? If she does upto what moment and on what conditions? MTP is legal only upto 20 weeks of pregnancy and only under certain specific conditions, such as:

  1. If continuation of the pregnancy would be a risk either physically/mentally to the mother
  2. If the woman is not ready to become a mother yet
  3. If the fetus shows abnormality in the scan and tests, which would prove that it would be born severely handicapped. According to the Declaration of Chennai, Review of the MTP act in order to halt sex selective abortion, in 2007, it was established that it is the Woman’s right to chose to carry the child to term or terminate the pregnancy. All this information was easily accessible and very informative.

The provision for MTP services was the next big question on my mind. So, I did a quick search on public domain with simple keywords like, abortion clinics in Chennai, MTP clinics in Chennai, government abortion clinics etc. This is some of the information that I could gather. Abortions are done in a hospital or in a clinic that specializes in abortions and both may have separate requirements. To have an abortion in a hospital, you may need to visit a birth control clinic, your family doctor or a women’s health centre first. In both the clinic and the hospital, the actual procedure takes about 10 minutes but they may insist on keeping the woman under observation as seen fit. Some of the places where you can get the required information on MTP services are:

  1. A women’s healthcare centre at a hospital
  2. A Planned Parenthood Association
  3. Your nearest public health unit
  4. A birth control centre

What is given and what is not!

However, beware! There are also quite a few illegal MTP centers in several areas around Chennai. So kindly enquire thoroughly before choosing a clinic. On further research into the number of centers, I found that over three-quarters of abortion-certified facilities are in the private sector. MTP is every Woman’s right and to deny her the same, is not only a violation of her rights but also, putting her in harm’s way. An online search fails to provide easy access to information on MTP clinics in Chennai. It just gives us a clinic name and address in the yellow pages or Just Dial.

Any online search result does not provide reviews or description of services that could help a woman in need to decide if it would be the right place for her. With the importance of that decision weighing down on her while she is going in for a procedure that is emotionally and mentally gut wrenching and nerve wracking, it would definitely be much better if the search would yield, more in-depth results. I found the names and addresses of around 90 Clinics and hospitals with Obstetricians and Gynecological services of which only 10 to 15% were government institutions.

A holistic approach is needed that will not lead to more women seeking out unsafe abortion providers, resulting in an increase in maternal deaths. A long-lasting solution can be achieved, only by bringing about a cultural change and definitely not by clamping down on abortion services and drug availability. India is far from this goal but She is most definitely on Her way, one step at a time!

Author profile:

Dr. Meenakshi Thiagarajan is a dentist and a Public Health professional. Women’s sexual and reproductive health are her areas of interest. In her free time, she pens her thoughts down. You can find her writing on social stigmas.

Women Health Wards, Bengaluru

Hidden-Pockets team went looking for Abortion Clinics in some of the government hospitals in Bangalore. Here are 5 of them that we found and were actually good services.

Please do find the nearest metro lines for easy accessibility.


Listing of Hospitals:

a) Haji Sir Ismail Sait Gosha Hospital

b) Room no. 27, Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital

c) Room no. 29 –  Victoria Hospital

d) Vani Vilas Hospital.

e) A block, K.C General Hospital