Dr. Rosemary Leonard answers a question on abortion in the company of Emma Howard.
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Emma Howard: Hello! We are answering questions on health and medical problems. I am joined by Dr. Rosemary Leonard. Hello! Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Hello! Emma Howard: Rosemary we have got a question from a 19-year old student, studying A levels at college. Now last she said she was sick every morning and so she decided to take a pregnancy test, the test was positive. She says she feels really ashamed, but she has decided to get an abortion and she wants to know from you that if she does this, will it harm her chances of having children in the future. She is clearly in a difficult place, isn't she? Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Very unlikely, it will harm her chances in the future. I can't say categorically that it won't because all operations and that includes terminations of pregnancy, they all carry a very slight risk, but most terminations are very straight forward indeed. If she is already nine weeks pregnant she is too late to have a medical termination which is when you take the tablets and it just induces a very heavy bleed like a late period. She will actually have to have a small operation. The main thing to be aware of afterwards is that the bleeding should stop within a few days. If she has heavy bleeding or if she has pain, it could be a sign that she has got an infection and that could damage her chances in the future. Now very, very, very rarely the womb itself can be damaged by a termination procedure, but again it is so, so rare, but you have to go into this type of thing with your eyes open and be aware. Emma Howard: Yes she has talked about feeling ashamed, so do you think some counseling would be helpful? Does she need to talk to somebody about that? Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Yes and in fact nearly universally now if you go to an HS Clinic or private Clinic to discuss termination, you will get counseling as part of that procedure because it sounds a little bit of ambivalence there, about whether she really wants to have a termination or not and so she needs to talk it through with somebody and even though she is doing A levels now, there is lots of support for teenage moms with baby so that they can carry on it with their education in college and that may be an option for her. Emma Howard: Yes if she wants that choice, she just needs to find the path that needs to take, doesn't she? Dr. Rosemary Leonard: Yes and the other thing she needs to do is if she goes along to her GP surgery she needs to actually have a quite word with the receptionist, make sure she sees a doctor who is sympathetic to termination. There are quite a lot of GPs now who are sympathetic to termination and if your mind isn't quite made up and you end up in a scenario where you have a doctor saying well I don't go along with type of thing, it can be devastating so you need to go and make sure you go and see the right doctor from the word go. Emma Howard: Very good advice, thank you Rosemary for answering that question and if you have a similar problem we hope we might have given you some help, but remember it's always best to go and see your own doctor for medical advice. Thanks for watching. We will be back with more health questions and answers.