Safe Abortion Practices

Each year, 22 million unsafe abortions are estimated to take place. Nearly all unsafe abortions (98%) occur in developing countries. Women everywhere, regardless of where they live, should have access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services – including a range of contraceptive methods and, where legal, access to safe abortion – so they can make informed choices about their reproductive health.

Abortion - also known as termination of pregnancy - is when a pregnancy is ended so it does not result in the birth of a child. Every woman has the right to make her own choice about whether to terminate or continue with a pregnancy. If a woman feels that an abortion is in her or her family's best interests, then she should have access to safe, supportive and non-judgmental advice and help.

Nepal legalizes abortions that are performed by a government-approved physician under the following conditions:

Abortion on request: Abortion can be performed by a trained/licensed service provider during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy upon her request. All that is required is her voluntary consent.

Rape or incest: A pregnancy resulting from rape or incest may be terminated up to 18 weeks of gestation.

Life, health, and fetal impairment: A woman may have an abortion at any time during the pregnancy when her life or physical or mental health is at risk, or if there is a risk of fetal impairment. In order to have an abortion on these grounds, recommendation of an authorized medical practitioner is needed along with her consent.


Types of Abortions Available in Nepal


Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)               

What is it? Suction is used to empty the uterus.            

How does it work? A doctor places a speculum into your vagina. The doctor numbs the cervix and then gradually widens, or dilates, your cervix. Then, a tube is placed into your uterus. Suction, created by an electric machine or by a hand-held syringe, is applied on the other end of the tube and empties your uterus.

How effective is the method? 98 percent of suction curettage abortions are successful

How far along in my pregnancy can I use this method? Six to14 weeks since the first day of your last menstrual period. Women are often asked to wait until six weeks of pregnancy to decrease the possibility of leaving all or part of the pregnancy behind after the surgical procedure. If performed earlier than six weeks, the procedure may be less effective.

How many clinic visits are required? Usually requires one visit-for health education, exam and procedure. 

Medical Abortion

What is it? Combination of medications is utilized to end the pregnancy causing uterus lining to shed. 

How does it work? Medication is consumed to stop the pregnancy from growing. One to three days after the first medication, another medication will be placed into your vagina. The uterus will contract and bleeding and cramping will occur.

How effective is the method? 95 percent to 97 percent of women respond successfully to the medications. 

How far along in my pregnancy can I use this method? Four to nine weeks since the first day of your last menstrual period. Medical abortion can be performed as soon as a woman knows she is pregnant. It is more effective and leads to less bleeding at earlier gestations (five to seven weeks compared to eight to nine weeks).

How many clinic visits are required? Requires at least two visits -- one for health education, exam and medications and another to confirm that the abortion was successful. 

If you’d like to know more about abortion and where to obtain services, please call Meri Saathi Free Helpline's trained and skilled counselors on 16600119756 (ntc) or 9801119756 (ncell). You can call them every Sunday 7:00am-12am and from Monday to Friday 7:00am -12am



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