Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP)

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Medical termination of pregnancy (MTP):

Intentional or voluntary termination of pregnancy before full term is called medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) or induced abortion. About 45-50 million MTPs are performed in a year all over the world which accounts for 1/5th of the total number of conceived pregnancies a year. Many countries have not legalised MTP due to emotional, ethical, religious and social issues. 

The government of India has legalised MTP in 1971 with some strict conditions to avoid its misuse. Such limits are especially crucial in order to combat indiscriminate and illegal female foeticides, which are said to be widespread in India. 

Importance of MTP:

To avoid unwanted pregnancies either due to casual intercourse or failure of the contraceptive used during coitus or rapes. It is essential in cases where the continuation of pregnancy could be harmful to the mother or to the foetus or both. MTPs are safe during the first trimester, (up to 12 weeks of pregnancy). Second-trimester abortions are very risky. 

Problems related with MTP: 

The majority of the MTPs are performed illegally. Misuse of amniocentesis test for foetal sex determination. If the foetus is female, it is followed by MTP. Such practices are dangerous for the young mother and foetus. Effective counselling on the importance of avoiding unprotected coitus and the risk factors implicated in illegal abortions, as well as increased health care facilities, could help to reverse the aforementioned hazardous trend.

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